Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden best comprehensive university in valorisation ranking

Leiden University is the highest scoring comprehensive university in the biannual valorisation ranking produced by Elsevier and Science Works. They calculate which Dutch universities best exploit their scientific capital, in economic terms and in terms of societal impact. .

Three categories

Leiden is in fifth place, as the first comprehensive university after the technical universities, including Wageningen. All universities competed in three categories:

  • As a  communicative university, involved in spreading knowledge and taking part in the public and societal debate
  • As a  collaborative university, providing services to the public sector and industry
  • As an  entrepreneurial ­university, driving entrepreneurship and innovation

TU Twente most entrepreneurial

... 6500 jobs
6,500 jobs

The TU Twente is in first place. This success can be attributed to its status as by far the most business-oriented university. The Science Park there has some 400 companies that have their roots in the university.  But, Elsevier adds, the Bio Science Park in Leiden generates more job opportunities: 6,500 jobs. Tilburg University is the best university in terms of communication, and Wageningen wins the competition for the most collaborative university. Leiden University won its leading position as the best broad-based university by having the best average. Or, as Elsevier writes: 'Sven Kramer, the famous Dutch Olympic skater, can be the best all-round champion without needing to win at all distances.’  

New parameters

Science Works has introduced several new parameters in addition to visibility in the media. The reason behind this is the desire to take a broad approach to valorisation and not just to restrict it to hard cash. Because influence in society, such as the impact of academic knowledge on policy and policy-making, also counts. This is particularly relevant for social and behavioural sciences and for the humanities. The new parameters are: mentions of the University in parliamentary papers (winner: Wageningen) and participation in government advisory boards such as the Education Council, the Health Council or the Committee on Re-calibrating Parenthood.

Worrying aspect

The study also brought to light a rather worrying aspect: the investments made by the business sector in research and teaching have dropped further since 2013: on the other hand, the income from the European Union has risen sharply by 20 per cent. Altogether the universities  earn 1.3 billion euros, with Utrecht as the top earner (170 million) and Tilburg in last place  (32 million).

Different orientations in the third source of funding

It is remarkable that different universities in the third source of funding (income from governments, NGOs or market parties) seem to have their own orientation. Tilburg receives a relatively large amount of income from contract teaching. For Eindhoven and Groningen the national government is their best customer for their research and Delft earns most from the business sector. The University of Amsterdam has its own special niche: international organisations. 

The documents available (Read more) do not contain detailed figures on Leiden University.

(10 December 2015)

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