The European Honors Council has opened for membership in June 2016. A press release about the launch of the EHC has been published.
Information about the EHC can also be found in this brochure
Below, we explain the reasons for and the process of founding the council. The council aims are explained here.
In its start-up phase, the EHC was kindly supported by the Sirius Program.
Logo Sirius

Background

What do European higher education institutions (HEIs) offer to students who can and want to do more than just the regular study program? Marca Wolfensberger, lector (professor) at Hanze University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in The Netherlands and Fellow of the American honors organization NCHC asked herself this question in 2013. It soon turned out that information to answer this question was lacking. Therefore she launched the research project Honors in Europe, first making an inventory of honors programs and the national culture towards excellence in eleven northern European countries. This led to the book Talent Development in European Higher Education: Honors Programs in the Benelux, Nordic and German-speaking countries, published in open access at Springer in early 2015. In the research for this book, it turned out that there is a great demand for exchange of knowledge about this subject at a European level. People involved in honors and talent development were very eager to get to know colleagues working on the same subjects in other countries. However, there was no structure to support this kind of exchange. Therefore Marca Wolfensberger joined up with Ron Weerheijm (Rotterdam UAS). They decided to invite a select group of key persons from northern Europe to the honours conference at Radboud University Nijmegen in June 2015, to discuss possibilities of European network formation. The idea was met with great enthusiasm and the added value of a European network was recognized among those present.

Added value

The added value of the European Honors Council compared to existing networks is recognized in two main distinguishing features:
For its members, the EHC offers opportunities for exchange of knowledge and good practices, possibilities for student and teacher exchange at honors level, joint research projects and a platform to support the development of (structural embeddedness of) honors programs in national education systems.

Next steps

Immediately after the Nijmegen meeting, a steering committee for the European network-to-be was formed. The ten members represent key organizations in six countries. Within the committee, the network name and goals were discussed. European Honors Council was chosen as preliminary name and ten network goals were agreed upon. Furthermore, preparations were made to set up network activities and take further steps in network formation. The steering committee met in January and April 2016 to discuss proceedings. In June 2016, the EHC was officially established. Progress since then can be found in the news section or other sections on this website.

Activities

One of the main EHC activities has been its involvement in the organization of the international conference Honours Futures in Utrecht, on June 2-3, 2016. Through the efforts of the EHC, this event was put on the official calendar of the Dutch EU presidency. The network contributed to the conference program and presented itself here. The EHC has also been involved in the International Honors Faculty Institute in Groningen on May 30-June 1, 2016, preceding the Utrecht conference. On the 'day after' the conference, June 4, the Acting Board of the EHC met to discuss future plans. They will be presented here and in the EHC newsletter.