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Happy Birthday LUC The Hague

LUC The Hague Celebrates its 9th Birthday!

LUC The Hague Dies Natalis Column by Educational Director Lieke Schreel

Just over ten years ago, on July 15th, 2009 we received the happy news that the Liberal Arts & Sciences programme  for LUC had been approved, a mere two months after the site-visit. I vividly remember the site-visit, because it was nerve-wracking and the future of the programme depended on it, with my own future linked to it. We shared the hopes, dreams and plans for LUC, a place where teaching would be at the core of the institution, with highly motivated students from all over the world who would be taught by highly motived professors from all over the world, forming a strong community with a strong ambition to change the world. On September 29, 2009 the Board of Leiden University decided to start Leiden University College The Hague, and as you all know by now, LUC was officially opened exactly a year later. Next year we will celebrate LUC’s tenth birthday in style, but this year there will be cake for everyone.

Early this summer, on July 15, 2019 we received the happy news that the Liberal Arts & Sciences programme at LUC had received its re-accreditation for the second time, a long 14 months after the site-visit. Another site-visit to remember, because by now LUC had a lot to show and share with the panel. Many of the original dreams had come true, at times even better than we had dare to hope ten years ago. We could present how our curriculum has developed, how we continue to strive to be best we can be. But we could also show and share the LUC community, from Pantomime to sports, from poetry to dance, and never, ever, in my wildest dreams would I have thought that we would include a karaoke performance.

And what a journey it has been those years! The journey that has taken us from one building to another, from five majors, to eight, and back to six, from 114 students to 654 students and 987 alumni who have joined us for their own LUC journey. The results of this journey are now becoming visible: not only in the alumni who are really gaining a foothold on the labour market and who shared their experiences and insights with the current student population on Saturday. But also in the high quality of teaching that is taking place at LUC and that we can increasingly share. In the past year staff and students have worked together on a book The Art of Engaging Teaching. Best practices from LUC.  Our signature Global Challenges courses have led to a new textbook Food and Sustainability in which colleagues from multiple disciplines provide insights into this challenge. One of our colleagues was among the five new members of Leiden Teachers’ Academy, another was nominated for the Leiden University Teacher of the Year award, at the Education Festival in spring many of our colleagues have shared their didactics with other colleagues, LUC students are in selection committees for the Comenius teaching grants as well as in accreditation committees, yet another colleague has just started the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Educational Leadership Programme. All of this while they are fully engaged in their teaching, publish high quality research and make time for their students outside class as well. New hopes, dreams and plans are added regularly.  As Educational Director you’d be happy with less.

But it goes further than that. While I am writing this, the Teach-in in the auditorium is coming to an end. Following the climate protest in The Hague earlier today, LUC faculty, staff, students as well as many other interested people came together to teach, talk and learn about climate change. Building knowledge for a better world at its best.

So as LUC enters its tenth year I can only say that the road ahead looks promising. It may take turns that we did not expect, have bumps or even bears on it, but LUC will move ahead, continuing to fulfil the hope, dreams and plans that we started ten years ago.

Happy birthday LUC,  let the road lead us to a wonderful future!

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