HC Tackling Global Challenges (former Expertise in Practice)

Problems in the world we live in come and go, and are a source of debate in society, business or politics as well as a topic for researchers who aim to better understand mechanisms in so many different areas. Effectively tackling these problems is a hard task for any party involved.


Current challenges require new thinkers, potential leading experts and public leaders to solve crises at global and local level. The Honours Track has the goal of educating students on how current problems play out among government, science and society and give them the skills to tackle some of these issues theoretically, based on academic literature, and practically, at a local level. The learning experience is thereby based on interactive activities, such as visits to the Dutch parliament, the European Parliament, (public) organizations in The Hague as well as scenario planning and a simulation game.

Students are asked to go beyond the boundaries of their own field of study, look at themes, issues and trends in society that require a combination of scientific disciplines and analytical lenses. The programme links analysis or existing patterns to a future outlook. While using their own field of study to understand old and new issues, students are also expected to understand and integrate the contributions from other disciplines. Students are further involved in shaping the programme, in suggesting and preparing topics of analysis and discussion.

Learning aims

Students who have successfully completed this programme are able to:

  • Understand the relationships among government, science and society and how it affects public problem-solving power

  • Apply theoretical knowledge to challenges in the real world

  • Demonstrate personal leadership capacities based on theoretical and practical insights

  • Combine knowledge from their own field of study with theories from the courses

  • Reflect on global challenges from various academic perspectives and arrive at possible solutions

  • Anticipate future challenges and provide guidance on how to tackle them

  • Construct plausible future scenarios by applying the method of scenario thinking and provide strategic advice on societal challenges (both in written and oral form) to practitioners based on those future scenarios

  • Understand the complexity of EU decision making in relation to (external) dilemmas

  • Use bilateral- and multilateral negotiation skills


This honours programme offers a three year, 30 EC package. A combination of didactical principles is used to reach the aims of the programme: lectures, workshops, case study sessions, simulations, field trips, invited speakers and assignments. All activities serve to connect theory and practice.

First year

The first year (5 EC) provides an introduction of Tackling Global challenges. The course Governing Society, Science and Expertise aims for understanding the relationships among government, science and society and how it affects public problem-solving power. Students learn to apply theoretical knowledge to challenges in the real world.

Second year

The second year (15 EC) aims at shaping future scholars and leading experts. In this year students start with a mandatory Competences Lab, followed by a choice between Public Leadership and Attacking Global Problems at EU level. The first deepens the understanding of leadership in the public sphere, the latter deepens the understanding of the processes of EU decision making. Finally students choose one of the numerous Honours Classes offered by the Honours Academy or alternatively an Honours Class offered by Leiden University College. At the end of the second year students go on a two-day working visit to Brussels.

Third year

The third year (10 EC) aims at experiencing and mapping the future. In this year students can choose an academic or personal choice of internship, or combine the internship of their regular study with an  Honours internship. Students can also undertake an individual project with the aim to tackle a global challenge. In the second semester students complete the Honours Track with the Scenario Lab. They receive an assignment from government or municipality with the aim to experience whether scenario-thinking is applicable to ‘Tackling Global Challenges’ at municipal level.  

For whom?

This honours track is open to all students who meet the Honours College requirements. In addition to excellent performance in the own BA we expect a strong motivation to make the most of yourself. You should have a broad interest and should feel comfortable doing this track in English. You can register for this track with a registration form.

This track is especially interesting to those students who would like to explore the relation between theory and practice, to acquire the tools to connect these and who like to work in an innovative and multidisciplinary setting.

More information about the structure of the programme, the learning aims and application and selection.

Contact Coördinator: Annette Righolt

The Faculty Board of Examiners The Hague

The Board of Examiners of the minors Global Affairs, Entrepreneuship for society and the Honours College track “Tackling Global Challenges” is under Article 7.12 of the Law on Higher Education (WHW), responsible for examinations and monitors the level of exams and courses. Key tasks and responsibilities include: promulgating rules and regulations on exams; granting exemptions; taking measures with regard to order, fraud, plagiarism, etc., and decisions on appeals of students. The Faculty Board of Examiners The Hague is also charged with granting individual retakes and assessing requests concerning individual adjustments to programs and the implementation of possible electives/ elective programs.

The scope of the boards authority and the department's applicable rules and procedures are laid out in several distinct but related documents, namely:

Composition of the Faculty Board of Examiners The Hague:

  • Prof dr. R. de Wijk 

  • Ir. S.P. Louwaars

  • J.E.T. Schmidt MSc

Requests to the Board of Examiners
The Board of Examiners in its capacity also processes individual requests from students regarding their studies (about subjects mentioned above or other questions regarding the regulations and/or the regulations for teaching and examinations). 

For individual questions to the Board of Examiners the following rules and procedures are applicable. All questions and any supporting evidence are only considered if sent through the web form (not by e-mail).

In the case of individual questions the exam committee will in principle make a decision within 15 working days after the request and / or accompanying documents are received by the commission. The deadline of 15 working days thus begins as soon as all required documents to the examination board are received. In some periods (around mandatory holidays, Christmas period, the end of the academic year and summer break) the examination board preserves the right to exceed this limit. Where possible students will receive a message in this case.

Questions and comments can be send to fec-dh@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.

Expertise in Practice
For more information about the former honours track Expertise in Practice, you can consult the archive:

Last Modified: 24-01-2017