Leiden University


Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish.

Praesidium Libertatis
It was the first university in the Netherlands to practise freedom of belief and religion, as reflected in the university's motto, Praesidium Libertatis, Bastion of Liberty. It was this atmosphere of freedom of speech that provided the right environment for philosophers such as Spinoza and Descartes to develop their ideas.

The University is member of the League of European Research Universities, a partnership with other prominent research universities.

Leiden has seven faculties in the fields of:
- Archaeology
- Humanities
- Medicine
- Law
- Social and Behavioural Sciences
- Science

Research profile areas: focus on interdisciplinarity
Leiden University has opted to concentrate its research activities in 11 research profile areas that transcend the traditional boundaries between specialist fields and faculties. These research profile areas offer opportunities for top-level fundamental research, but also reflect key areas of debate in contemporary society. Our aim in focusing on these themes is to enhance the visibility of crucial research areas, as well as to increase the cohesion between these areas. This strategy is designed to create and maintain a stronger basis for acquiring research funding.

Teaching at Leiden University is closely integrated with research. We believe that a complete educational programme comprises a bachelor's and a master's stage. The master's stage has a one-year master's programme and a challenging two-year research master's variant. These constitute the preparation for the following stage: the PhD. 

Strategic partnerships
Leiden University collaborates in a wide range of partnerships, through which we are able to amass expertise across the borders of disciplines and academic fields. Interdisciplinary collaboration is not restricted to scientific fields within the University; we also have partnerships with other research institutions, non-profit organisations, government authorities and the business sector.  

Students of our University develop into responsible academics, fully aware of the ethical consequences of academic research and innovation, and of their conduct in society. In their dealings with society, we expect them to demonstrate responsible leadership and to subscribe to the core values of our University. 

Please find here more information about Leiden University.

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22 February 2013

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