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Honours College FGGA kicked off a new year: ‘Students choose Honours because they like the courses’

A new batch of students, a grant and a new course: there is much to celebrate for the FGGA Honours College, which welcomed new students on Tuesday 5 March. High time to catch up with Annette Righolt, Honours College coordinator at FGGA.

Over 90 students, including 40 students from FGGA for the first time, are starting FGGA's Honours College track this year. The FGGA Honours College is designed for ambitious students who want to broaden their knowledge on a variety of social issues in addition to their regular studies. Righolt: ‘Students now choose Honours because they like the subjects we offer so much, but that has not always been the case. When I started as coordinator, we only offered three courses. We have expanded that over the years: students can now choose from more than ten courses throughout the programme.’

New batch of students started

On Tuesday 5 March, the new students of the Honours College FGGA were welcomed atW ijnhaven, where it was explained what awaits them during the two-and-a-half-year course. Students can take courses on the European Union, negotiation and improving the rule of law, among others. 

While speed dating, the students learned more about each other and the Honours College programme. Karolina Wróbel, student of the Honours College programme, told us: ‘It was nice to be able to network with each other in this way and to ask questions to students who have been following this programme for some time already.’

‘Design your study life’

In addition to the focus on developing theoretical and practical skills, this year a new course will be offered in which students get to work on their personal skills: ‘Design your study life’. This course was developed because of a grant awarded to the Honours College by the Leiden University Fund (LUF). The grant aims to encourage first-generation students (students who are the first in their families to study at university) to pursue and complete an academic study programme and focuses on protecting, maintaining and developing democratic values. 

‘We designed the course especially for this purpose. We want to support students who are struggling to find their place at university so that they, hopefully, become more confident,’ Righolt says. ‘In addition, we hope that these students too will eventually be able to find their way within the government after completing their studies. There, of course, we want to see a wide variety of people.’ 

In the course ‘Design your study life’, students are asked to look at their strengths, the goals they have set for themselves at university and their ideas about their future career. During the course, they are supported in this by the lecturers, but also by the POPcorner, the Wellbeing Officer and fellow students. Righolt: ‘In the course, we provide good guidance from fellow students. These are students who have been following the Honours College programme for some time and can therefore help new students in finding their way. In this way, we want to encourage students to come together more often.’ 

After the summer, in the first semester of the new academic year, the first students can register for the course ‘Design your study life’. 

Text: Nadine Louissen

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