Leiden University (Dutch: Universiteit Leiden), located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1575 by William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years‘ War against Spanish rule, making it the oldest university in the country. Today, Leiden University is a large, internationally renowned institution of higher education and research, with over 30,000 students and over 3,800 staff members. It offers over 140 degree programmes. The university‘s motto is “Praesidium Libertatis“ (Latin for “Bulwark of Freedom“). Leiden University‘s alumni include fifteen Nobel Prize winners, such as Frederick Sanger, Christiaan Eijkman, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, and Simon van der Meer. Other notable alumni are Albert Einstein, who studied physics at the university; Desiderius Erasmus, who studied theology at the university; and Baruch Spinoza, who studied philosophy at the university. The university is a member of the Coimbra Group, the Europaeum, and the League of European Research Universities. It is also associated with the United World Colleges movement.
Are you curious, critical and involved in the world around you? At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. Together with academics and fellow students from all over the world, you will actively address these challenges. We keep an open mind, do not shy away from difficult discussions and allow one another the space to disagree. We expect the same active, open-minded and critical attitude from you.
We challenge you to look beyond your own boundaries. Leiden University welcomes anyone who wants to achieve their full potential. Our modest community size in the historical cities of Leiden and The Hague creates a highly personal and committed atmosphere. Together, we map out a learning path that suits you and your ambitions. You will also be encouraged to conduct research in cooperation with eminent and enthusiastic scholars. The knowledge and skills you develop here will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of the career path you choose!
Leiden University – The facts
- 7 faculties spread across Leiden and The Hague
- 14 English-taught bachelor’s programmes
- 200+ English-taught master’s programmes
- 444 years of tradition and innovation
- Top 100 research-focused university
- 16 Nobel Prize winners
- 120 nationalities
- +26,000 students
Leiden has faculties in the fields of:
- Governance and Global Affairs
- Social and Behavioural Sciences