Radboud International Training on High Ability

About us


Radboud International Training on High Ability is a postgraduate, research based, blended training programme that offers you the opportunity to learn everything you would like to know about gifted education. The first RITHA group started in 2018 in Malta, and since then the course has expanded to Croatia, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong. It is our goal to increase the knowledge and experience of those who identify, educate, and counsel high ability students in primary, secondary and higher education all over the world. We believe that well-trained professionals can make a valuable contribution to improve education for all students, including high ability students.

Our approach to teaching is based on the Problem-based Learning style (PBL), which is used in all higher education in the Netherlands. This approach is an active and student-centered learning style, and trains students to analyse and solve practical problems independently through emphasis on self-study and self-discipline. This way, new scientific insights can be gained easily, building upon knowledge and skills the student already masters. PBL helps develop students life-long learning skills. Although PBL is an independent learning style, our teachers will guide students through the process of learning. The teachers at RITHA are very approachable, and are just as passionate about high ability as the students are. They are committed to expanding knowledge about high ability through the RITHA programme, and to help students achieve their personal learning goals.


About Radboud University

Radboud University was officially founded in 1923, even though a university has existed in Nijmegen since the 17th century. Radboud University is an international, and student-oriented research university. Along with the Radboud University Medical Centre, we create an intellectual climate that inspires and challenges our students and staff. Radboud University challenges its students to actively participate in the academic community, and trains them to be critical and committed academics, with their own views regarding scholarship and society, who will take up responsible positions in a society which is becoming increasingly internationalised. 

Apart from Radboud International Training on High Ability, Radboud University offers a Summer School programme; Excellence beyond Borders: Breaking down Barriers in Gifted Education, and a Master's degree in Gifted Education


About Dutch education

The high quality of higher education in the Netherlands is internationally recognised, and experience shows that people who have studied at a Dutch higher education institution perform very well in other parts of the world. This quality is achieved through a national system of regulation and quality assurance. 

The Dutch teaching style is interactive and student-centred, and students are encouraged to develop their own opinions and gain valuable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking. This is possible due to the problem-based learning style that is offered in the Netherlands. Dutch society is strongly connected to other cultures, the business community, and the world. The Dutch are open-minded, approachable and direct, so it is easy to meet them and exchange ideas. The Netherlands has received international praise for its teaching style, which centres on students working together as a team and on self-study and self-discipline. The teacher will act as a facilitator and guide in the learning process. Interaction in class is highly appreciated. You are expected to think about the knowledge that is presented to you and develop and express your own opinion. You are free to ask questions and be critical of what lecturers or fellow students say. The Dutch teaching method is founded on respect for each individual's opinions and convictions. 

A student's workload is measured in ECTS credits. According to Dutch law, one credit represents 28 hours of work, and 60 credits represents one year of full-time study. The grading system used in the Netherlands is on a scale from 1 (very poor) to 10 (outstanding). The lowest passing grade is 6; 9s are seldom given and 10s are extremely rare. Grades 1-3 are hardly ever used.



The RITHA team

Our RITHA lecturers have an immense expertise and enthusiasm. They truly care about your understanding of the most recent and important theories on gifted education ánd know how to teach you how to implement this knowledge into your day-to-day practice. They are easy to connect to. Guiding, nurturing and inspiring YOU, both online and ‘live’- interactive and personal.  
Dr. Lianne Hoogeveen

PhD, Developmental Psychologist, Programme Director of RITHA, European Council for High Ability (ECHA), Specialist in Gifted Education at the Radboud International Training on High Ability programme, board member of the Internationales Centrum für Begabungsforschung (ICBF) (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany) and member of the ECHA Executive Committee

Dr Lianne Hoogeveen PhD is program director of the RITHA and ECHA training for Specialist in Gifted Education. She is also the coordinator and one of the teachers of the master specialisation ‘Gifted Education’ at Radboud University.

As a mental health psychologist, she examines and counsels gifted children, adolescents and adults at CBO Talent Development in Nijmegen. She is member of the General Committee of the European Council for High Ability (ECHA), president of the qualification committee of the European Talent Centers and vice-president of the Education Board of ECHA.

Lianne Hoogeveen is a guest teacher in several European and non-European universities. She is involved in scientific research on giftedness and education in cooperation with colleagues of other universities, in- and outside the Netherlands.


Sven Mathijssen, MSc

Vice Programme Director of RITHA. 

Sven started his career in the field of giftedness as an intern at the Center for the Study of Giftedness. After graduating in 2012, he became part of the staff as a developmental psychologist until March 1st, 2019. 

Sven is also a lecturer for the ECHA-training, a post-graduate program by the European Council for High Ability. Attending teachers and psychologists are trained to become ECHA Specialists in Gifted Education. Sven teaches a theoretical introduction to giftedness, makes and assesses exams, assesses written reports, and supervises (thesis) researches done by ECHA-trainees.

Besides his activities as vice programme director and lecturer, Sven is an external PhD candidate at Tilburg University. In his doctoral research program, he analyzes human figure drawings (HFDs) of highly gifted children. The goal of this research program is to develop a screening instrument for analyzing HFDs; a step-wise scoring system, with which talented children who are in need of more challenge than is offered by the standard school curriculum can be more easily detected at an early age.


Liesbet Stam - Gommans, MSc

School Psychologist, CBO Talent Development / RadboudCSW (Radboud University).

Liesbet started her career in the field of giftedness as an intern at the Center for the Study of Giftedness. This internship was part of her masterdegree in pedagogical sciences. After graduating, she became part of the staff as a pedagogical scientist. Her job consists mainly of advising parents and teachers in how to deal with the child at hand, or with children at a more casestudy level. 

She also tests of and (profoundly) observes primary school aged children. Liesbet has also a degree in teaching at primary school level and that combination is an asset when speaking with individual teachers or schoolteams.

Liesbet is also a teacher for the ECHA-training, a post-graduate program by the European Council for High Ability. Attending teachers and psychologists are trained to become ECHA Specialists in Gifted Education. Liesbet teaches in the practical modules, where theory and practice come together. Enrichment and counseling are two streams in which a student can develop him-/herself and Liesbet will guide him/her in this proces, for it is not just teaching, but also coaching!


Dr. Enyi Jen

PhD, Educationalist, RadboudCSW (Radboud University)

Enyi started her career in the field of giftedness as a secondary school teacher. She was a gifted education coordinator and also taught affective curriculum in a selective high school in Taiwan for 5 years. Enyi got her maser degree in gifted education and her thesis was “The study of the verbal characteristics of talented preschoolers in the Multiple Intelligences (MI) program.”  She received herPhD degree at Purdue University in the United States in 2015. Her dissertation was " Incorporating a Small-Group Affective Curriculum Model into a Diverse, Summer Program for Talented Youth: ADesign Based Research Study." 

During her time at Purdue University, she was the coordinator of different talent development student programs. She supervised teachers and camp counselors to serve the learning and social-emotional needs of high-ability students. After graduating, Enyi became an instructor of the gifted education licensure program and also taught doctoral-level thesis writing preparation course.  

Enyi is an active member in the field of gifted education, she teaches, publishes, serves as journal reviewers, and provides professional development to different educational settings by requests. Her research interests and expertise include talent development, the social and emotional development of gifted learners, qualitative methods, and design-based research.


Lonneke Luycks, MSc

Educational scientist/coordinator

Lonneke studied Educational Sciences at Radboud University. Since 2006 she works for the Radboud Center for Social Sciences.

In recent years she has worked on a number of major educational projects, such as the switch to digital learning and the shift to competence-based learning, in addition to her role as coordinator and manager.

At the moment she is focuses as an educational expert on promoting educational innovation in existing RadboudCSW programs, developing new innovative programs, and supporting and facilitating teachers and supervisors in this. Her drive is to shape postgraduate education in such a way that it meets the wishes of the individual student and that it leads to transfer of learning: that students actually perform better in their profession.


Dr. María Cadenas Borges

Psychologist/PhD in Psychology

She is working at the European University of Canary Islands, Spain (Universidad Europea de Canarias) as a lecturer teaching courses in Psychology and Research.

In 2017 she won a research grant for working as a postdoc at Karakter-Radboud UMC where she carried out a project about ADHD and high intelligence.

Since 2010 she has been a member of the Research Group on Giftedness (GTISD, in Spanish) and she worked as an instructor in an enrichment program for gifted children for eight years. Her doctoral thesis was focused on the socioemotional development of children with high intellectual abilities and more specifically in their social behaviour within the classroom.

She has carried out two research stays at the Center for Research in Giftedness (Centrum voor Begaafdheidsonderzoek-CBO, in 2014 and 2016, where she has collaborated in different projects related with gifted education and supervised bachelor and master students.


Sanne Raven, MA

Marketing and communication/coordinator

Sanne studied Communication and Information Sciences at Radboud University, and completed her Master's in Intercultural Communication at Utrecht University. She has been working for Radboud Centre for Social Sciences since 2017.

Sanne is responsible for marketing and communication at RITHA, and she works as a coordinator for one of the RITHA groups. 


Ava Kam, MA, MSc

Internationalisation Officer, RITHA Asia/coordinator

Ms Ava Kam obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Master’s in Arts in Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Hong Kong, followed by an MSc in Pedagogical Science, majoring in gifted education at Radboud University. 

She has been working in Hong Kong and the Netherlands in the field of project management, education, administration and publication. She has organised conferences, workshops and teacher trainings locally and internationally for knowledge exchange. Ava currently works for the RITHA programme as a internationalisation officer while doing the RITHA programme herself.


ir. Rob Rutten

IT in education

Rob studied Information Technology at the Eindhoven University of Technology and has – since then – worked in hard core IT, innovation, marketing and management.

Since 2010 - when we introduced Moodle as our digital learning system - Rob is working at RadboudCSW to get the best out our educational programs by using IT.

Rob’s greatest challenge is to make the transition from traditional face-to-face to true online-first programs without any losses in educational quality. 


Our guest lecturers

Guest lecturers will include: Prof. dr. David Cropley (professor of Engineering Innovation at the University of South Australia, internationally recognised expert on creativity and innovation) and Prof. dr. Christian Fischer (psychologist, internationally recognised expert on gifted education and self-regulated learning).


Prof. David Cropley

PhD, Professor of Engineering Innovation at the University of South Australia.

David started his career as a naval officer in the United Kingdom, before joining the South Australian Institute of Technology as a lecturer in electronic engineering in 1990. Following the establishment of the University of South Australia in 1991, he completed a PhD in Measurement Systems Engineering in 1997, and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education in 2002.

David began exploring creativity in 1996, conducting research to understand better the role that creativity plays in technological problem solving. Over the last 20 years, his research interests have expanded to include the measurement of product creativity; the measurement of innovation capacity in organisations, creativity in schools and education, creativity and innovation in terrorism and crime, and the nexus of creative problem-solving and engineering.

David is the author of four books on Creativity including Creativity in Engineering: Novel Solutions to Complex Problems (Academic Press, 2015); The Psychology of Innovation in Organizations (Cambridge University Press, 2015); Creativity and Crime: A Psychological Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and Fostering Creativity: A Diagnostic Approach for Higher Education and Organisations (Hampton Press, 2009).