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When I look at our students, I see young, promising, intelligent, (seemingly) self-confident, and assertive people who have the world at their feet. In my experience as a lecturer, I gradually noticed that, sometimes, students see themselves differently.

A recent survey, carried out at our University College, shows that for almost 25% of all students who drop out or who incur a study delay this is at least partially due to personal, psychological, or psychiatric problems. These numbers are in line with national data on student wellbeing. This means that an alarming number of the young, promising and intelligent students in our lecture halls experience stress and mental health problems and have difficulties in coping with setbacks and failure.

These data invited our University College to put student wellbeing high on the agenda. In line with similar initiatives at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford, UC Tilburg designed its own resilience project, launched in September 2019: ‘The Resilience Project: Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better’. Funded by a Comenius Senior Grant, The Resilience Project has been incorporated into the core curriculum of the Bachelor’s program of Liberal Arts and Sciences at University College Tilburg.


Dr. Tessa Leesen

Project coordinator


UC Tilburg

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