We want to be an inclusive university where students and staff inspire and challenge one another, a university that invests in the continuous development and wellbeing of its students and staff. We did that in 2022 on various levels by continuing to actively engage with our students during – yet another – lockdown and encouraging staff to seek each other out whenever possible, and by working for equal opportunities for all and a safe environment.
1. Development and wellbeing
As part of the 2023 Student Guidance programme, Radboud University is taking additional steps towards improving the quality of student guidance, a personal and professional development learning path, good student communication and an integrated approach to student wellbeing.
Using resources from the National Programme for Education, various initiatives were developed to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic and increase student wellbeing. Examples include peer-to-peer support for all first-year students, the expansion of Student Support and the creation of a flex pool of student advisors. All faculties did their utmost to keep their students engaged and promote their students’ wellbeing in various ways; more on that in the interviews in this annual report. The student-staff ratio was reduced last year. Academic counselling should be rated at least 4 according to our target for the National Student Survey; Radboud University scored 4.01 in 2022.
Through Radboud Career Service, students can attend workshops like ‘From your success story to the dream job’, about storytelling and applying for a job. They can take the Career Orientation e-learning with no obligation and contact their faculty’s Career Officer for personal advice. Career Central is the community for everything the university has to offer alongside and after your studies. It helps students find suitable part-time jobs and internships during their studies, and it guides them towards their first job and in their career. This is achieved by putting them in touch with former students who are happy to answer questions about the world of work, by offering guidance even after graduation, and by compiling the best job openings.
Lifeport Welcome Center
International knowledge workers and students, as well as their employers and knowledge institutions, now have a one-stop shop on the Radboud University campus for any matters related to making their stay in the region more pleasant. The Lifeport Welcome Center (LWC) at Huize Heyendael was officially opened on 19 September.
It is staffed by employees from Radboud University and the municipality of Nijmegen. Starting 1 January 2023, they will be joined at that location by colleagues from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND). International knowledge workers and students receive a welcome package and information on matters such as health insurance, banking, and filing income tax returns in the Netherlands. LWC is an initiative of the Economic Board, the province of Gelderland and the municipality of Nijmegen, based on the regional desire to attract and retain more international talent for the region.
Radboud University, the municipality of Nijmegen and HAN University of Applied Sciences entered into a two-year partnership with Hospi Housing in November 2022 to address the severe housing shortage among students. The aim is to find local hosts and host families willing to rent a room in their house to a student. Experience shows that this way of living has a positive effect on the wellbeing of both host and student. The goal is to create 100 matches every year and build a sustainable and social solution to the housing shortage.
Satisfaction with the use of online learning environment gROW and the development opportunities has increased compared to previous years. We invest in the continuous development of staff, in part by strengthening personal leadership in an inclusive, sustainable and stimulating working environment. Sickness absenteeism is below 3.5%.
Event registrations are registrations for workshops, training sessions or programmes (online or in person). Unique users are all users who have done at least one activity in gROW (e.g. followed an e-learning, read an article, registered for an event, watched a video).
The offer is mainly for Radboud University staff and PhD candidates working at the university or Radboud university medical center. On average, the training sessions receive a rating of 8 and the user friendliness of gROW is rated a 4 on a scale from 1 to 5.
Recognition and Rewards
In 2022, the Recognition and Rewards Committee finalised the Vision on Recognition and Rewards. This vision summarises the findings from roundtable discussions that took place in 2021. The Executive Board adopted the vision as the Radboud Vision on Recognition and Rewards in June 2022, and it was launched at the beginning of the 2022–2023 academic year.
The vision describes what is needed to bring about change in the recognition and rewards for core tasks in education, research and social impact. Four pillars are central to this:
We embrace a balanced understanding of quality that recognises and values staff roles – education, research, leadership, social impact and patient care – in an even-handed way.
We achieve this quality by collaboratively creating a whole that is more than the sum of individual achievements.
Within this collaboration, all staff – in all their diversity in terms of talents, interests and backgrounds – are given the opportunity to contribute and be involved.
In doing so, we pay explicit attention to the human dimension so we can all work in health, safety and balance.
The intended changes must take place in the organisation and systems as well as in the culture. With the adoption and launch of the vision, the implementation phase has begun. A recognition and rewards programme proposal has been developed to describe how we will put the Vision on Recognition and Rewards into practice in the coming years (2023-2026). We will do this in part within the framework of the national recognition and rewards programme that will continue through 2026.
2. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Diverse students and staff contribute a variety of perspectives, which is valuable for our core tasks related to education, research and impact. Nurturing diversity is inextricably linked to inclusion: striving to enable people from different backgrounds to work well together. Radboud University works in many ways to promote equal opportunities for everyone. We want the voices of all minorities to be heard.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) cuts across themes and disciplines. It has identified equal opportunities, gender equality, disAbility and accessibility, inclusive leadership, solidarity and the DEI committees as the key priorities for 2022.
In light of the Participation Act, we provide people with a disadvantage on the job market with tailor-made jobs and support from a buddy and a job coach.
The DEI office launched its DEI Staff and Student Ambassador programme, which now includes 25 DEI Student Ambassadors and 17 Staff Ambassadors. This created a powerful DEI ripple effect.
In 2022, we established the first DEI Disability and Accessibility Committee (DARC). In it, staff and students look at how buildings, infrastructure, lecture halls and workrooms can be made more accessible for people with disAbilities - with an emphasis on Ability. We will work concretely on improvement actions.
The DEI office continues to organise its annual Solidarity and Antiracism Awareness Week. These events seek to highlight the voices and actions of students and staff and share DEI research and initiatives. The DEI Manifesto, which contains the university’s Solidarity Declaration, takes a strong stand against discrimination and gives concrete tips on how to become allies.
During the Roze Woensdag Jong! event during the Four-Day Marches, several of our DEI student ambassadors hosted a session on queer blackout poetry at the Nijmegen Public Library.
Diversity and inclusion
In 2022, we revised our vacancy texts and word choices with the aim of making texts more inclusive. The Appointment Advisory Committee has become more diverse in its membership, and they participated in anti-bias training. An additional clause was added to the employment contracts for PhD candidates, so that the end date is pushed out to compensate for the duration of any maternity and/or parental leave. This gives them the opportunity to complete their PhD research.
It is important that diversity and inclusion remain visible. With this in mind, we organised Diversity Days on campus in October, in line with the Dutch Diversity Day. Theatre workshops were organised for staff and students, partly to demonstrate what diversity can contribute. We also collaborate with Radboud Reflects to ensure that DEI topics are reflected in lectures and debates. This all ensures that diversity and inclusion are and remain alive on campus and become visible in our actions.
The proportion of female professors increased again to almost 31% (in FTEs) by 2022. The proportion of women among associate professors also increased, to over 35%. Almost half of university lecturers are women, as is the case for PhD candidates.
“The ambition states: 36% women professors by 2025. The increase in the number of female associate and assistant professors is positive and opens up new opportunities, but it is clear that all this will not happen automatically. Better gender distribution requires structural attention. Great efforts remain necessary.”
The Gender Equality Plan presented in January 2022 contains numerous policies and interventions to increase the proportion of female academics and create a more inclusive and socially safe academic culture in the coming years. This includes a training programme on inclusive recruitment and selection, theatre workshops on unconscious bias, a mentoring programme and a focus on inclusive leadership.
Again in 2022, the Christine Mohrmann grants were awarded to ten promising female PhD candidates. The 2022 recipients were Lena Richter, Indra Römgens, Carlijn Cober, Anouk Tosserams, Mariska Schröder, Renske Vroom, Helena Cockx, Maartje Kouwenberg, Sanne Tamboer and Pam ten Broeke.
Inclusion also involves language. Everyone needs to feel addressed and included, and this requires awareness and sensitivity. For example, language often has a male perspective. This is why universities have chosen to replace gendered words like ombudsman with gender-neutral terms like ombudsperson. The DEI office, in collaboration with Radboud in’to Languages, organised a series of language inclusion workshops that gave staff and students the opportunity to acquire tools for becoming more inclusive in their use of language. The office’s Think Tank team worked with facilities and the GendI Committee’s LGBTQI+ work group to create an inclusive toilet policy.
We also are collaborating with HAN University of Applied Sciences (and many municipalities in the region) to offer an education route within the new Integration Act for asylum seekers in the Netherlands. We just received our diploma recognition from DUO. The study programme will be embedded in the Faculty of Arts and will start welcoming students in September 2023.
Radboud Welcomes Newcomers hosted 67 students from refugee backgrounds in five faculties from April to December 2022. This project is a collaboration between Radboud University and the Radboud Fund. Refugees with an academic (or pre-academic) background follow a study programme at the faculty. In addition to Dutch language courses in cooperation with Radboud in’to Languages, these students receive a sports card, a laptop, a travel allowance, a buddy and various training sessions to inform them about the Dutch education system and support their integration and wellbeing. We are working with many asylum seekers’ centres in the region.
We are proud to enjoy close research collaborations with Nijmegen School of Management and the International Business and Psychology departments.
In 2022, there was considerable support for starting to establish DEI committees in all faculties and departments. A start was made on this and now, not only does the Faculty of Science have its own DEI committee, but the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Nijmegen School of Management have also taken the initiative to set up their own DEI committees.
3. Vision on leadership
For academics, leadership is a role that goes hand in hand with education and research. We encourage initiatives that contribute to developing supervisory knowledge and skills among Radboud University staff, from the team leader of the coffee corner to the chair of the Executive Board.
In 2018, a vision of leadership was developed that distinguishes between supervisory responsibility for a team and the personal leadership that can be expected from each employee. Based on that vision, a programme was developed, aimed at scholars, professors, department heads and directors. The programme creates awareness that leadership is a responsibility that can be developed and benefits from empathy and communication skills. The programme also provides practical tools. We have now trained 350 people.
In 2022, the programme was expanded to include three new components, so as to offer everyone in a leadership position the programme that matches their responsibilities. We now have four core programmes for four main target groups:
Scholars, professors, department heads and directors
Team leaders/coordinators in support services
The programmes cover topics including diversity, inclusion and social safety, but above all they bring people together to share their experiences and discuss what they encounter in daily practice (using a model).
Our vision recognises three pillars of leadership: courage, connection and openness. Emphasising these fits with Radboud University. We appreciate it when employees speak up more, indicate what they need and can allow themselves to be vulnerable. That is why we train people to develop the underlying skills that contribute to an open, healthy and safe culture.
Participants give the core programmes an average rating of 8.5. In 2022, a group of 15 supervisors participated in leadership training every week.
A new feature this year is that all leadership training sessions begin with a kick-off in which the board is invited to talk to participants about the university, its mission and its strategy. All board members are happy to accommodate those requests.
4. Social safety
Social safety is essential to ensure a free exchange of ideas and to enable staff and students to flourish in their work and study. That is why Radboud University is committed to providing a socially safe environment for all our students and staff. Nevertheless, we are aware that we do not always succeed in this effort. The university is a living organisation in which choices, and sometimes mistakes, are made. This concerns us because the consequences for those involved and for bystanders can be enormous. We therefore make every effort to prevent transgressive behaviour. And if it does occur, we have enacted all kinds of measures to respond to it.
Experts from all parts of the organisation are working hard to design the e-learning ‘Social safety for supervisors’. We recently had it tested by the users: supervisors from the faculties. Revisions will follow based on their feedback. The e-learning contains a ten-step plan that guides supervisors in responding to signs of undesirable behaviour.
In 2022, Dutch universities jointly set up the WetenschapVeilig (ScienceSafe) hotline to prepare academics for appearances in the media and to offer them the appropriate help when they encounter (online) threats, intimidation or hateful comments. Examples might include scientists who are researching the coronavirus, human trafficking or diversity. Many people – including privacy officers, confidential advisors, security, communication specialists and lawyers – have worked to create a technologically secure hotline and a help structure with the right expertise. Together, they provide prevention and assistance. These efforts are intended to allow scholars to freely engage in the public debate.
Ombudsperson for staff from 2022
In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO), all Dutch universities have appointed an ombudsperson. The ombudsperson at Radboud University began working in January 2022. She looks at each situation impartially and gives independent solicited and unsolicited advice to the organisation with the aim of improving processes, situations and (staff) policy. In doing so, she is mindful of the interests of staff and the organisation. An ombudsperson for students will be appointed in 2023.
The organisation of confidential advisors was further professionalised in 2022. Twelve certified confidential advisors now offer support and advice in the event of social insecurity or doubts about ethical behaviour. There are confidential advisors for students, PhD candidates and staff. In addition to the confidential advisors for undesirable behaviour, there is a confidential advisor for academic integrity and a confidential advisor for whistle-blowers. Efforts are also underway to establish approachable points of contact in all faculties in the form of support officers, and to train confidential contact persons in study and student associations.
Code of Conduct
In July 2022, the Works Council approved the first Radboud University-wide code of conduct. The code came about after discussions with at least 100 staff members, including student advisors, psychologists, PhD candidates, deans and confidential advisors. The code provides employees with a framework for acting with integrity. The code itself is not legally binding, but it includes regulations that are.
The document came into effect on 1 August. In internal communications, we refer to the code of conduct in various ways. To make it really come alive in the organisation, we organise events like dilemma training or bystander training for teams, and we make it part of annual appraisal interviews. The code of conduct is a living document that needs revision from time to time. When it was approved by the Works Council, it was agreed that the code of conduct would be reviewed in summer 2023.
We offer various training sessions and workshops for staff and students that promote appropriate behaviour, counter the effects of unconscious bias and stereotyping, and empower bystanders to intervene when undesirable behaviour occurs.
The e-learning ‘Being an active bystander’ raises awareness of structural inequalities in society and academia. This online training offers information about individual actions you can take to promote social safety and equality.
There is an interactive Theatre Workshop on social safety, bias and diversity. It creates awareness of your own norms about social safety and those of the people around you. How do you properly address these together?
The Work Plan for Reducing Workload at Radboud University was written in 2018. It describes some lines along which action can be taken to achieve improvements. This year, an analysis was made with the administrative directors to determine which lines of action have the highest priority and which are already included in existing policy programmes (e.g. Social Safety, or Recognition and Rewards).
Since faculties may emphasise different areas, the mandate for the actions to be taken has been placed in the line, in close consultation with the administrative directors.
Based on the results of the staff survey (released in Q2 2022), each faculty has drawn up an intervention plan that helps them focus on the issues at hand. To support them in this process, a toolbox was developed to offer tools for each design. The faculty boards have shared the chosen interventions with the Executive Board, and the interventions are part of the faculties’ annual plans.
6. Sickness absenteeism
We began to take a closer look at why people are sick, and our findings were incorporated into an absenteeism report that also includes a transcript of conversations with Occupational Health Officers and social workers. This report received high praise, and we will continue to use it to analyse absenteeism in the coming years.
Psychological work-related absenteeism appears to be the biggest cause of turnover and absenteeism in the organisation. Therefore, in addition to coaching and company social work, we began a two-year pilot project to help alleviate psychosocial workload in December 2021. This service took shape throughout 2022. The university is a challenging work environment where performance pressure can be high but, even during the pandemic, the stress and tension complaints from staff increased. Having somewhere staff can turn to in this way and feel heard and seen can do a huge amount for their mental health. That is the first goal of this pilot project. And it proved successful: psychological work-related absenteeism is down by at least 2.5%, and the number of absence days fell by 8.5%. Interest among employees is high: more than 80 tracks have been completed so far. Key themes for the staff who sign up are loneliness, social safety and power relations, and communication with colleagues.
A final evaluation will follow in summer 2023, after which it will be decided whether this service will become structural.
7. Complaints committees
Complaints Committee for Undesirable Behaviour
Four complaints about undesirable behaviour were submitted in 2022. The complaints committee declared one complaint inadmissible. A second complaint was taken up by another complaints office after internal consultation with the complainant. A third complaint was withdrawn before the complaints committee determined admissibility. However, the fourth complaint was declared admissible and a complaints procedure was initiated for it. This complaint was pending at year-end.
Academic Integrity Committee
Each year, the Academic Integrity Committee reports on its activities in general terms to the Executive Board. During the 2022 reporting year, the committee received three new complaints through the Executive Board. One complaint was withdrawn, and the other complaints were declared founded and unfounded, respectively.
Ad Hoc Complaints Committee
A complaint was filed that involved both Radboud University and Radboud university medical center and to which the existing complaints procedures did not apply. A joint ad hoc complaints committee was set up by both organisations to handle this complaint. It was declared partly founded and partly unfounded.
Legal protection of students
The Examination Appeals Board received 149 appeals in 2022. The Executive Board received 30 objections. The Central Complaints Office received 97 complaints. Three appeals were lodged with the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education.
Appeals to the Examination Appeals Board
Students who disagree with the assessment of exams or with decisions by the Examining Boards can submit an appeal to the Examination Appeals Board (EAB). The total number of cases received, 149, is somewhat lower than the 162 received in 2021. Of the 149 appeals received, the EAB ruled in 16 cases, a settlement was reached in 67 cases, and appeals were withdrawn in 66 cases. The fact that a settlement was reached does not always mean that the outcome for the student was positive. For example, a settlement could also mean that another lecturer re-grades an exam, with the same failing mark for the student.
Progress of appeal cases qualified as appeals
Progress of appeal cases qualified as appeals
- about BSA
- about admission to a (pre-)Master’s programme
Objections to the Executive Board
Students can go to the Executive Board with objections to other written decisions. These objections concern matters such as financial support, admission and selection to Bachelor’s programmes, registration and deregistration, and tuition fees. 30 objections were received in 2022, fewer than the 60 objections received in 2021. Most objections in 2022 were about the outcome of the selection procedure for study programmes with a quota (17 objections).
Results of the objections made
Results of the objections submitted
Withdrawn by appellant
Well founded/clearly founded
Partially well founded
Central Complaints Office
In 2022, 97 complaints were submitted to the Central Complaints Office. This is significantly more than the 55 complaints submitted in 2021. This increase can be partly explained by 22 complaints about the same situation (an exam). Complaints can concern various topics, such as the implementation of education, the course of events around exams, supervision, information or treatment. Most complaints in 2022 were about the course of events around exams (44 complaints) and education (15).
The Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education
A student who disagrees with a decision about an objection by the Executive Board or a verdict of the EAB can appeal to the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education (CBHO) in The Hague. The CBHO gives its opinion on the case in the form of a decision against which no further appeal is possible. The decisions rendered by the CBHO are published anonymously on the CBHO website (www.cbho.nl). There were three cases pending against verdicts from the EAB in 2022: one was withdrawn, one was declared unfounded, and one was declared manifestly inadmissible.
8. Managing post-employment benefit expenses
The health and wellbeing of staff continue to receive attention at all levels of the organisation. Lifetime employment, with a specific focus on wellbeing and development, is high on the agenda at the university.
Radboud University is the risk-bearer for the Sickness Benefits Act (ZW), the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (WIA), and Unemployment Insurance Act (WW). Robidus is our service provider for the ZW and WIA. For the purpose of being a good employer while controlling the cost of claims, counselling on unemployment insurance was outsourced to an external partner, USG Restart, in September 2022.