Radboud Academy slashes budget, must leave Huize Heyendaal

14 Nov 2023

Radboud Academy is in troubled financial waters. That is why the department for post academic education will be leaving Huize Heyendaal for the Berchmanianum building, and departing employees will not be replaced.

There is a 20 percent shortfall in the budget of Radboud Academy. This is due to inflation, the university’s new collective agreement, and a reduction in grants by the university.

The Academy hopes to alleviate this shortfall by not replacing departing employees, and by moving the department to the less expensive Berchmanianum building. Programme director Liesbeth Korebrits resigned as of October 1st; neither Korebrits nor interim director Pim van Zanen would elaborate. However, according to Van Zanen, it is neither a forced resignation, nor a full project stop, as was rumoured.

The cutbacks are a significant blow to Radboud Academy. The training programme, as it was presented three years ago, was the ideal representation of Radboud University’s notion of ‘lifelong learning’. The Academy was intended to lure people with diplomas to Radboud University for further training courses. Additionally, Radboud Academy tried to fill the gap left by HOVO, the higher education organisation for the elderly.

More efficient cooperation

Van Zanen emphasises that the cutbacks are not due to mismanagement or poor results. ‘Radboud Academy hit all its targets, and we are very pleased with that. We will continue to build on the progress of the past three years for the foreseeable future.’
However, Radboud Academy will need to change course to prevent future financial difficulties. The Academy will now focus its efforts on pre paid assignments.

With the decline in University funding, they will also devote more attention to applications for external subsidies. Van Zanen: ‘That agreement was made at the Academy’s founding. The idea was that the Academy would be able to take care of itself in due time. We will have to see how much we can realistically make ourselves, and how much we will be dependent on external investments.’

‘There are cutbacks in more University areas’

Van Zanen will also see if different departments concerned with post academic education can cooperate more efficiently. Examples include the Radboud Management Academy; the Radboud Centre for Social Sciences; Radboud Into Languages; and the Centre for Professional Legal Education.

Over the next few months, different possibilities will be investigated; a concrete, future-proof plan is set to be done by the summer of 2024. Until then, Van Zanen will remain the interim programme director.

But, despite the budget cuts, Van Zanen is optimistic. ‘Twenty percent is not too bad; there are cutbacks in more university areas. It is simply sound management.’

Translated by Jasper Pesch

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