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About Leiden University
Leiden University (abbreviated as LEI; Dutch: Universiteit Leiden), located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in theNetherlands. Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities. It has seven faculties in the arts, sciences and social sciences, spread over locations in Leiden and The Hague. The University has over 5,500 staff members and 25,800 students. The motto of the University is 'Praesidium Libertatis' – Bastion of Freedom.
As a prestigious European research university, Leiden University plays a foremost role in academic research and teaching. High-quality academic research and teaching are crucial to a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and just world. The University is committed to developing, disseminating and applying academic knowledge and is a trusted figure in societal and political debates in the national and international arena.
- Leiden University is an internationally operating research-driven university with a wide range of academic disciplines and degree programmes. It aims for excellence in all its research and teaching.
- The University focuses its efforts on achieving the maximum impact from its research and teaching – academic, cultural, societal and economic. It does this in close collaboration with local, regional, national and international partners.
- Based on a careful consideration of its disciplinary structure, Leiden University focuses on disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and teaching.
- Leiden University trains students and PhD candidates for academic posts in academia and beyond. Its graduates are able to conduct a critical assessment of academic and societal problems and make considered choices when seeking solutions to these problems.
- Leiden University aspires to create a close academic community of staff and students. Leiden alumni inform this community with their experience, expertise and involvement. Leiden University also works closely with its university partners: Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam, and at European level with its partners in the League of European Research Universities (LERU).
- The motto of Leiden University is: Praesidium Libertatis or Bastion of Freedom. A number of basic principles guide the University’s actions:
- Throughout its history the University has always stood for freedom of spirit, thought and speech, together with freedom of research and teaching. It is a place of refuge where any question can be asked and answered in complete freedom.
- Our academics are guided by the highest ambitions of quality and academic integrity. The University also endeavours to instil this academic attitude in its students.
- The University bears a responsibility to society. It regards this as a responsibility not only to present generations but also to future ones.
- Our teaching is informed and inspired by academic research.
- The academic community determines the content and structure of our teaching and research. Decisions relating to this are made at the lowest level possible: at the level of the departments, institutes and faculties wherever possible and only at University level if this has clear advantages or is considered necessary.
- Leiden University stands for inclusiveness and diversity. It is open to all who wish to study or work here and develop to their full potential. It is an open community in which anyone who wishes to contribute to its ambitions and all that it stands for can feel welcome and enjoy equal opportunities.
Faculty of Archaeology
The Faculty of Archaeology ranks as the best on continental Europe and is in the top ten of the world. The Faculty hosts a successful, multi-disciplinary team of researchers active over the entire globe.
Teaching and research at the Faculty transcends the boundaries of our three departments.
Our main topics are human origins, the archaeology and deep history of migration, colonisation, colonial encounters, globalisation, and cultural identity.
Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs
The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is one of a total of seven faculties of Leiden University.
The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is an internationally acclaimed academic knowledge hub that studies world-wide issues from the varied perspectives of governance, politics, law, sociology and economics.
We contribute to far-reaching socio-cultural debate through our acquired knowledge. We aim to do this not only through education and research, but also by organising lectures and debates to learn from.
Our faculty has an entrepreneurial mind set, expressed through a continuous quest for links with other academic disciplines and innovative educational methods.
Faculty of Humanities
At the Faculty of Humanities we study languages, cultures and societies worldwide.
Leiden is a unique international centre for the advanced study of languages, cultures, arts, and societies worldwide, in their historical contexts from prehistory to the present. We aim to contribute to knowledge, the sustainable well-being of societies, and the understanding of the cognitive, historical, cultural, artistic, and social aspects of human life. In research and teaching, we focus on the mobility of people, language, culture, ideas, art, and institutions in a globalizing world, and their interconnectivity through the ages.
Leiden University's Humanities Faculty was recently ranked 17 th in the Times Higher Education worldwide ranking. This encourages us to work even harder to deliver research and teaching addressing current social issues within an international context.
Leiden Law School is one of the largest faculties at Leiden University.
The faculty is renowned for its research and teaching which covers the full breadth of law and goes far beyond the national boundaries. With itsinternational focus and roots going far back in the Dutch legal order, the faculty has helped to train many generations of legal professionals for key positions within a society governed by the rule of law. The research of the faculty is not restricted to just one core issue, but aims at excellent cutting-edge research across the full breadth of law.
We are proud of our position in international rankings, such as the Times Higher Education World University Ranking and QS World University Rankings. We rank number 24 in the QS World University Ranking by subject (and number 1 in the Netherlands).
Leiden University Medical Center
LUMC is a modern university medical center for research, education and patient care with a high quality profile and a strong scientific orientation.
Its unique research practice, ranging from pure fundamental medical research to applied clinical research, places LUMC among the world top.This enables LUMC to offer patient care and education that is in line with the latest international insights and standards – and helps it to improve medicine and healthcare both internally and externally.
LUMC acts as a knowledge center for topics in the field of public health with an impact on society, it has a directive function in the region and it acts as a centre for continuing education and further training for medical professionals. The collaboration between LUMC, Leiden University and the Leiden Bio Science Park creates unique possibilities for medical innovation in Leiden and the surrounding area.
Faculty of Science
Research and education programmes span the entire spectrum of science ranging from Mathematics, Computer Science, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Bio Pharmaceutical Science, Biology and Environmental Science. At the institutes education is provided in 8 bachelor's and 12 master's programmes. The Faculty of Science has over 1250 employees and more than 3,000 students and is located at the heart of the Bio Science Park, one of Europe's top rated science parks.
Scientists and students are driven by their curiosity and desire to increase basic knowledge, for science and to contribute to the great social challenges of today and tomorrow. Core values are scientific impact, technological innovation and relevance to society.
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences brings together high-quality research and outstanding teaching in the disciplines of cultural anthropology, education and child studies, political science, psychology, science and technology studies, as well as in multidisciplinary approaches .
The shared essence of the Faculty’s teaching and research is that it is not pursued at some remove from society, but is instead closely and inextricably connected with it, precisely through the questions and subjects addressed. The Faculty has become a leading international centre for research and teaching in the social and behavioural sciences. The academic staff work with their students on questions relevant to larger society and often with immediate societal impact.
The interconnection of research, teaching, and societal impact is inherent to the Faculty's work.
Faculty of Law
faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen
faculteit Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
Campus The Hague
Campus Den Haag
Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)
History of Leiden University
In 1575, the emerging Dutch Republic did not have any universities in its northern heartland. The only other university in the Habsburg Netherlands was the University of Leuven in southern Leuven, firmly under Spanish control. The scientific renaissance had begun to highlight the importance of academic study, so Prince William founded the first Dutch university in Leiden, to give the Northern Netherlands an institution that could educate its citizens for religious purposes, but also to give the country and its government educated men in other fields. It is said the choice fell on Leiden as a reward for the heroic defence of Leiden against Spanish attacks in the previous year. Ironically, the name of Philip II of Spain, William's adversary, appears on the official foundation certificate, as he was still the de jurecount of Holland. Philip II replied by forbidding any subject to study in Leiden. Originally located in the convent of St Barbara, the university moved to the Faliede Bagijn Church in 1577 (now the location of the University museum) and in 1581 to the convent of the White Nuns, a site which it still occupies, though the original building was destroyed by fire in 1616.
The presence within half a century of the date of its foundation of such scholars as Justus Lipsius, Joseph Scaliger, Franciscus Gomarus, Hugo Grotius, Jacobus Arminius, Daniel Heinsius and Gerhard Johann Vossius, rapidly made Leiden university into a highly regarded institution that attracted students from across Europe in the 17th century.Renowned philosopher Baruch Spinoza was based close to Leiden during this period and interacted with numerous scholars at the university. The learning and reputation ofJacobus Gronovius, Herman Boerhaave, Tiberius Hemsterhuis and David Ruhnken, among others, enabled Leiden to maintain its reputation for excellence down to the end of the 18th century.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Leiden University again became one of Europe's leading universities. At the world’s first university low-temperature laboratory, professorHeike Kamerlingh Onnes achieved temperatures of only one degree above absolute zero of −273 degrees Celsius. In 1908 he was also the first to succeed in liquifying heliumand can be credited with the discovery of the superconductivity in metals.
Kamerlingh Onnes was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1913. Three other professors received the Nobel Prize for their research performed at Universiteit Leiden: Hendrik Antoon Lorentz and Pieter Zeeman received the Nobel Prize for their pioneering work in the field of optical and electronic phenomena, and the physiologist Willem Einthoven for his invention of the string galvanometer, which among other things, enabled the development of electrocardiography.
These Nobel prize winners, but also the physicists Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and Paul Ehrenfest, the Arabist and Islam expert Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, the law expertCornelis van Vollenhoven and historian Johan Huizinga, were among those who pushed the university into a place of international prominence during the 1920s and 1930s. In 2005 the manuscript of Einstein on the quantum theory of the monatomic ideal gas (the Einstein-Bose condensation) was discovered in one of Leiden's libraries.
At present, Leiden has a firmly established international position among the top research institutes in many fields, including the natural sciences, medicine, social and behavioural sciences, law, arts and letters. Of the seventy-seven Spinozapremie (the highest scientific award of The Netherlands), nineteen were granted to professors of the Universiteit Leiden. Literary historian Frits van Oostrom was the first professor of Leiden to be granted the Spinoza award for his work on developing the NLCM centre (Dutch literature and culture in the Middle Ages) into a top research centre. Other Spinozapremie winners are linguists Frederik Kortlandt and Pieter Muysken, mathematician Hendrik Lenstra, physicists Carlo Beenakker, Jan Zaanen and Dirk Bouwmeester, astromers Ewine van Dishoeck, Marijn Franx and Alexander Tielens, transplantation biologist Els Goulmy, clinical epidemiologist Frits Rosendaal, pedagogue Marinus van IJzendoorn, archeologists Wil Roebroeks and Corinne Hofman, neurologist Michel Ferrari, classicist Ineke Sluiter, social psychologist Naomi Ellemers, statistician Aad van der Vaart. Among other leading professors are Wim Blockmans, professor of Medieval History, and Willem Adelaar, professor of Amerindian Languages.
The portraits of many famous professors since the earliest days hang in the university aula, one of the most memorable places, as Niebuhr called it, in the history of science.
The University Library, which has more than 5.2 million books and fifty thousand journals, also has a number of internationally renowned special collections of western and oriental manuscripts, printed books, archives, prints, drawings, photographs, maps, and atlases. It houses the largest collections worldwide on Indonesia and the Caribbean. Scholars from all over the world visit Leiden University Library, the oldest in the Netherlands. The research activities of the Scaliger Institute focus on these special collections and concentrate particularly on the various aspects of the transmission of knowledge and ideas through texts and images from antiquity to the present day.
Among the institutions affiliated with the university are The KITLV or Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (founded in 1851), the observatory 1633; the natural history museum, with a very complete anatomical cabinet; the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities), with specially valuable Egyptianand Indian departments; a museum of Dutch antiquities from the earliest times; and three ethnographical museums, of which the nucleus was Philipp Franz von Siebold's Japanese collections. The anatomical and pathological laboratories of the university are modern, and the museums of geology and mineralogy have been restored.
The Hortus Botanicus (botanical garden) is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world. Plants from all over the world have been carefully cultivated here by experts for more than four centuries. The Clusius garden (a reconstruction), the 18th century Orangery with its monumental tub plants, the rare collection of historical trees hundreds of years old, the Japanese Siebold Memorial Museum symbolising the historical link between East and West, the tropical greenhouses with their world class plant collections, and the central square and Conservatory exhibiting exotic plants from South Africa and southern Europe.
Research at Leiden is well developed. There are many university research institutes and Leiden participates in over forty nationwide research schools, twelve of which being located in the heart of Leiden. In 2012 Leiden entered into a strategic alliance with Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam in order for the universities to increase the quality of their research and teaching. The university is also the unofficial home of the Bilderberg Group, a meeting of high-level political and economic figures from North America and Europe. In the past hundred years rare honorary degrees have been granted to figures such as Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Nederland
- In 2013 Leiden was the highest ranked university in the Netherlands in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, where it was rated as the 28th best university worldwide and 61st for international reputation.
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University's 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Leiden University as the 29th best university worldwide.
- The Times Higher Education World University Rankings consistently rank Leiden University as the best university in Continental Europe for Arts and Humanities.
Student Life @Leiden University
International Student Network (ISN) Leiden
The International Student Network (ISN) is part of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organisation and is one of the largest interdisciplinary student associations in Europe, founded in 1989 for supporting and developing student exchange.As part of this network, ISN Leiden works to support international students in Leiden. ISN Leiden is a foundation, which means that we are a non-profit organization. ISN Leiden does not have fixed members, it is a loosely based network, organizing activities, hobby clubs, trips and parties. Everyone is welcome to join in.
A study associations is a good way to combine your study activities and sociability. A study association is not the same as a student association or club. Study associations are for students from a particular degree programme and focus on the academic aspects of student life.
Students who are members of a study association support each other during their study period at Leiden, and organise course-related activities, such as lectures, seminars, field trips or excursions. Many study association also organise social activities, which can be a great way to meet fellow students from the same programme.
- Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l'Europe (AEGEE)
- Dutch United Nations Student Association (DUNSA/SIB)
- Leiden United
- Association of Chinese Students and Scholars
Social Student Clubs
Leiden has a rich student life, where students can become a member of numerous social student clubs (studentenverenigingen). In these, students have the opportunity to develop their organisational, communicative and social skills to complement their academic curriculum. Although Leiden University provides financial support and facilities for the student associations, they are independent and are run by students.
Augustinus is one of the largest student associations. Augustinus is a centuries-old student association located in a monumental building on the beautiful Rapenburg canal.
In many ways, Augustinus is a unique student association. It has a 'restaurant' where both members and non-members, can have dinner.
Augustinus has a very diverse weekly programme. On Thursday nights, non-members are welcome, without the need to be introduced by a member. On this evening, the cultural committee (AOD) presents a cultural programme to interested students. The programme varies from debating to films, from cabaret to poetry.
International student membership
On other week nights, non-members can be introduced by Augustinus members up to a maximum of five times per year. The weekly student disco parties on Fridays are well known. Every year, 25 international students have the opportunity to become an Augustinus-Erasmus member. Augustinus-Erasmus members can visit Augustinus on Friday nights, without restrictions, during a five-month period. In addition, there is a special membership available for international students. For more information about the Augustinus Erasmus membership or about Augustinus in general, please feel free to contact the Board of Augustinus.
Catena is a medium-sized, fun-loving student association. Although it offers many activities to its members (as most student clubs do), it is the only student club that imposes no obligations on its members. The only rule, as Catena puts it, is to be yourself. A typical member is someone who is capable of standing on his/her own feet with a non-conformist point of view.
It depends on the members themselves what role Catena fulfils in their lives. If you like to drink and party all night long: no problem. But if you are looking for more at our student association, we have it. Catena has a lot of committees on offer. One of our principles is that these committees are made up of volunteers. Computer facilities are available to all members, enabling them to work on their academic papers, but also to play games for fun.
Being a member means that you are welcome every day (on weekdays from 2 p.m. till late and during the weekend from 9 p.m. till late). On Monday to Friday you can have dinner at our mensa (restaurant) if there is a cook, and if you call before 4 pm. If you are interested in joining Catena or simply want more information, feel free to drop by any afternoon or contact us.
Minerva, the result of a merger between the Leidsch Studenten Corps (1839) (Leiden student fraternity) and the Vereeniging voor Vrouwelijke Studenten Leiden (1900) (Leiden student association for female students), is the oldest and, with 1,750 members, largest student association in Leiden. It is also the most traditional one, and its "mores" (Latin for traditional customs) play an important role in the life of this student association. Minerva has its own building (sociëteit), which is the oldest in the Netherlands. It is located at Breestraat 50 and only admits members.
International students are welcome to visit Minerva during parties that are open for all students, such as our intro-parties. When you want to visit Minerva more often, you should consider to become an International Member at Minerva!
At Minerva it is possible for international students to become an international member. The applicant has to be a foreign student, enrolled in an academic program offered by the Universiteit Leiden, or a comparable educational institution in The Netherlands. This academic program needs to last for at least six months. As international member you are welcome to visit all are activities (except when we have our assemblies or during the introduction period for the first years). The International Membership also includes access to student disco “HiFi” and the ability to become a member of one of Minerva’s sub-associations, which focus on subject such as sports, music or other special interest. If you are interested, please contact the Assessor Secundus (email@example.com), who will be happy to provide you all necessary information or give you the contract for the International Membership.
Quintus has become one of the largest associations in Leiden. Their slogan is "Diversity and Tolerance". The members are organised in fraternities, sororities and mixed societies (disputen). This means that every year new prospective members join one of the 27 existing societies. Each society has its own evening on which the members gather at Quintus to have a drink and chat. This can be either on Monday or Thursday from 21.00 until closing time.
The committees organise all the activities at Quintus. Such activities include, for example, special parties, cultural evenings, external events and a Christmas dinner. Every member can join a committee in order to contribute to the realisation of special events. Quintus is open from Monday through Friday from 10.00 am until closing time. Non-members may be introduced five times a year. Apart from the societies, Quintus has several sport clubs and organising committees. There are clubs for tennis, hockey, horseback riding, golf and debating.
Quintus has its own restaurant, which is open from Monday to Thursday for both members and non-members. The food is very good and you can eat here for a low price. If you have any questions or if you want to visit Quintus some time, just call, write or e-mail.
For more information. please check the website Quintus (in Dutch) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSR is a general student association which has been in existence for about 100 years. SSR's members are a varied group, with a wide range of interests. This diversity provides extra space to create and explore your own potential.
You are welcome to stop by for a cup of coffee or to help organise and prepare specific activities, which take place during the night. However, most activities start at night. Over the past year SSR hosted a couple of famous Dutch writers, political debates, social events and many cultural evenings. Evenings about African dance, lectures on psychology and massage have also been organised in the past. Besides these more serious aspects of SSR, time is also reserved for having a drink, relaxing and throwing a party.
Student sports clubs
At Leiden University, you can take part in a large number of sports, both on a recreational and on a competitive basis.If you already prefer a specific sport. Leiden University students are actively involved in specific sports and have established sports clubs which are only open to students, independently from the Sports Centre. They often work together with and use the training facilities of the University Sports Centre.