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4. Equal Opportunities

Easing the Way for Incoming Students

As an ‘emancipation university’, Radboud University wants to promote accessibility for people from diverse backgrounds. We have removed barriers for students applying from abroad. For instance, they are no longer required to attach a CV and cover letter to their application, even for programmes without selection. This relaxation of the rules has been introduced nationwide. Another national innovation – in the context of the VSNU and with Radboud University as a best practice – is a checklist programmes can use to check whether all barriers have been removed for students who want to enrol in a Master’s programme.

The university has also taken new steps in the ‘Kies op Maat’ project, which aims to make it easier for students from a university of applied sciences to progress to a research university Master’s programme. Within this framework, 77 minors are now offered to prepare students from universities of applied sciences for the Master’s programme of their choice. Of the four affiliated research universities, Radboud University has the largest selection of programmes for those students.

Never before have so many students been enrolled in a pre-Master’s programme. Through such a programme, students can easily eliminate deficiencies and qualify for their chosen Master’s programme.​

The transition was given an additional boost this year with the introduction of the ‘relaxed cutoff’, a goodwill gesture in response to COVID-19. The previously applicable ‘hard cutoff’ meant that even a small deficit in course credits could prevent progression. The relaxed cutoff allowed for more progress: from intermediate to higher vocational education (MBO to HBO), from higher vocational education to a research university (HBO to WO), and from Bachelor’s to Master’s programmes.

Customised Programme for Refugees

Welcoming more refugees to the lecture halls: that is the aim of the cooperation agreement between the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF and Radboud University that was signed in 2020. A jointly designed customised programme gives talented refugees who need some extra training a helping hand towards academic studies. The programme lowers the threshold by focusing on Dutch language proficiency, subject matter and academic study skills. The UAF finances part of the programme fees, material costs and travel expenses because this preparatory education falls outside the scope of study financing.

Masa Hadros (20) from Syria was one of the eight participants in 2020: “I studied medicine for two years at Damascus University and I really want to continue with medicine here.” Masa fled from Damascus in 2018, now lives in Nijmegen and quickly learnt Dutch. “I hope to be admitted to the Bachelor’s programme in Medicine in a year’s time.”

‘I hope to be admitted to the Bachelor’s programme in Medicine’

- Masa Hadros

“Highly educated and talented refugees in the Netherlands deserve the opportunity to retrain and update their skills so they can achieve a social position that reflects their abilities and motivation,” says Executive Board president Daniël Wigboldus. “Radboud University wants to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. Because of our background, we pay special attention to students and employees who are forced to seek refuge in our region.”

In addition to the customised programme, individual guidance is possible, and all participants are paired with a buddy, a Radboud University student who is studying in the programme the participant aims to follow. The buddy pairs receive training from the UAF so both the refugee and the student can learn from their buddy experience.