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In memory of Professor Frans Meijers

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling

This special tribute is dedicated in memory of Professor Frans Meijers who sadly passed away on 16th November 2018. Frans worked tirelessly on career development research, policies and practices in the Netherlands and internationally. He was a prolific writer, intellect and co-editor of the British Journal for Guidance and Counselling, International Symposium Series. He also worked at The Hague University of Applied Sciences where he was professor of career education.

Frans organized many international conferences in order to ensure that career practice stayed connected to policy, research and theory. He guided several PhD students and authored and co-authored countless publications in the field. In the last ten years of his life, he worked closely with his colleague and life partner Dr. Reinekke Lengelle with whom he developed the narrative method ‘Career Writing’. In his working life, Frans mainly asked himself the question: how can we create a strong learning environment where individuals can develop an evolving and resilient career identity? He indicated:

“A career story is a story of identity – it is a constantly evolving narrative of self. We must see this self as multi-voiced and dialogical in that we are shaped in the process of having meaningful conversations about actual experiences. The dialogue is both internal and external – with our ‘selves’ and other selves in the process of constructing a story that provides both meaning and direction.”

His academic work has greatly influenced many students, teachers, careers advisers and counsellors, policymakers and politicians in his home country of The Netherlands and around the globe. He maintained that:

“Guidance and counselling provides a ‘safety net’ that enables individuals to reflect on and give meaning to their life and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

The year he became ill and died, two books he co-edited appeared, both focusing on reflexivity and identity learning in education. Frans worked closely with Dr Deirdre Hughes as Co-Editor of the Journal’s International Symposium Symposium Special Issues. He is greatly missed by his life partner, family and friends; including his colleagues at the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. His final works for the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling focused on the topic of ‘Happiness and Well-Being’ which will be published as a Special Issue later this year.

The following papers offer a brief snapshot of some of his latest and most memorable works:

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolumeIssueDOI
Towards a strong career learning environment: results from a Dutch longitudinal studyDraaisma, A., Meijers, F. & Kuijpers, M. (2016). British Journal of Guidance and Counselling45210.1080/03069885.2016.1217979
Professionalising teachers in career dialogue: an effect studyKuijpers, M. & Meijers, F. (2015). British Journal of Guidance and Counselling45110.1080/03069885.2015.1121203
Narrative identity: writing the self in career learningLengelle, R. & Meijers, F. (2014).British Journal of Guidance and Counselling42110.1080/03069885.2013.816837
Testing times: careers market policies and practices in England and the NetherlandsHughes, D., Meijers, F. & Kuijpers, M. (2015). British Journal of Guidance and Counselling40210.1080/03069885.2014.940280
New school for the old school: Guidance and counselling in 21st century education (Part 1) Hughes, D., Law, B., & Meijers, F. (2017a) British Journal of Guidance and Counselling45210.1080/03069885.2017.1294863
New school for the old school: Guidance and counselling in 21st century education (Part 2)Hughes, D., Law, B., & Meijers, F. (2017b) British Journal of Guidance and Counselling45410.1080/03069885.2017.1346234
Narratives at work: the development of career identityMeijers, F. & Lengelle, R. (2012)British Journal of Guidance and Counselling40210.1080/03069885.2012.665159

Other notable works include:

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal Title
Creative writing for life design: reflexivity, metaphors and change processes through narrativeLengelle, R., Meijers, F. & Hughes, D. (2016). Journal of Vocational Behavior
Is self-reflection dangerous? Preventing rumination in career counsellingLengelle, R., Luken, T., & Meijers, F. (2016). Australian Journal of Career Development
The foundations of career resilience. In K. Maree (ed.)Lengelle, R., Meijers, F. & Van der Heijden, B. (2016). Psychology of career adaptability, employability and resilience. New York: Springer (accepted)
Career learning: Qualitative career assessment as a learning process in the construction of a narrative identity. In M. McMahon & M. Watson (Eds.)Meijers, F. & Lengelle, R. (2015). Career Assessment: Qualitative Approaches
A dialogue worth having: vocational competence, career identity and a learning environment for 21th century success at workMeijers, F., Lengelle, R., Winters, A. & Kuijpers, M. (2016). Enhancing teaching and learning in the Dutch vocational education system: Reforms enacted.