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Radboud International Training on High Ability (RITHA) winner Internationalisation Award 2021

Date of news: 31 August 2021

The Internationalisation Award 2021 has been awarded to “Radboud International Training on High Ability” (RITHA). This award is for initiatives contributing to the internationalisation of education at Radboud University and/or a more inclusive/multilingual academic community.

Representatives of the RITHA project will receive the prize from President Daniël Wigboldus during the Opening of the Academic Year in the concert hall De Vereeniging. “First Things First: Ensuring a safe and inclusive environment as a foundation for an international curriculum” by the Faculty of Arts receives an honourable mention.


RITHA, at the Radboud Centre for Social Sciences, is a postgraduate training programme in the area of giftedness and talent. The programme is for professionals who work in education, healthcare, and business. They will gain insight into identifying and navigating the options and educational needs of gifted children, young people, and adults. The objective of the programme is to build a worldwide community of expertise.

International Classroom

Students and lecturers from all over the world participate in the programme: from Brazil to Australia and from Germany to Hong Kong. With their different backgrounds and perspectives, they form a true international classroom. The programme provides direct international experience for lecturers, PhD candidates, and students and in doing so contributes to the open, inclusive, and intercultural academic community at our university.


Well before the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, RITHA had set a new standard for professional and high-quality online education. The education is blended by design (20% in-person, 80% online learning activities). Other teams at Radboud University were grateful to make use of this expertise after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.


RITHA offers a “train-the-trainer programme” in which pioneers in a country are trained to run the programme in their country. They stay connected as teachers in the RITHA community.

Master’s Title

The Internationalisation Award includes a €10,000 cash prize. The money will be used to develop a module in the RITHA programme that will focus on obtaining a Master’s title. This will be important to strengthen and further develop RITHA's international position as an academic programme in the field of Gifted Education and High Ability.

The main lecturers are Prof. Lianne Hoogeveen and Sven Mathijsen, MSc. Special thanks to Dr. Enyi Jen (lecturer), Lonneke Luycks (educationalist), and Monic Schijvenaars (director of RadboudCSW).

Honourable Mention

First Things First: Ensuring a safe and inclusive environment as a foundation for an international curriculum (pdf, 10 MB) (pdf, 10 MB) by Prof. Liedeke Plate, Dr. Sandy Barasa, and Daniela Piangiolino of the Faculty of Arts received an honourable mention.

“First Things First” is an experience book which describes the steps required for the creation of a safe and inclusive international classroom, the challenges it brings, and includes tips and suggestions for dealing with these.

In an international classroom, students with different backgrounds and perspectives learn with and from each other, the course content and materials are based on a global, intercultural perspective and the diversity of students and staff is valued and used.

First Things First is a must-read for everyone teaching in an international classroom, and thus valuable for many a Radboud colleague.