Radboud University will be celebrating its centenary next year and in the run-up to it, it has been conducting a dialogue about its identity in order to portray the university's multicoloured story. On this page, you can read stories from staff and students who took part. The stories are partly taken from the special theme issue "identity" of Radboud Magazine.

Academiegebouw Berchmanianum

Basic principles

Radboud University is a special university born out of the Catholic emancipation movement of the early twentieth century. In line with this tradition, staff and students feel committed to each other, to society and to the world. We focus on caring for each other and the world around us and remain committed to the emancipation of social and cultural minorities. We want to make a significant impact. We are guided by scientific questions as well as social challenges.

Portretfoto van rector Han van Krieken

Emancipation university

Radboud University was established nearly 100 years ago to dispel the disadvantages faced by Catholics through university education. In this, we succeeded. Today, however, there are many other groups that experience a disadvantage. For them, too, the university remains a way to achieve a good position in society.

For example, Radboud University attracts a relatively large percentage of first-generation students: students whose parents did not complete a university degree. For these students, it is often not logical at all to enrol at a university. I know this from experience, being a first-generation student myself. 

However, these students have traditionally been associated with Radboud University. You see a lot of them here, which may go some way towards explaining the exceptional character of Nijmegen student organisations, with their positive atmosphere of equality, and their will to contribute to society. I think that this is part of our identity. You have a part to play. It is something we can be proud of. 

And every year, we find new ways of expressing it. On 15 May, the day of the canonisation of my predecessor Titus Brandsma, we will ask all our students and staff members, in his spirit: What will you do today to make someone happy?

“Let us not egocentrically lock ourselves up in our own world and stare ourselves blind at our individual interests, but instead realise that we have a calling, one that brings great joy to our existence, and that is to make others happy.” (Titus Brandsma)

How I see Radboud

Staff and students talk about how they experience Radboud University's identity. How do they see Radboud?

With the courage to speak up
Portrait picture of Ad Ragas
Ad Ragas Professor of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment Read Ad's story
Looking across borders
Portrait picture of Guillén Fernández
Guillén Fernández Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and director of the Donders Centre for Medical Neuroscience until the end of 2022 Read Guillén's story
Coming together despite differences
Portrait picture of Rizka Simons
Rizka Simons Student Law and management Read Rizka's story
At the heart of society
Portrait picture of Richard Spithoff
Richard Spithoff Student Public Administration and Theology Read Richard's story
Make your story visible and personal
Portrait picture of José Sanders
José Sanders Professor of Narrative Communication and Dean of the Faculty of Arts Read José's story
Warm approach, hard system
Portrait picture of Harriët Reker
Harriët Reker Policy officer, consultant, coach and trainer (HR – Expert Centre Development)   Read Harriët's story