Universiteit Leiden

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As a university we stand with both feet firmly in the world. Internationalisation is in Leiden’s DNA: from the very foundation of our university, the ideal of the free academy has always attracted researchers and students from across the whole world, and that will continue.

Challenges and answers

On three international campuses in two cities, we connect international and local ecosystems to formulate answers to the complex challenges of the present day. And there are plenty of these challenges: climate change, changing world relations and knowledge theft. Universities can contribute to breakthroughs in global crises, and we are prepared to accept that responsibility. 

Internationalisation contributes to a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and just world. We therefore welcome international researchers and students on our campuses and we strongly encourage a study or research period abroad.

Learning and collaborating

We want to equip our students for the world of today and tomorrow. More and more students are world citizens. Thanks to the opportunities we offer them to learn about different cultures and to work together with other cultures, they are able to go out into the world with an inquisitive, critical and open mindset to resolve problems. See also the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2021-2027.

English-language programmes

Our comprehensive range of international classrooms needs talented international students, lecturers and researchers. English-taught programmes are part of our international DNA. 85 per cent of our master’s programmes are taught in English, which is important for our international profile, but also for Dutch society.

A large group of smart young people from all over the world find our higher education system so attractive that they settle here (temporarily). This is good news for the Dutch labour market with its large structural shortages. We consider that fewer English-language programmes, as the Minister for Education, Culture and Science wants, is an ill-conceived plan.

Studying abroad

We believe it is important that our students learn to think internationally and are able to interact with other cultures. A study period abroad is the ideal opportunity for students to broaden their horizons. It also enhances their standing on the job market. A global network of over 600 universities and partnerships helps to make studying abroad a valuable and unforgettable experience.

International networks

The University is part of several international networks of international universities, the key one being the League of European Research Universities (LERU). We have institutes in JakartaCairoRabat and Istanbul. In addition, we work together with international institutes and governments to promote stronger strategic and sustainable research and education. This is particularly relevant in Indonesia, China, Latin America and Africa.

Research across the whole world

Much scientific research is by definition international. Our researchers collaborate with colleagues across the world. They do this in joint research projects, by carrying out fieldwork in other countries, speaking at international conferences and welcoming international colleagues to join their team. A lot of research is financed by European grants. These practices enable us to broaden and share scientific knowledge worldwide – knowledge that benefits Dutch society and the Dutch economy.

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