Radboud University

Mission and identity

What we do

Radboud University is contributing to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all.

Who we are

Radboud University is a private university that owes its origins to the Catholic emancipation movement of the early twentieth century. In keeping with this tradition, staff and students feel a commitment to one another, to society and to the world. Our focus is on caring for each other and the world around us. We remain committed to the empowerment of social and cultural minorities. We want to have an impact, and in this we are guided by both academic questions and societal challenges.

How we do it

Research and teaching at Radboud University are closely intertwined. Our researchers and students explore and push the frontiers of knowledge and expertise, giving true meaning to their findings. We educate students to become expert, committed, critical and self-confident graduates who help to shape society by taking on positions of responsibility in which they demonstrate their understanding of issues. We are active across a wide range of collaborative disciplines and ask questions about the relationship between academia, society and sense of purpose. We also provide space for open discussion on social and ethical issues.

We stand for the quality and freedom of teaching and research that are both independent and accessible. We encourage an open intellectual climate in which we inspire and challenge one another, a climate in which the talents and abilities of all individuals can flourish. Through rigorous, honest and transparent academic endeavour, we push the boundaries of our knowledge. We have the courage and responsibility to continually subject our findings and ideas to critical review. We reflect on our own actions and offer space for reflection to others.

Our core values


  • with our students and staff
  • with our research and teaching
  • with our research disciplines
  • with the world around us
  • and, as a modern university, connected with our tradition, which has its roots in the Catholic emancipation movement


  • about the world
  • about others
  • about ourselves
  • about knowledge development


  • about our thinking
  • about our actions
  • about public debate
  • about the meaning of the knowledge we develop

When the University opened in 1923, Professor Schrijnen, the first rector magnificus, described universities as ‘workshops of science and scholarship’ and ‘environments of fruitful intellectual collaboration and interaction’, where ‘dissenting views are discussed seriously and objectively.


Our society faces complex challenges that require interdisciplinary collaboration. This is why Radboud University has explicitly opted for strong and broadly defined disciplines and cooperation between those disciplines. The university assigns sustainability a prominent role in its research, education, and business operations. You can read about this and more in the university's new strategy: 'A Significant Impact'.

The strategy was developed with the input of students and staff. Departments will use this strategy to formulate their annual plans. Individual students and staff are welcome to contribute to the strategy as well. Together we can achieve a lot and make a meaningful contribution.