Leiden University - About us 2024

Page 1

About us 2024












Our vision

The world is facing no shortage of complex issues: armed conflicts, the climate crisis, the refugee crisis and the growing gulf between rich and poor. Leiden University wants to help find solutions to these challenges with its teaching and research. Since its foundation in 1575, the university has contributed to the creation, dissemination and application of pioneering academic knowledge in law, archaeology, the humanities and the natural, social, behavioural and medical sciences. We have locations in Leiden and The Hague, and work intensively with national and international partners who consider us a valued contributor in the political and societal debate. People come first at our university. We aim to be a transparent and learning organisation where all our students and staff can develop to their full potential.

OUR CORE VALUES Connecting: listening, to one another and society. Innovative: seeking new knowledge and understanding, pushing boundaries, being curious. Responsible: taking responsibility for academic integrity, an inclusive community and how we interact with one another. Free: offering scope for differing perspectives and ideas, open dialogue and curiosity-driven research. Our university is international in outlook and focuses significant attention on digitalisation, sustainability, and diversity and inclusion.


For the members of our Executive Board, President Annetje Ottow, Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl and Vice-Chairman Martijn Ridderbos (l-r), connecting and innovating are an integral part of their daily activities.

‘We aim to have an even greater impact by continuing to innovate in our research and teaching, and by working closely with our partners in academia and the wider society.’

Our teaching

49 bachelor’s programmes 82 master’s programmes 110 courses for professionals 409 honours education participants

Small classes, innovative teaching methods and an international focus

are the hallmarks of our teaching. Our students and teaching staff join in the academic and public debate and seek answers to society’s problems. Our wide range of bachelor’s and master’s programmes, electives, honours classes, minors and courses for professionals allows them to look beyond the boundaries of their own studies or delve deeper into their own field. This is in an environment that invites dialogue and critical questioning and requires our students to take an active attitude and responsibility. Our students develop not only their skills – critical thinking, conducting research, solving problems – but also competencies such as leadership and entrepreneurship. This means that after graduating, as academic professionals and engaged world citizens, they can help find solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Paul Gobée, winner of the 2023 Leiden Teaching Prize, goes the extra mile for his students.

‘The message I want to give my students is: Find what’s right for you and you’ll be happier in yourself and more able to help society.’


Our research

32 research institutes 13 European grants (ERC) 28 Dutch Research Council talent grants 203 million euros in grants

Our pioneering research helps us understand the

world around us. This is more important than ever with society increasingly looking to universities for answers to current issues and challenges. Our researchers therefore work both on research that takes societal issues as a starting point and on free, independent and fundamental research that can generate new knowledge. This knowledge will sooner or later lead to solutions to societal problems. At the same time, we are committed to strengthening and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration in our research.

6 clusters: • Artificial Intelligence • Fundamentals of Science • Health and Well-being • Languages, Cultures and Societies • Law, Politics and Administration • Life Sciences

9 interdisciplinary programmes: • Drug Discovery and Development • Global Transformations and Governance Challenges • Liveable Planet – Sustainable Futures • Museums, Collections and Society • Population Health Living Lab The Hague • Regenerative Medicine • Social Resilience and Security • Society, Artificial Intelligence and Life Sciences • Social Citizenship and Migration


Behavioural scientists Anne-Laura van Harmelen and Marieke Liem are the coordinators of the Social Resilience and Security interdisciplinary research programme.

‘A team of driven individuals from different disciplines: What more could we ask for? Our interdisciplinary programme gives us a unique opportunity to gain insights into transgressive behaviour, violence and social resilience.’

Our researchers

31.2% of our professors are women 515 PhDs awarded 6,741 academic publications

‘Our medical, psychology and public administration researchers are looking at how teams achieve peak performance in the operating theatre. The combined team input is a major factor in this.’ The research team of Marieke Adriaanse, Pam ten Broeke, Jaap Hamming and Eduard Schmidt is investigating leadership and resilience in the operating theatre.

Our researchers are the driving force behind the new knowledge that we generate. Interdisciplinarity is the cornerstone of their intensive collaboration with one another as well as with national and international colleagues and our many partners in society and industry. This collaboration is vital to developing new scientific knowledge. Our researchers regularly secure academic grants and prizes: they have received more Spinoza Prizes (26) − the country’s most prestigious academic award − than any other Dutch university. Active participation in the political and societal debate is second nature to our researchers. They also make regular appearances in the media and at public events to share their knowledge and insights with society. They are given every opportunity at our university to develop and hone their personal and professional talents, such as teaching and leadership skills.


Our impact

Our research and teaching help make a better world. Researchers from our university have a major impact on society through their publications and doctoral research, policy advice, partnerships with industry, civil society and NGOs, participation in advisory bodies, lectures and media appearances. All these activities allow us to devise solutions to the challenging issues of the present day. Our research also leads to patents, licences, startups and innovation. We also promote entrepreneurship, for example through our partnerships with businesses on the Leiden Bio Science Park. Our students, too, have an impact with their internships, projects, voluntary work and other activities. We train them to become analytical, critically thinking global citizens who can make the world a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and just place. Together with our educational partners in secondary and higher vocational education, we promote innovation and entrepreneurship at PLNT, the Leiden Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and at PLNT The Hague.

Psychologist Anke Klein together with Anika Bexkens, Michiel Westenberg and Marieke Bos is the founder of the Knowledge Centre for Anxiety and Stress in Youth.

‘Our knowledge centre means we can have a real impact as researchers: together with partners such as municipalities, schools and youth support services, we ensure children with anxiety and stress receive effective and accessible support.’


Our students

22,110 bachelor’s students 11,364 master’s students 22% international students 120 nationalities

‘Our software company LUDev connects students with partners within and outside the university. We put theoretical knowledge into practice, and clients receive a custom-made solution for their software problems.’ Computer science students Aart Rosmolen, Lisanne Wallaard, Sven van Dam and Sjors Holtrop, develop software.

Our students, with their knowledge and skills, will allow us to contribute to a better world in the future. In Leiden and The Hague, they develop into independent and discerning members of the academic community who play an important role in our many research projects. At Leiden University they acquire knowledge and critical thinking skills. We also encourage them to reflect (and self-reflect) and develop, and to take up activities outside their degree programme. Many Leiden students are members of a student, sport or study association and this is hugely beneficial to their personal development and well-being. We actively strive to create a diverse and inclusive study environment where there is room for multicultural and international perspectives.


Our alumni

148,535 registered alumni 11,058 alumni abroad 4,946 master’s graduates in 2023 4,841 bachelor’s graduates in 2023

Our alumni take up an array of relevant positions at home and abroad

after completing their studies and signing their names in our Sweat Room. They use the knowledge and experience they gained in Leiden and The Hague to make a valuable contribution in the national and international arena. Even after graduating, they continue to be involved in a variety of ways with their alma mater: they support the next generation of students by giving guest lectures, sharing valuable information about the job market and being involved in our mentor network. The university in turn invests in the further personal and professional development of our alumni: we share knowledge and information, offer opportunities for professional and career development and networking, and organise interesting events. Our alumni and others who feel a strong affinity to the university make donations to our teaching and research via the Leiden University Fund (LUF).

Alumnus Yousef Yousef is a water purification entrepreneur and a member of the Leiden Law School Advisory Board.

‘Future graduates will mainly need skills relating to, for instance, robotics, programming, creative thinking and data analysis.’


Our collaboration

FOR EXAMPLE WITH: • Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) • Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP) • Leiden City of Knowledge • Leiden Global • Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities • Medical Delta • Leiden University Fund (LUF) • Leiden Museums • Municipalities of Leiden and The Hague • League of European Research Universities (LERU) • UNA Europa • NVIC Cairo • KITLV Jakarta

‘It’s great that we can offer fantastic research posts to African PhDs, each of whom has their own perspective on developments on the African continent and in the world.’ Professor of Africa Studies Marleen Dekker conducts solutionfocused research for and with Africa in the Graduate Research on Worldwide Challenges (GROW) research programme.

Sharing knowledge, forging alliances and collaborating at a strategic

level are more important than ever in today’s world. They are essential to expanding our knowledge and obtaining funding for world-leading research. Research and teaching are teamwork. It is only by working together that we can achieve our collective ambitions and make a valuable contribution to society with our innovative knowledge and teaching. With a view to this end, Leiden University has many knowledge and educational partners close to home, for example in Leiden and The Hague, as well as in Europe and the rest of the world, from places as far apart as Brussels and Jakarta.


Our organisation

7 faculties 2 cities 7,860 staff members 813 million euros turnover 667 professors

Our university is much more than teaching and research alone. Our professional staff are crucial to the fantastic achievements of our researchers and students. It is thanks to these enthusiastic, inspiring and motivated members of our staff that the university’s research and teaching is of a consistently high quality. Other contributing factors to the quality of our work include the presence of our extensive and renowned collections and our excellent research facilities. The Leiden collections are housed in the Leiden University Libraries (UBL) and represent a real treasure trove of heritage for our researchers, students and visitors. Our laboratories have cutting-edge equipment and our famous Hortus Botanicus is a real draw. Our University has two locations, in The Hague and Leiden, and is managed by the Executive Board, whose members are appointed by the Board of Governors. The current members of the Executive Board are: • President Professor Annetje Ottow: strategy, knowledge transfer, alliances and external relations • Rector Magnificus Professor Hester Bijl: research and teaching • Vice-Chairman Martijn Ridderbos: HRM, finance, real estate, ICT and research infrastructure

The Executive Board holds regular discussions on strategy and policy with the deans of the seven faculties: • Archaeology • Governance and Global Affairs • Humanities • Law • Medicine/LUMC • Science • Social and Behavioural Sciences The University Council, which comprises elected students and staff, is the university’s co-participation body.

Gertia Knorr is Head of HRM at Leiden Law School.

‘Together with all our HR professionals, we invest in a pleasant working environment for all our staff, with a significant focus on teamwork and personal development, and on a new system for recognising and rewarding our academic staff.’



Our history

HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR HISTORY: • Rembrandt van Rijn studied at our university (1620) • Sophia Antoniades was our first female professor (1929) • Rudolph Cleveringa gave his protest speech (1940) • King Willem Alexander graduated (1993) • Nelson Mandela received an honorary doctorate (1999)

Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands:

it was founded in 1575 and tradition has it that it was a gift from William of Orange to reward the city’s brave resistance following the siege of Leiden by the Spanish in the previous year. The rich past of our academic community is clearly visible in our historic buildings in the heart of the city, in our collections in the Hortus Botanicus and the University Library, and in Leiden’s many museums. Our motto is praesidium libertatis, bastion of freedom. We firmly believe in the value of open debate that always welcomes differing opinions and insights. Freedom of expression is what unites us every day.

University historian Pieter Slaman connects the university’s history with the world of today.

‘One core aspect of our work has remained the same over the whole 450 years of our history, and that is teaching people through ongoing discussion that seeks to find the truth. And this has always been based on pluralism.’


Our strategy

OUR AMBITIONS (2022-2027) FROM OUR STRATEGIC PLAN INNOVATING AND CONNECTING: • Space for innovation • Pioneering interdisciplinary research and teaching • Future-proof student development • A healthy, engaged and learning community • More value through strategic collaboration • Ample scope for talent and development

‘Let’s work across disciplines and break down faculty barriers so we can set to work on the scientific and societal challenges of now and the future.’ Sarah de Rijcke is Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Leiden University’s ambition is to lead the way and be relevant

both now and in the future. This drives us to innovate where relevant and appropriate. We want to increase our societal and scientific impact with our research and teaching and further strengthen our connections. We will continue to work closely with current and new partners to create new opportunities for research and teaching, and intensify the relationship between our university and society. To achieve this, we focus every day on a strong university community with a firm emphasis on the development of our students and the further professional growth of our staff.


Curious about the stories behind the photos and quotes?

More information: universiteitleiden.nl/en Sign up for our newsletter: universiteitleiden.nl/en/newsletter

Linkedin.com/school/leiden-university Instagram.com/universiteitleiden Twitter.com/UniLeidenNews Facebook.com/UniversiteitLeiden Youtube.com/UniversiteitLeiden

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.