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Leiden University College The Hague Celebrates its 10th Birthday

Ten years, it is so hard to believe that it is already ten years ago that Leiden University College was officially opened on a sunny Wednesday in 2010 in The Hague. A day of achievement, joy, and dreams for the future. It seems so much shorter and yet so much has been developed and built, so many happy and sad moments have been shared that ten years hardly seem enough to contain them all. So how do you reflect on ten years?

Perhaps numbers say something

  • 1175 alumni and 654 students, that means that next year we will welcome the 2000th student!
  • 3179 courses have been taught in those ten years. I will not calculate how many hours our staff have put into this, or how many essays have been written and graded, but that is a lot of learning.
  • Close to 500 academics have taught at LUC. Some of them only one course, others close to 60, and some are just starting. All with enthusiasm, determination and creativity, determined to teach their students as much as they can.
  • There have been almost 100 Residential Assistants supervised by three Student Life Officers. Together they look after the community at AvB.
  • Our support staff has grown from 5 to 22 people including those who have seen nearly every single one of these students through either their admissions process or their graduation, as well as colleagues who joined us recently.
  • Seven times LUC was awarded the ‘Top Rated Programme’ seal from the Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs, reaching first place in their rankings last fall. Elsevier awarded LUC the ‘best teachers’ award in 2017 and ranks LUC consistently in the top 3.
  • LUC staff are active researchers who participated in conferences, organized seminars and symposia, have written text books specifically for LUC and for a wider academic audience, and published many articles, also with students or alumni as co-authors.
  • Three Deans, four Managing/Operational Directors and four Directors of Studies or Educational Directors have made up seven College Boards.


Numbers give an idea of what has been achieved, but what really makes LUC so special are the stories behind those numbers. All, past and present, who have made LUC what it is today, have their own LUC stories. Happy stories, heroic and epic stories, stories of determination and perseverance but also touching and less happy stories. Staff and students have had to deal with loss, including losing one student from our community in 2012. The painting ‘Exuberance’ is still on display in the lobby at Anna van Buerenplein, remembering his story, his great joy for life to this day. The stories of LUC continue, ranging from Pantomimes to winning the UCSRN cup, from volunteer work to Model United Nations, Karaoke nights and Philosophy nights, parties at Coasters and plays, the stories are endless. 

Global Challenges

Building LUC has not always been easy, there have been, and will be, intensive, and at times painful, discussions as together we strive to make LUC the best it can be. The social distancing that is so necessary to fight the pandemic, forces us to live through one of the Global Challenges that are at the core of our programme. A pandemic does not go particularly well with the interactive model of teaching at LUC. Our staff have been incredibly creative and determined to make the online experience for our students as meaningful as they can. We miss our students; we miss the contact among staff. Today we celebrate ten years of LUC. The festivities will be smaller, online, but we will celebrate, now and later in the year. Because the dreams of ten years ago have come true, new dreams and hopes have been created and if anything, the past ten years have shown us the strength of the LUC community. Happy Birthday LUC, let the story continue for the next ten years!

Article Written by Lieke Schreel, Educational Director of Leiden University College The Hague. Photography by Monique Shaw Fotografie.

Leiden University College The Hague offers a broad, flexible and interdisciplinary residential Liberal Arts and Sciences programme with a focus on Global Challenges. In this bachelor programme students specialize in relevant fields like world politics, economics, governance, international justice, human & cultural interaction, global public health and environmental sciences.

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