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Public Leadership


Admission requirements

This course is available to the folowing bachelor honours students:

  • participants in the second year of ‘Tackling global challenges’ (FGGA)

  • as an elective for participants in honours colleges from other faculties

Please note that the course has a maximum capacity of 20 students. In order to be eligible students are asked to write a motivation letter and to hand in a CV.


Who is the public leader? Is it the one that works for the government, or the entrepreneur around the corner who is making a difference for society through his business? Or is it the student who uses a fresh perspective on the society? Public leadership no longer fits in the traditional management schemes or in hierarchy; public leadership is all about you!

Leadership is something that every one of us can show. By a particular expertise, a great initiative, a big portion of engagement and perseverance. It is not depening on any formal position in an organization, but rather on your capacities and the momentum to set things in motion, together with others. You know how to mobilize others and how to make use of the contemporary means and (social) media to build a network and to get your message publicized.

Public leadership is not just about the public sector; it is about achieving something for society, for a better world. Bourders between public and private are fading, and perhaps even trivial. As a public leader you know how to make a difference, even with small things.

In this course you will work on making a connection between the theory and practice of public leadership, explore what the concept is and how you can develop your own leadership competences. Together with others you will work in assignments in both public and private organizations and learn to reflect on leadership.

Course objectives

  • To develop knowledge about the various approaches in the literature to (public) leadership

  • To develop insights into the various applications of (public) leadership in practice and to reflect on these

  • To develop and apply leadership competences to contribute to public goals


Monday 18.00-21.00: February 6, 20
Monday 18.00-21.00: March 20
Monday,18.00-21.00: April 10
Monday,14.00-18.00: May 15

Mode of instruction

Combined lectures/seminars, group assignments, excursions and literature study.

Course Load

Lectures/seminars and excursions: 40h
Literature study: 42h
Group assignments: 42h
Individual assignment: 16h

Total: 140h (5 ects)

Assessment method

Group assignment (50%)
Individual assignment (50%)
The final grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Blackboard will be used for group discussions, as well as for uploading the group and individual assignments.

Reading list

The mandatory literature (papers from academic journals) will be published on Blackboard. Other literature will be collected by the students themselves.


The Honours coordinator takes care of registration in Usis.


Lecturer: Dr. Ben Kuipers
FGGA Honours coordinator: Annette Righolt