18 October 2018

Opening of the Academic Honours Year 2018 - 2019

Dr. Adri Thomas wins Honours Teacher of the Year Award 2018

honours
Honours Dean prof. dr. Michael Burke, honours teacher dr. Adri Thomas en two students BMS

Dr. Adri Thomas has won the Honours Teacher of the Year Award 2018 during the official Opening of the Academic Honours Year at 15 October. Thomas was nominated for this award by his students Biomedical Sciences. The jury, made up of the Honours Dean, faculty honours directors and honours students, stated that Thomas provides students with a safe and supportive environment for them to push themselves beyond the limits of their own academic expectations. "Adri Thomas is the very embodiment of who an honours teacher should be. He is a very worthy winner indeed."

Adri Thomas gives students the autonomy to experiment and to take risks. With this he encourages creativity
Students Biomedical Sciences

With the Honours Teacher of the Year Award the university acknowledges and celebrates the achievements of the Utrecht University honours teachers. From now on, one of the university honours teachers will receive this award during the Opening of the Academic Honours Year. The teachers are nominated by honours students of the different faculties and programmes. The students Biomedical Sciences who nominated Adri Thomas spoke enthusiastically of how he challenges and provokes them into discovering the very best in themselves, giving his students the autonomy to experiment and take risks. He encourages their creativity, but also provides them with a safety net. Honours Dean prof Michael Burke: "Working with highly talented students requires extremely talented and inspiring teachers. With this award those individuals are acknowledged and thanked." Dr Elisabeth Addink and Dr Peter Vos were also selected for the award by the jury.

Honours vital to university

During the Opening of the Academic Honours Year both Rector Magnificus prof Henk Kummeling and student Dirk Drost spoke about their experiences with honours education. Henk Kummeling, teacher within the Master’s honours programme GHIS, emphasized the importance of honours for Utrecht University: "Honours programs are vital to our university. Not only are these hugely beneficial to the students who have taken them but they also serve a vital experimental function for the university: a space where pedagogical ideas can be tested and honed to eventually be deployed in the regular programs. A small investment in the few for the great benefit of the many."

University Honours Student Council

The Opening of the Academic Honours Year takes place every October. The event is meant to gather all students and staff involved and interested in honours education. On Monday 15 October the new Utrecht University Honours Student Council was presented. The council advices the Honours Dean on matters concerning honours education. Within the council honours students of all faculties and programmes are represented. In this way the university strengthens the universitywide honours community and stimulates the exchange of knowledge and experience between the different honours programmes.