Universiteit Leiden

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Innovative teaching

Our small-scale programmes feature a high level of contact with different cultures and innovative teaching methods. Personal study guidance and the Binding Study Advice contribute to student success. Our research is deeply embedded in our teaching.

Studying successfully

The Binding Study Advice in the first two years of study and the Leiden Study System help ensure that bachelor’s students are successful in their studies. The University supports students in keeping their studies on track by providing such facilities as personal guidance and smaller teaching groups. Furthermore, the Honours Academy offers talented scholars and students a challenging extracurricular programme.

Educational innovation

Increasing diversity in the student population, international classrooms and rapid technological developments demand a lot of our teaching. Where better to conduct research into educational innovation than at a university itself? The basic premise is that improvements in our teaching are based on evidence-based scientific research. This research focuses on the use of new technologies in teaching, effective interaction between students and lecturers and close links between teaching and research.

High-tech teaching

Technological developments represent new possibilities for university teaching. Leiden University uses open and online teaching, for example in the form of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs and Small Open Online Courses, SPOCs. These make it possible for students to study whenever and wherever they want. Non-students can also acquire knowledge without being physically present at the university. Digital teaching methods have led to such innovations as blended learning (a combination of face-to-face and online contact), the further internationalisation of teaching and the ability to reach new target groups. The University is capitalising on these developments together with other universities and  international partners. With the ICT & Teaching (ICTO) programme Leiden University is exploring innovative ways of applying technology to strengthen its teaching, both online and on campus, both for full-time students and for professionals. 

Jan van Erk, political scientist, teaches the MOOC on Federalism & Decentralization: Evaluating Africa's Track Record.




The University firmly endorses the importance of good teaching. We therefore devote much attention to lecturer professionalisation, for instance with the University Teaching Qualification (BKO) (in Dutch), which is a hallmark for our lecturers. We also ensure we listen to our students. They express their opinions about the teaching in evaluations at the end of each course, they award teaching prizes to the best lecturers and they have their say in teaching policy in the Leiden University Student Platform (LUS) (in Dutch).

Teachers’ Academy

The aim of the Leiden University Teachers’ Academy (in Dutch) is to make the skills of our best lecturers visible and to further develop, articulate and use these throughout the entire University. The Academy now comprises some 20 teaching fellows with a passion for teaching. It is a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration between lecturers from different faculties.