Tamar de Waal, assistant professor, has been director of the Amsterdam Honours College of Law since 1 September. She succeeds Jonathan Soeharno. She is no stranger to the program: last year she was coordinator and she herself was once an honours student.
The program and the nature of the Amsterdam Honours College is completely different from when I was a student,' she says. 'It has really become a club now, with all kinds of activities and a study association. In the program, students can take more in-depth courses, including at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies. There is a retreat weekend and there are workshops. It's a great opportunity for ambitious students who want to put their studies first.'
Each year, a select group of 40 students start the Amsterdam Honours College of Law. Places are allocated on the basis of study results. Students with the highest average grades are invited for an interview. Tamar: 'The invitations are automatically based on grades, but it's nice when people apply. Not everyone with the highest grades wants to join, and we are looking for students who want to invest in their education and in themselves.'
Many honours students are academic and research-orientedTamar de Waal
Deepening and broadening
The honours program consists of 30 credits in addition to the 180 credits of the bachelor's in Law or Tax Law. There is a course in Rhetoric, Reason and Law, there are master classes and students participate in the Amsterdam Law Trials. Tamar: 'Honours students are looking for depth and breadth and can also inspire each other. I hope that like-minded people will meet up during the course and encourage each other to continue contributing to the faculty and to the legal world and legal science in a broader sense.'
In the coming years, Tamar's ambition is to bring even more academic depth to the program. 'Many components are focused on practical experience, on life as a lawyer. That's good, but many honours students are academic and research-oriented. With scientific debate, the organization of symposia and lectures, or a more in-depth thesis trajectory, we can offer that academic development.'