Welcome to Leiden University
Welcome from the Rector Magnificus of Leiden University
Dear prospective student,
It's great to see that you're interested in doing a bachelor's or master's programme and that you’re interested in our university! From a young age I was fascinated by knowledge. At school I dreamt of learning as much as I could, in as many areas as possible. My parents
did not go to university but encouraged me nonetheless. Just think, with the right knowledge and skills, you too can make an impact in your community and on society.
If you choose Leiden University, you will be choosing a university with one eye to tradition and the other to the future. Our lecturers and students join in the scientific and public debate, and seek answers to societal issues. With our wide range of disciplines and degree programmes, you can look beyond the limits of your own programme or choose to delve deeper into your own discipline instead. Take advantage of our broad array of electives, honours classes, leadership programmes and exchange programmes with other universities or one of the many minors that our university has to offer.
In our two cities – Leiden and The Hague – you will find an inspiring community of students and lecturers from all over the world. Two different student cities with something for everyone. Leiden is a lively city with a centre full of student houses and associations and a wealth of well-preserved history. The Hague is the most international student city in the Netherlands. The good thing about our Hague campus is its proximity to the politicians and organisations that are dedicated to more freedom, justice and security in the world. And regardless of whether you study in Leiden or The Hague, live in a student house or join one of the student associations, you will meet so many other students – from other programmes too – who will enhance your student life with their insights, experiences and activities.
Because our university community is diverse in many respects. Our students differ in their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, health, religion, socioeconomic background and more. Being able to be yourself is something we find very important for our academic community at Leiden University. Freedom of speech and thought are crucial to good teaching and research, hence our motto of praesidium libertatis or bastion of freedom. An environment that invites you to debate and ask critical questions of one another also requires you to adopt an active attitude and take responsibility.
As a student at Leiden University, you will develop your skills: not only critical thinking, independent research and problem-solving, but also 21st century skills such as leadership and entrepreneurship. So that when you graduate as an academic professional and engaged global citizen, you can help solve the challenges facing the world today.
Wishing you plenty of inspiration in finding the right programme for you, and hope to see you soon at our fantastic Leiden University!
Prof. Hester Bijl