The joint selection committee considered several excellent applicants from among the self-paying first-year students 2020-21. All of whom were impressive in their achievements in and outside the programme. Comparing them led to an animated discussion in and beyond the selection committee about the relative importance of the three components on which we judge excellence: academic achievement, contribution to the programme, and contribution to society.
The winners of the 2021 EPS Excellence Award are:
Jorge Manso García excelled in all three areas. He obtained excellent grades and showed a great willingness to engage in extra-curricular activities. He played a part in setting up the European Waves blog for which he is co-editor and publisher, and is currently student representative for his cohort in Leiden. In a wider sense, he plays an active role in the Erasmus Mundus Association. All this made us decide to award him a 50 % reduction in his fees for next year.
Covadonga Solares Morales particularly impressed us with her role on the Student Council and the way she untiredly represented and put forward the student perspective, as well as aid in the awareness of the benefits of the programme to aspiring students. She has also contributed to the European Waves blog as one of the team members. In a wider sense, she has become active as a volunteer in extra-curricular activities. In between all these activities, she has also managed to obtain very good grades. All this made us decide to award her a 25 % reduction in her fees for next year.
Gonzalo Fernández Jaraiz is a primary example of excellent academic achievement. In the somewhat challenging environment of Leiden marking, he managed to obtain an average at Cum Laude level. Although this in itself is not entirely unique, he did this in the context of extremely challenging personal circumstances, which certainly did not help him in his academic work. In this, he, therefore, combines excellence in academic achievement criteria with accomplishing things beyond what can be reasonably expected in the circumstances provided. All this made us decide to award him a 25 % reduction in his fees for next year.
Congratulations to the winners and thank to all applicants for their participation.