Leiden University

Leiden University

As a prestigious European research university, Leiden University plays a foremost role in academic research and teaching. High-quality academic research and teaching are crucial to a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and just world. 

Top reasons to study here

  • The motto of the University is 'Praesidium Libertatis' – Bastion of Freedom.
  • As a prestigious European research university, Leiden University plays a foremost role in academic research and teaching.
  • The University is committed to developing, disseminating and applying academic knowledge.

PhD Programmes



Leiden University was the first university to be established in the Netherlands. William of Orange gave Leiden Academia Lugduno Batava in 1575, it is said in recognition of the city’s courageous resistance against the seige by the Spanish invaders.


The teaching is characterised by individual attention for students, contact with diverse cultures and innovative teaching methods. Personal supervision and the binding study advice contribute to our success. Our teaching and research are closely interwoven.

We encourage our students to get the best out of themselves. Leiden University has almost 29,520 students from 120 countries. Within this international and diverse student population we train our students to become world citizens who can make their own contribution to resolving the complex societal challenges of the future.


If you want to help make the world a better place, you first have to understand this world. This conviction forms the basis of our research and teaching in Leiden and The Hague.

Leiden University is an internationally oriented, comprehensive University. Our scientific research and teaching inspire one another, and this cross-pollination shapes our contribution to society. With our research, we work to gain a fundamental understanding of the world and the people around us. In our teaching, we train our students to become analytical thinkers and critical world citizens who can apply this knowledge to make the world a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and just place. 


You’ve graduated, and now what? Employability enhancement and the development of the skills and competences that are needed for the job market of the future are becoming increasingly important aspects of curricula at Leiden University.

University Ranking

World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
67 1
68 -1
World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.
Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University
82 -8
74 14
ARWU World University rankings is the first world university ranking. It ranks the world's top 1000 colleges and universities based on objective indicator.
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
89 -3
86 -7
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report presents all the top universities from the U.S. and 60 other countries around the world.
QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
118 4
122 -13
QS World University Rankings is one of the top international rankings measuring the popularity and performance of universities all over the world.


Housing services

The Housing Office offers accommodation for international students in Leiden and The Hague via DUWO student housing corporation.

  • Residence Life Programme

For international students living in (most) DUWO student housing complexes in Leiden, Oegstgeest and The Hague, there is the Residence Life Programme. The goal of the programme is to help international students feel happy and at home in Leiden. 

Library services

The libraries of Leiden University are located at different locations in Leiden. There are also libraries located in The Hague, Jakarta and Rabat.

Student Life

Campus life

Leiden University also has a location in The Hague. Six of the University's seven faculties are now active at Campus The Hague.

Teaching and research in The Hague closely reflect the profile of the city – city of peace, justice and security – and the many other opportunities offered by the city. Our teaching and research at Campus The Hague centre on four key themes:

  • International law, peace and security
  • Politics, public administration and internatonal relations
  • Urban issues
  • Health and patient care

Sports facilities

In Beehive, located opposite the Wijnhaven building, you can find our brand new sports facility, The Buzz.

The Buzz is equipped with the latest technology in the world of fitness: eGym. Combined with our functional- and cardio training equipment and group classes, we offer a complete fitness concept for students and employees of Leiden University.

Student clubs

Becoming a member of a student association is the best way to quickly feel at home in The Hague. You’ll soon get to know people and you’ll make new friends for life.

  • Student associations: more than just partying

You might think that student associations are all about partying with your friends. Well, there’s much more to them than that. If you are a member of a student association, a whole new world will open up to you as you come into contact with first-, second- and third-year students from other programmes. Furthermore, by playing an active role in your association you’ll learn new things, such as organisational, delegation and negotiating skills.

Other programmes from this university