Leiden University College
What is my contribution to the world? This is what students and researchers at Leiden University College The Hague (LUC) ask themselves every day. They want to make a difference with their teaching and research in the four global challenges of ‘Peace and Justice,’ ‘Sustainability,’ ‘Diversity’ and ‘Prosperity.’
LUC, which is located in The Hague, offers an international bachelor’s honours programme. Its researchers help create a better understanding of the many complex issues within the four global challenges. These issues are also covered in the six majors at LUC:
- Human diversity: Culture, History and Society
- International Justice
- World Politics
- Earth, Energy and Sustainability
- Global Public Health
- Governance, Economic and Development
Interdisciplinarity is in the genes of the LUC students and researchers: they frequently work with other disciplines within their collective teaching programme. This gives them a good understanding of one another’s academic language and methods.
On the UNPLASTIC project, for instance, LUC students and researchers developed an international teaching programme on plastic pollution. This won them the Dopper Changemaker Challenge, thus demonstrating that they are doing more than paying mere lip service to making the world a better place.
International and local
The researchers conduct their research in various places including their own city of The Hague, where they look at food waste within the municipality, for instance. What do residents do with their leftovers? This question is of interest from the perspectives of both citizenship and sustainability.
The 1970s were an important period for gay liberation in the Netherlands. At the time, other countries saw us as a prototype of gay rights. Within the global challenge of Diversity and the major in Human Diversity, the researchers are looking at what this period meant for gay liberation, in both the national and the international arena.
Food and health
Physicists and health researchers work together on the research into the climate impact of diet. This falls under the global challenge of Earth, Energy and Sustainability and the major in Global Public Health. The former looks at the climate impact and the latter at the health aspects.
Students help with research
The teaching and research at LUC are fully integrated. This is given expression in projects such as the Africa Field Course. Here LUC students travel to East Africa to study sustainable livelihoods, delving deeper into the topic with researchers from the fields of biology, anthropology and development studies. Which crops can be grown sustainably? And what is the most sustainable livelihood for the people who live there, on the understanding that this fits in with local traditions? The students seek answers to these questions from multiple perspectives because a sustainable livelihood depends on the economic context, local government, the culture and the climate.