Talent development on an European level

Nieuws | de redactie
15 september 2017 | A consortium of educational institutions received an European grant for the promotion and development of young talent. “It is an enormous challenge for teachers to facilitate each talent while taking into account the diversity of the student population,” says Marca Wolfensberger who’s leading the initiative.

Marca Wolfensberger is associate professor at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the institute that is leading the consortium. The international consortium, consisting of several universities as well as a research centres that across Europe, ranging from Germany to Denmark and Romania, took on the idea to develop practical instruments to further talent development in Europe. The European Honors Council will disseminate the results of the programme.

An e-library for teachers

This summer, the project WeTalent, Working in Europe to connect Talent development in higher education received  a €400.000 grant from the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Strategic Partnership programme. The programme aims to promote international cooperation and sharing best practices.

The grant enables the educational institutions within the consortium to develop products for students en teachers which will support them in utilizing the potential of talented youth. “We want to develop an e-library where teachers can share video clips and other available study material and learn from each other”, Wolfensberger explains.“This online library will help teachers when the want to know how to teach students to be resilient or to foster their self-development. All the material in the e-library will be based on the research that is done in the field of talent development.”

According to the institutes taking part in the programme, throughout Europe to many young people are not fully using the talent and skills they have to give them a head start in pursuing a meaningful career. When these people are not challenged enough there’s even a risk that they drop out of university. “The number of university dropouts is too high and each case is an individual drama”, Wolfensberger says.

To tackle this problem teachers have to be properly equipped in order to help students reach their full potential. A digital library is just one of the forms Wolfensberger and her colleagues have in mind. They also want to develop a tool for teachers to evaluate their performance in talent development and a tool to discover talent in young people.

A collective effort

All these tools will be assembled in an e-learning environment the consortium is planning to build. “This October we will gather in Groningen for the first time”, Wolfensberger says. “This means teachers as well as students will be there. It is a collective effort.”

The jury that judged the grant application lauded the impact for higher education the programme might have. “This project has the potential to put talent development on the agenda of higher education institutions throughout Europe and might as well lead to an improvement of the quality and quantity of talent programmes in European higher education.”


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