News items Stichting Katholieke Universiteit to lose its “Catholic” designation

20 October 2020

The Bishops’ Conference of the Netherlands has decided to rescind the “Catholic” designation of Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (SKU), the supervisory body of Radboud University and Radboud university medical center. SKU deeply regrets this decision, but will respect it.

This decision follows from the ruling of the Enterprise Division of the Court of Amsterdam on 21 July 2020 in a dispute between the Board of SKU and the Bishops’ Conference of the Netherlands. The dispute related to the way in which the Bishops' Conference exercised its authority to appoint the members of the board of SKU and the composition of the supervisory boards after the privatisation of Radboud University and Radboud university medical center as envisaged by the board of SKU. The expectation is that the university and the university medical center will each have their own supervisory board as of 1 January 2021.

SKU’s intention was to reduce the number of members appointed by the Bishops’ Conference at that time from all five members to one member, for both supervisory boards. The Bishops’ Conference deems this to be overly restrictive. Additionally, the Bishops’ Conference and the SKU agree that they have different visions of the way in which Radboud University and Radboud university medical center should interpret their catholicity. There is no expectation that these visions will converge over time. The Dutch Bishops’ Conference has therefore decided to rescind SKU’s “Catholic” designation.

The Bishops’ Conference and the board of SKU both value a correct implementation of the decision for all involved. In mutual consultation, the SKU and the Bishops’ Conference will examine in which way the contacts between bishops, institutes, and other relevant organisational divisions at the university can be perpetuated.

Radboud University is a private university that emerged from the Catholic emancipation movement at the start of the twentieth century. In accordance with this tradition, staff members and students feel connected to each other, to society, and to the world around them. Radboud University focuses on the care for each other and the world around it and is committed to the emancipation of social and cultural minorities. Radboud University wishes to make an impact and chooses its path based on scientific questions as well as social challenges.

Radboud university medical center has also been shaped through this shared history. Radboud university medical center’s core values such as humanity, compassion, and care for the most vulnerable are rooted in the Catholic tradition. These will continue to be part of the identity of Radboud university medical center, now and in the future.


More information

Viola Peulen



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