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Research demonstrates that a significant percentage of students face mental health issues. The pressure to perform is high, sometimes too high, and is fueled by social media, tempting students to share success stories only. In line with the Resilience Project at Stanford University and other similar initiatives at Harvard and Princeton, UC Tilburg designed and implemented its own resilience project. This project aims to increase students’ level of critical awareness of the importance attached to competitiveness and excellence in (higher) education and society at large. It also offers students tools to become more resilient in dealing with failures and setbacks and aims to normalize failure.


For more information on the resilience project at Stanford University or initiatives at other prestigious universities, such as ‘The Success-Failure Project’ at Harvard University, please see:

The project was first introduced during the Education Bazaar 2019, where dr. Tessa Leesen and dr. Ellen Dreezens gave an interactive session on the Resilience Project. You can watch the lecture here.


The Resilience Project consists of three pillars:


Failure versus Success

Academic module


Developing Resilience

Practical training


Failing Forward

Sharing event


This webpage aims to share the educational resources that have been developed in the context of the project. Therefore, the webpage is particularly interesting for students who struggle with stress and for lecturers who want to support students and incorporate our materials into their study program.


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