Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University to strengthen research on Africa

The Leiden African Studies Centre (ASCL) will become part of the University from 1 January 2016.

Formalising the links

On Wednesday 16 December the African Studies Centre and Leiden University will sign an agreement on integrating ASCL into the University. After many years of collaboration (in, for example, the Africa Studies research master’s) the ties will be formalised.  

Strengthening research and teaching

Leiden aims to operate a more prominent Africa policy, whereby the continent will become an integral part of the University’s strategy. The ASCL wants to become part of a larger knowledge institution within an educational context. With more than 100 Africa scholars, this move will strengthen the research and teaching on the economic social, political, legal, cultural and historical dynamics of the continent and its position in the world. As part of the move, the library of the ASCL and the Leiden University Libraries will work more closely together. The University is making considerable funding available to make it possible to achieve these aims.

Interfaculty institute

The ASCL will have the status of an interfaculty institute with a management board staffed by representatives from the Faculties of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Humanities and Law.  Wim van den Doel, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, will be chairman of the board. Ton Dietz, Professor of Development in Africa, will continue as director of the African Studies Centre. After the merger, the staff (some 35 FTE) will become employees of the University. The ASCL will continue in its present accommodation in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.  It has an extensive library, a seminar programme and a  visiting fellowship programme. The African Studies Centre is the only multidisciplinary research institute in the Netherlands that is dedicated entirely to research on Africa.


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