Laboratories for educational innovation: honors programs in the Netherlands

Marca Wolfensberger, Pierre van Eijl, Albert Pilot

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In Dutch universities, honors programs are a fast growing development. The
first such programs started in 1993. Twenty years later a large number of
programs are implemented at nearly all research universities and also at many
universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. Recent data have revealed
significant diversity in the types and structures of honors programs, many of
which have functioned as laboratories of educational innovation within university-
wide curricula and had positive spin-off effects on the regular curriculum
and also on the transfer of talented students from secondary into
higher education. Especially in the last decade, these spin-offs have had a
strong influence on educational policy in the Netherlands at the primary and
secondary as well as university levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-170
JournalJournal of the national collegiate honors council
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • higher education
  • innovation
  • honors education


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