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4. Impact with Partners

Together in the Municipality of Nijmegen

In 2020, the university maintained and strengthened ties with its local partners, especially with the municipal administration and the boards of HAN and Radboud university medical center. The relationship with Nijmegen’s municipal administration took shape through periodic consultations and mutual working visits. The 2020 collaboration with the Nijmegen theatre venues was exceptional: the use of concert halls as lecture halls offered the venues some financial flexibility in this difficult year. Collaboration with other partners also continued, such as with the InScience film festival.

Radboud historians worked with the municipality in 2020 to start the Waalpaintings project: 15 large murals that bring Nijmegen’s history to life. The paintings will eventually be connected in a walking route, where people can get information about the works of art and the artists via QR codes. Waalpaintings is an initiative of Radboud historians Erika Manders and Dennis Jussen. Manders: “Our goal is achieved when people who walk past such a painting just stop and look. As soon as you look at it, you’ve already learnt something about history; that’s how fast it happens.”

‘Collaboration with community partners also stimulates students’ professional development’

- Wessel Meijer

The Nijmegen City Deal Kennis Maken project is a collaboration between the university, HAN, the municipality and, recently, ROC Nijmegen. The institutions use this form of knowledge sharing to contribute to solutions for social issues, and the city is a rich learning environment in which lecturers, researchers and students can work together.

In the past year, work was done on the ‘Kind in Verbinding’ (Child in Connection) project in Nijmegen North, which looked at child- and youth-related problems from the perspectives of various disciplines. Wessel Meijer, division director for Academic Affairs: “The collaboration with community partners and other knowledge institutions within City Deal is a fine example of how we can link our education to the social tasks we face in our region, and at the same time stimulate our students’ professional development.”

Together in the Region

The university maintained good relationships with the Gelderland King’s Commissioner and the provincial executive. Due to COVID-19, a planned working visit from the province of Gelderland was cancelled. Collaboration with The Economic Board was strengthened in 2020 with the establishment of Start-up Fund Gelderland, a consortium that includes partners such as Radboud university medical center, HAN, ArtEZ, kiEMT, Rabobank, the province of Gelderland and Oost NL.

The Economic Board, a collaboration between government, knowledge institutes and the business community in the region (Arnhem-Nijmegen and Wageningen) aims to grow the regional economy with innovations in the food, energy, health and artificial intelligence sectors in particular. Radboud University is focused on the latter two sectors.

Together with National Partners

Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven and several other senior officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science paid an online working visit to the university and Radboud university medical center in May. The minister spoke with the university’s administration and staff and students about topics including the impact of the coronavirus crisis on education and research. On her own initiative, the minister also attended and spoke at the opening of the academic year. In June, MP Frank Futselaar (Socialist Party), at his own request, paid an online working visit to the university to gain insight into online education. An important new initiative in the area of stakeholder dialogue was the organisation of the Radboud Current Events Lectures in Nieuwspoort in The Hague.

In 2020, Radboud University and Maastricht University signed a covenant laying out their intention to establish new degree programmes on the campus in Venlo in the fields of biotechnology and medicine. You can read more about this in the chapter on education and in the joint interview with the rectors of both institutions.

The National Research Agenda provides grants to consortia of Dutch universities to stimulate scientific and social breakthroughs. Eight grants in 2020 involved Radboud scholars. Among them are geographer Henk van Houtum and historian Jaap Verheul, who together with Utrecht University are working on the project In search of the līmes: the Romans in the Netherlands. The team will investigate the historical function of the Roman state borders, with the aim of providing insight into the legacy and interpretation of the Roman era in our modern thinking about territories, borders and cross-border cooperation.

Together Across Borders

International quality of research and teaching is one strategic theme of Radboud’s internationalisation strategy. In 2019, we started working on that strategy: ‘Radboud International 2025: Quality first!’. The goal is to take the first steps towards achieving a cohesive, inclusive community in 2025. The strategy forms the foundation for Radboud-wide initiatives.

For more than 90 years, the university has been cultivating contacts with partner institutions. Our network now comprises hundreds of universities across the world. Students and staff members can go to these high-quality universities for exchange or research. Radboud University encourages students, PhD candidates and staff members to spend time abroad. However, due to COVID-19, many exchange activities were cancelled or postponed in 2020.

A notable international event in 2020 was the creation of NeurotechEU. This alliance was designated a European University by the European Commission in the summer. Furthermore, the university joined the European Universities Initiative, a European Commission project aimed at improving exchanges in education, research and employment. We also worked with the University of Glasgow to develop a new Master's programme on slavery. In addition, within the European lobby network The Guild, we contributed to a new vision of European universities for the next decade.

Between 2014 and 2020, Radboud University and Radboud university medical center received more than €200 million from the European Commission. This funded 264 research and innovation projects, making Radboud one of the top three Dutch organisations with the highest contribution from Horizon 2020.

Together with Alumni

The Marketing & Communications division worked with the faculty alumni officers to draft the memorandum ‘Professionalising Alumni Relations 2023’, which contains seven projects intended to activate alumni relations. One project aims to strengthen the Radboud spirit, while another wants to offer alumni a clear overview of what is on offer for them.

Together with Career Services, a start was made on developing an online platform for alumni, students and companies. The aim is threefold: to improve guidance for students on their way to the job market, to connect to the regional job market and beyond, and to involve alumni more actively with current students, for example, in finding work placements. Other roles that alumni can play include guest lecturing, contributing to information and guidance for students and recent graduates, or supporting student life and research through donations.

Better aligning students’ skills with market demands will create better opportunities for more students. This is in line with the university’s strategy to provide equal opportunities for all and with the Gelijke Kansen Alliantie (Equal Opportunities Alliance) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Moreover, it puts the university in line with the province of Gelderland’s education and job market plan.

Alumni were one of the target groups of the ‘You have a part to play!’ campaign in 2020, with actions that tied in with COVID-19. A special webpage featured articles from Radboud Recharge, quarantine lectures and a crowdfunding campaign for the Radboud Fund and the national ‘Kraak de crisis’ (Crack the crisis) initiative. One thousand alumni visited the campaign page for that initiative.

Around 40,000 alumni were invited to receive the special spring issue of Radboud Magazine about COVID-19. The campaign resulted in 1,000 new subscribers. The Christmas issue of the magazine was sent to tens of thousands of alumni, again with a view towards connecting with them.

Around 40,000 alumni were invited to receive the special spring issue of Radboud Magazine about COVID-19. The campaign resulted in 1,000 new subscribers. The Christmas issue of the magazine was sent to tens of thousands of alumni, again with a view towards connecting with them.

Around 40,000 alumni were invited to receive the issue of Radboud Magazine about COVID-19.

Together with Suppliers

The university wants to further integrate its procurement policy with its sustainability policy. The 2020 vision and ambition document, which has yet to be adopted, formulates four procurement themes that are linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations: climate neutral, circularity, a healthy environment and concern for equal opportunities. We apply three leading principles: efficiency and effectiveness, collaboration, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Principles of our procurement policy

  • All expenditures are lawful, efficient and effective, and they are aligned with the institution’s objectives, strategy and core values.

  • Sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals are embedded by giving ownership to faculty and division directors, with the help of contractual agreements.

  • We adhere to the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, proportionality, mutual recognition and objectivity.

  • Our purchasing conditions are the General Government Purchasing Conditions (ARIV), the General Government Terms and Conditions for Public Service Contracts (ARVODI) and the General Government Conditions for IT Agreements (ARBIT).

  • We comply with the procedures prescribed by the Public Procurement Act and the European Single Procurement Document, so that the institution and its partners in the chain satisfy international social conditions.

  • We adhere to our own goals above and beyond laws and regulations. The starting point is not ‘what is bought’ but rather ‘who is being bought from’. Larger suppliers are expected to have themselves audited for the CSR register; for smaller suppliers, a socially responsible procurement scan is sufficient.

  • Where our influence on local suppliers is strong, we seek cooperation with research universities and universities of applied sciences, among others, for large procurement markets such as ICT, catering and construction. By complying with all laws and regulations up front, we help prevent wrongdoing by partners in the chain and in our own business operations.

  • We encourage students, academics and staff members to take ownership with room for deviations from the central procurement policy within the set frameworks, provided there is sufficient justification and prior approval by the Executive Board.