Defining learning goals in Honours education: what makes an excellent professional?

Patricia Robbe, Marjolein Heijne-Penninga, Inge Wijkamp, Marca Wolfensberger

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output


Honours programs prepare talented students to become the excellent professionals of the future. However, the behavioral aspects which define an excellent professional have not been elucidated yet. We therefore performed a research study on how professionals characterize an excellent professional in their own field.
Three consecutive focus group discussions were conducted with 5-12 professionals from ICT; Life Sciences and Technology; and achitecture, built environment and civil engineering. In these discussions, perceptions on professional excellence in their field were revealed. The discussions were recorded and transcribed, and the data was analysed by two researchers, independently, using ATLAS ti. In a consenus meeting, a concept profile was set up, which was validated through a Delphi survey with selected experts from each professional field.
In total, profiles for 14 professional field have been developed. The profiles contain generic, as well as, domain specific aspects. These profiles are implemented into the corresponding honours programs, improving the transition from educational programs to professional practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventHigher Education Conference 2016 - Wibaut Building, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 13 Jul 201615 Jul 2016


ConferenceHigher Education Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleHEC 2016
Internet address


  • excellence
  • talent development
  • honours education

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