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Elanor Kamans - Senior Researcher / Project Leader NRO Exchange project @ Talent Development in Higher Education and Society, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen

Talking Excellence: presenting a Framework for Analyzing Conceptions of Excellence & the Culture of Excellence Questionnaire

Mission statements of universities often emphasize the importance of a culture of excellence. Honours programs are expected to contribute to such a culture, by providing talented and motivated students the opportunity to excel and by creating a culture in which excelling is accepted. However, what is a culture of excellence and how can this be measured? Answering these questions is not straightforward as the concept of 'excellence' in higher education has been used in various and contradictory ways. In our contribution, we therefore present two tools that both give more insight in conceptions on excellence.  We first present the Framework for Analyzing Conceptions of Excellence (FACE), based on literature on excellence, giftedness and school culture that does justice to his variety. Second, we present how FACE can be used as an analytical tool to unravel different conceptions that exist within Dutch Honours education. Finally, we present data from a quantitative study, using the Culture of Excellence Questionnaire (CEQ-survey) (N = 1222) showing that honours students demonstrate a broader variety in their conceptions of  excellence compared to regular students. Practical implications of using FACE and the CEQ are discussed.









Elanor Kamans obtained her PhD within Social Psychology in 2010. Since 2014 she applies insight from Social Psychology tot the study of (honours) education. Her research focusses on (higher education) students and topics such as stereotyping, culture of excellence & honours culture, equality, sense of belonging and motivation. 

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