Pioneering research and top-level teaching

Leiden University (founded in 1575) is one of Europe's leading international research-intensive universities. This prominent position gives our graduates an advantage when applying for positions both within and outside the academic world.

In figures

Leiden University has some 24,500 students (from 110 different countries) and 5,500 staff (including Leiden University Medical Center).

The University has 7 faculties:

  • Archaeology

  • Campus The Hague

  • Humanities

  • Medicine/LUMC

  • Law

  • Social and Behavioural Sciences

  • Science

Leiden also has a graduate school of teaching (ICLON) and an Honours Academy. The University offers a broad range of 46 bachelor's programmes and 73 master's programmes, highly diverse PhD tracks and various interdisciplinary minors. In addition, within the Honours Academy Leiden University offers a Pre-University College, an Honours College, the Leiden Leadership Programme and the Leiden University College The Hague for excellent students.

Our principles and core values

The University's key principles are:

  • a strong international orientation

  • a research-intensive profile

  • teaching and research of the highest quality

Leiden University actively promotes the following core values:

  • freedom of spirit, thought and expression

  • unrestrained development of knowledge

  • responsibility towards society

  • integrity

The motto of the University is: Praesidium Libertatis, Bastion of Freedom.

In the coming years Leiden University intends to make valuable contributions to society in the area of prosperity, wellbeing and culture. Talent is a prerequisite to achieve these ambitions. The University therefore attaches major importance to recruiting and educating talented individuals, from school-leavers to young researchers and academics.

International context

Leiden University aims to maintain its internationally recognised position as a leading research-intensive university within the European area for higher education and research. Leiden already holds a leading position in very many fields, including natural sciences, life sciences (the so-called 'red biotechnology'), medicine, social sciences, international law, astronomy and non-Western languages. The University positions its programmes within an international context and guarantees that the quality of the programmes meets internationally accepted standards. Our graduates are therefore fully equipped to take part in both master's programmes and PhD programmes in the Netherlands and further afield.

Profiling of research

Leiden has chosen to focus its research within 11 profile areas, most of which have a multicidisciplinary focus:

  • Asian modernities and traditions

  • Bioscience: the science base of health

  • Brain function and dysfunction over the lifespan

  • Fundamentals of science

  • Global interaction of people, culture and power through the ages

  • Health, prevention and the human life cycle

  • Interaction between legal systems

  • Language diversity in the world

  • Political legitimacy: institutions and identities

  • Translational drug discovery and development

  • Vascular and regenerative medicine

These areas offer opportunities for first-class fundamental research, but they are also strongly linked to important issues in present-day society. In the coming years Leiden University will continue to do its utmost to facilitate excellent research and to promote multidisciplinary collaboration in these profile areas.


Leiden University is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a partnership of prominent research universities in Europe. The University also works closely with other partners, such as the Leiden Bio Science Park: with more than 70 specialist businesses, this is the Netherlands' biggest knowledge cluster in the life sciences.

Leiden University also participates in LeidenGlobal. Within this organisation Leiden research institutes and museums bring together their scientific and educational knowledge in the field of ‘Global and Area Studies’.

Last Modified: 10-02-2015