Leiden, Delft and Erasmus strengthen ties
The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus strategic alliance (LDE) had reason to celebrate on 17 June, when the Executive Boards of Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam signed the new LDE strategy. Leiden-Delft-Erasmus will continue to develop their collaboration in the areas of teaching, research and regional impact over the coming six years.
A key aspect of the new strategy is the joint contribution to solving the major issues facing today’s society. With their high level of academic expertise, wide range of mainly complementary portfolios and close physical proximity, the three universities are able to cooperate, in an interdisiplinary and multidisciplinary manner, on regional, national and global challenges. Their partnership is based on four themes: Sustainable Society, Inclusive Society, Healthy Society and Digital Society. These give direction to the current and future research and teaching within the LDE alliance. The collaboration within the scope of Medical Delta is also very important. Here the partners are working on technological solutions to health issues.
The collaboration is set to increase in a number of different ways. A research programme on Port City and Regions Futures and an LDE Centre on Governance of Migration and Diversity will both begin in 2019. The parties are also exploring opportunities for further collaboration in the areas of Space for Science and Society, and Safety and Security.
The LDE alliance is also working closely with partners in Zuid-Holland (such as municipalities and the Province) to contribute more effectively to the development of the region. In addition, the network should increase the international allure of the three universities. These three top 100 universities are within one single province, and they are always looking for the best researchers and lecturers. Collaboration helps here.
Students will also benefit from the intensified collaboration between the three universities. The programmes at the three universities were already accessible in part to students from all three of the universities, and the number of joint programmes and minors has increased. The offering will further increase with a new LDE minor on big data and cities, for instance. This is in addition to the joint programmes that the universities already offer.
In addition to collaboration in research and teaching, the universities also cooperate in other areas, such as through a joint traineeship for young professionals and a postdoc programme for international academic talent.
The three universities together with the Erasmus MC and the Leiden University Medical Centre were awarded a European Marie Curie COFUND grant of 6.3m euros for the LEaDing Fellows Postdoc Programme in 2016. This gives 90 researchers who have recently earned their PhD the opportunity to gain two years of work experience in a challenging and international working environment.
‘I am very pleased with this new strategy, which means that we will intensify our collaboration in both our education and strategically chosen research areas,’ said Rector Magnificus of Leiden University Carel Stolker. ‘This will strengthen our unique alliance in Zuid-Holland and will multiply knowledge. The LDE alliance is the combination of a young university, a technical university and a broad university, and it is this very combination that makes us so strong.’