Marca Wolfensberger Prof. Dr.

Marca Wolfensberger, PhD, heads the research group “Talent Development in Higher Education and Society” at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

She obtained her PhD on honors education from the University of Utrecht (UU). She also works as honors director and assistant-professor at the Faculty of Geosciences (UU), where she received her MSc cum laude.

Marca co-founded the first full honors programs in the Netherlands and is currently in charge of research on 5 themes:

  1. Teaching strategies and innovative learning environments
  2. From pupil to professional: interrelated learning paths to reach professional excellence
  3. Excellent professionals connect with higher educudation
  4. International networks and significant changes as result of honours education
  5. Honours and the emancipatory force of education


Her fields of interests are honors pedagogies in an international context and faculty development, value of honors communities and citizenship, excellent professionals in relation with curriculum design, and the integrated world of talent development. Marca published over 150 articles, chapters, books and papers on those themes. She regularly gives keynote addresses at national and international conferences and leads courses, workshops and seminars on talent development and giftedness in (higher) education. 

Moreover, Marca is co-founder and president of the European Honors Council (EHC), established in June 2016. This new European network focuses on talent development in higher education. The EHC offers opportunities for exchange of knowledge and good practices, possibilities for student and teacher exchange at honors level, joint research projects and a platform to support the development of (and embedding of) honors programs in national education systems.

Marca was a board member of the National Sirius assessment committee, hosted by the Platform Beta Technology. This committee reviewed the proposals for excellence programs from over 30 higher education institutions on behalf of the Dutch government. She was named a Fellow of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) in 2013, and has been Chair of the NCHC Research Committee since November 2012. In 2008, the NCHC acknowledged her as site-visitor for honors programs. The Minister of Education has appointed her as a member of the National Jury selecting the best primary and secondary schools.


Marca has a dream: Every student should be able to get the education that suits him/her best – this includes the highly motivated and talented students. She is dedicated to assisting (young) people in defining their goals & purpose in life. She is passionate about doing research on talent development in order to create educational settings that can support people in reaching out for their goals.

Doctoral Students Research Center Talent development in Higher Education and Society:

Drs. Petra van Heugten

Drs. Nelleke de Jong

Drs. Jolise 't Mannetje

Drs. Melissa Fuller

Drs. Ingrid Schutte

Drs. Sietske Vissers

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