Understanding Society

Tilburg University is convinced that it can contribute to solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge and bringing together people from various disciplines and organizations.

Interview with Student Sunday Heagbetus: ‘Character is the quality that defines us as human beings’


The ability to make well-balanced choices marks our character. The importance of sound character building is further illustrated when individuals are under great pressure, stress, or temptation. The choices we make in difficult and challenging circumstances, Sunday Heagbetus observes, define us as human beings. Having first-hand experience in this regard, the Liberian student knows what he is talking about. His life story reveals an impressive past, hard to imagine for the average Dutch student. In spite of the hardships he has had to suffer, he has managed with great perseverance to get to where he is now, as a student at Tilburg University. He is doing a Master’s in Economics: Sustainability & Growth.

In this interview, Sunday briefly outlines his views on various content elements underlying the new Tilburg Educational Profile. His point of departure in this is the essay Exploring an Educational Vision for Tilburg University by Dean of University College Alkeline van Lenning and philosopher Herman de Regt. He responds to the proposition put forward in the essay that an international learning environment is a must, and wholeheartedly subscribes to the central objective of programs offered at Tilburg University needing to be to educate students to become thinkers of character, thinkers aspiring to do the right thing, to work for the benefit of their community, their society, and humanity as a whole. He himself is hoping to return to Liberia when he has finished his studies and there to join the fight against poverty by developing the country’s economy.