Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands offering a wide variety of programs. Leiden University is a truly international university, uniting people and knowledge from all corners of the world.
The university is comprised of seven faculties, six in Leiden and one in The Hague. Altogether, Leiden offers some 50 undergraduate degree programs and some 80 master’s programs with almost 200 specializations.
Almost all master’s and PhD programs are taught in English, as are an increasing number of bachelor’s programs. Leiden University is an officially bilingual university: English and Dutch.
As reflected by our motto Praesidium Libertatis (Bastion of Liberty), we have always been strongly committed to freedom of spirit, thought and expression. Over the years, this atmosphere of freedom of speech has proved an ideal environment for famous and outstanding scholars such as Descartes, Boerhaave, Einstein and several Nobel Laureates, to develop their theories. As a student at Leiden University you can follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and John Adams.
The Leiden experience is strongly characterized by our dedication to engage in and contribute to the demands and challenges of today’s globalized society. Our research-based education is innovative and multidisciplinary. Our students are motivated to engage with our lecturers, who are renowned for their ground-breaking research and worldwide networks and to benefit from the personal and interactive classroom experience. They are offered the chance to develop their own talents and interests through a diverse range of academic opportunities and are encouraged to excel through participation in honors and research programs.
Leiden has established a firm international position among the world’s top research and academic institutes across a wide range of fields. The university and our programs perform consistently well in international rankings, such as the Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE) According to the most recent the ranking, Leiden is in 67th place, putting it in first position of all Dutch universities.
Ideally situated in The Netherlands, the university is located both in Leiden and The Hague, providing an ideal setting to get the most out of your student life while preparing for an international career. Both cities offer a wealth of social, academic, and housing options for students. Amsterdam is a short distance away, and the rest of Europe is at your doorstep. Discover the world at Leiden University!
Services & Facilities
Students in Leiden and The Hague can rely on personal attention and guidance in both their academic and their personal life. The University provides a wide range of services including student advice and counseling, information services, sports and cultural activities.
The University has one central library, and many faculties and departments also have their own dedicated libraries. Computer rooms are available at the faculties, the University Library and Plexus Student Centre. Students can also bring their own laptop to university throughout which wireless internet is available. Furthermore, the University offers a sports centre, a language centre, a student careers centre, and many other amenities.
As a student of Leiden University, you will also have access to various support services specially designed to assist students. Some of these services, such as the International Student Adviser, offer support particularly aimed at international students. At the faculties, you can, for example, receive support from coordinators and study advisers. Special assistance is also offered for students with a disability.
Student life is greatly influenced by the large number of students living and studying in the historic city of Leiden. Leiden University is not campus-based in the traditional sense of the word: the city is its campus. Since Leiden is a small city, all the university buildings are within walking or cycling distance. You will almost always run into someone you know when you go shopping or when you go out at night. Given the city's safe environment and friendly atmosphere, students generally feel at home here very quickly.
The university also has programs in The Hague. The Hague, known throughout the world as the City of Peace and Justice, is one of the most international cities in the Netherlands. Undergraduates can live and learn at Leiden University College’s residential campus in the heart of the city. Other students live around the city and take advantage of the vibrant city life at their doorstep.
In addition, the wide range of student associations and organizations all enrich the student culture of both the university and both cities. Regardless of whether you’re looking to broaden your study experience, to participate in competitive sports or to simply have a good time, you’ll have no trouble finding a student association that suits you. You will be introduced to everything that the university has to offer during the introduction program for new international students, organized by the University prior to the first and second semester. The program consists of a general introduction to the University and the faculties, the city of Leiden and the student organizations.
Leiden is not only a true university town, but also a beautiful and historic city with many 17th century buildings; its picturesque city centre is crisscrossed with boat-lined canals, bordered by red brick streets. At the same time, it is also a modern cultural and business centre offering all the amenities you need to make your stay here both enjoyable and memorable. The city has twelve museums, a wide range of shops, delightful cafés and international restaurants, several cinemas and much more.
Furthermore Leiden is located only eight miles inland from the North Sea coast, within easy distance of the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The Hague can be reached by train in 12 minutes, Schiphol Airport in 20 minutes and Amsterdam in 45 minutes. Cities such as Brussels, Paris, London and Berlin are just a couple of hours away.
Leiden University strongly believes that the education it provides benefits directly from the high quality research that is carried out within the University itself. The most recent academic insights are immediately integrated into the courses. The quality of our research and education is independently acknowledged by several external organizations.
Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
All bachelor's and master’s programs at Leiden University have been recognized by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. All programs have also been approved for government funding with the exception of the four Master of Law Advanced Studies Programs, the MSc International Relations and Diplomacy and the MSc Vitality and Aging.
Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders
The NVAO (the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders), has accredited all degree programs. The NVAO is an independent accreditation organization that ensures the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders by means of thorough and continuous program assessment. Apart from its task to guarantee the quality of higher education, NVAO contributes to the advancement of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders.
Code of conduct
Leiden University subscribes to the Code of Conduct for Dutch Institutions. This Code sets out standards for Dutch higher education institutions in their dealings with international students. By signing the Code of Conduct, Leiden is offering its international students a guarantee of the quality of its programs, student recruitment, selection and counseling procedures.
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With a long and rich history, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Students may choose to study from 7 faculties and 3 campuses, watch this video to learn what Leiden can offer you!
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