In 2020, Radboud University reinforced its mission to enable every student on our campus to develop to their full potential. In other words, to train them to be critically-minded graduates who go on to take up responsible positions in society. That requires sufficient structure at the start of their studies so students can find their way and increasing flexibility in the later stages of their studies.
Contact between lecturer and student, and amongst students themselves, is essential. This ambition has been put to the test in this pandemic year. Section 2 outlines the university’s commitment to continuing its education in the best possible way, including off-campus education.
We incorporate insights from educational research in the design and organisation of our educational programmes. In 2020, this was reflected in the necessarily rich offer of online education, which could be supported by the Teaching and Learning Centre that opened at the beginning of the year. See Section 3, also focusing on the innovation of the educational programmes: from 2020 onwards, not only will philosophy be compulsory for all students, but sustainability will also be given a place within all programmes in all faculties.
The university was founded almost 100 years ago as the crowning achievement of Catholic emancipation. Although the university lost its ‘Catholic’ status in November after a conflict with the Bishops’ Conference, its commitment to being an emancipatory university remains undiminished. This means, for example, that we want to offer a home to first-generation students: students whose parents did not study at a university. The steps to achieve this are set out in Section 4.
Caring for students does not end with the graduation ceremony. This promise can be fulfilled even more with the alumni policy that was strengthened in 2020 and with the new Radboud Academy, the first result of which will be a programme for young professionals (see Section 5). Robert van Ginneken, education policy officer: “With this, Radboud University takes its social responsibility seriously. In this fast-changing world, you no longer want to say to a new graduate: ‘Here's your diploma, good luck with it.’ Lifelong development is becoming increasingly important.”
Finally, in Section 6, we will look at the quality agreements for educational improvements, both in terms of centrally spent funds and an overview of expenditures per faculty.