Students: develop your talents, teachers: strengthen your education

U-Talent is a program to stimulate the development of talent in the sciences in secondary school. In this program Utrecht University and the Hogeschool Utrecht cooperate with a number of regional schools.

The shared goals the U-Talent partners set themselves are:

  • Developing science talent in havo and vwo students
  • Professionalisation of science teachers and school management
  • Continuous learning trajectory learning success
  • Professionalisation of higher education lecturers
  • Valorisation of science research and education at Utrecht University and Hogeschool Utrecht
  • Developing a differentiated secondary school science network

U-Talent is a cooperation between the Science and Geology faculties, the bachelor programme Biomedical Sciences at Utrecht University, the Education and Nature and Technology faculties at the Hogeschool Utrecht and around 50 secondary schools within the local area. The Freudenthal Institute is the coordinator of U-Talent.

U-Talent student programs

U-Talent offers more challenge and a broader program in the science subjects in havo and vwo. Motivated and talented students from both lower and higher secondary grades come to Utrecht University every year to take part in activities that show them wider vistas and applications of the science subjects: the campus program. The schools that take part offer a richer and broader program in the science subjects according to their own model: the school program.

U-Talent Academy

U-Talent Academy offers students in vwo grades 4-6 a thorough introduction to science themes, a solid orientation on scientific research, and a focus on personal development and study attitude. Every month the students take part in a specially developed two-day program at Utrecht University. They follow lectures from researchers and perform their own research in university laboratories. In school their own teacher will offer them a more challenging and in-depth approach to the school program. In this way students can take part in challenging projects in school while still following the regular science program through a different approach.

U-Talent programs for teachers and school management

U-Talent offers professionalisation programs for teachers and school management in secondary and higher education. The results of the U-Talent activities in schools, at Utrecht University and the Hogeschool are shared within the regional network, and are made available nationally where suitable. The results include teaching materials, professionalization of teachers and lecturers in secondary and higher education and a model for regional cooperation between secondary and higher education.


U-Talent partners perform research into both describing aspects of excellence in the science subjects in school, and strategies for promoting excellence in school.