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The conference ‘World of Talent 2021’ is organized by the Research Center Talent Development in Higher Education and Society in collaboration with Hanze Honors College at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands. Our conference partners are the European Honors Council and the CoTalent project.


The Research Center for Talent Development in Higher Education and Society at Hanze UAS has taken a leading role in research on honors education and talent development since it was founded in 2011. Under the leadership of prof. Marca Wolfensberger it has developed a research program targeting honors students, educators, researchers as well as policy makers. Five research lines are brought together under the main research theme ‘Talent Futures’.


The Hanze Honours College is the umbrella term for honors education, honors students, honors lecturers and researchers and projects for talent development and professional excellence at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen.

The European Honors Council (EHC) is a network around the subject of talent development in European higher education, uniting people who are involved in or interested in special programs for talented students in higher education (often known as honors programs).

The CoTalent project is an EU-funded project which addresses the issue of talented students in European higher education not being sufficiently challenged. In order to handle this problem, a set of tools was developed aiming to better equip teachers.

International honors conferences

The conference ‘World of Talent 2021’ continues a tradition of international honors conferences organized by different higher education institutions in the Netherlands since 2012.

Previous conferences include:

  • 2012: ‘Evoking Excellence in Higher Education and Beyond’, hosted by Hanze UAS in Groningen (see book with results);

  • 2013: ‘Evoking Professional Excellence in Higher Education’, hosted by Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (see report);

  • 2014 Amsterdam; Summit Excellentie (in Dutch), hosted by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences;

  • 2015: ‘Exchanging Excellence’, hosted by Radboud University Nijmegen;

  • 2016: ‘Honors Futures’, hosted by Utrecht University and HU UAS Utrecht; (see special issue with conference contributions);

  • 2017: ‘Honors Communities’, hosted by Windesheim UAS in Zwolle (see aftermovie and special issue with conference contributions);

  • 2018: X-Honours Congrestival, hosted by NHL Stenden in Leeuwarden (see aftermovie)

The World of Talent conference was originally scheduled for June 2020, but due to COVID-19 it had to be rescheduled to 2021.

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