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The world after COVID-19 | 'Want to make this world a better place? Keep on learning'

Experts say that for the first time since 1998, global poverty will increase due to COVID-19. As is stated by the UN, good education and (mental) health are of utmost importance if we want to end poverty and other deprivations. Now more than ever, we need excellent professionals in those fields, claims dr. Lianne Hoogeveen, head of Radboud International Training on High Ability.

Author: Lianne Hoogeveen, PhD

In a matter of months, the coronavirus has wiped out global gains that took two decades to achieve, leaving an estimated two billion people at risk of abject poverty. However indiscriminate the virus may be in its spread, it has repeatedly proven itself anything but that when it comes to its effect on the world's most vulnerable communities.

Young people who have high abilities

The aim of the Radboud International Training on High Ability (RITHA)[1] is to contribute to better education and care worldwide by training professionals in the field. We specifically focus on a special group of people that all professionals come across without always noticing them: those children, young people and adults who have high abilities, which in many cases are not recognized.

Sustainable Development Goals

Many of those people, who we need so badly to reach the Sustainble Development Goals, proposed by the United Nations to get the peace and prosperity we aim at, do not get the chance to develop themselves up to the level they would be capable of if they had the environment and understanding they need. This especially concerns those we can consider as less privileged, because of, for example, their Social Economic Status, and/or ethnic identity.

Enrich your perspective

The need for excellent professionals in the education and care of gifted people is a universal need. That is why RITHA is offered worldwide. Another reason for our international approach is that we believe in learning from each other.

The motto of our university, the Radboud University, is “Change perspective”, which is an invitation and a promise. It is the invitation to broaden your own perspectives in interaction with one another. It is the promise that wherever you come from, you can enrich your perspective at our university. By broadening our view, looking at other countries and cultures, we need to change our perspective and we will benefit from that, and so will the people we want to support, being it our students in the classroom or the struggling gifted adult we counsel.

Brighter future, better world

RITHA is a boost for change. People who finish the training not only have the knowledge and abilities to identify and support children, adolescents and adults with exceptional talent, they go beyond that. They will change our future. Some of them will join our team and enrich it, with their own cultural and personal experience. They will open up talent for our society, by optimizing school systems, by improving policy and by training their colleagues.

It’s our dream that one day everybody, also the most able ones, can use their talents to solve the problems of our wonderful planet. That’s the mission of RITHA: A brighter future and a better world.


[1] The RITHA is qualified by the European Council for High Ability (ECHA). Students who complete the Specialist training receive both the RITHA and the ECHA diploma and the title “ECHA Specialist in Gifted Education”.

About the author

Lianne Hoogeveen, PhDLianne Hoogeveen, PhD, is Program Director of Radboud International Training on High Ability. As a guest writer of this blog, she reflects on the world after corona virus.