Leiden University

Leiden University has been an international university from its founding in 1575. In the first decades of its existence, the university was host to many international students, from Europe and beyond. Since those early days,  it has developed into a truly international university, annually hosting more than 3000 international and exchange students.

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.



Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities. It has seven faculties in the arts, humanities and sciences, spread over locations in Leiden and The Hague. 


  • Leiden University is an internationally operating research-driven university with a wide range of academic disciplines and degree programmes. It aims for excellence in all its research and teaching.
  • The University focuses its efforts on achieving the maximum impact from its research and teaching – academic, cultural, societal and economic. It does this in close collaboration with local, regional, national and international partners.
  • Based on a careful consideration of its disciplinary structure, Leiden University focuses on disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and teaching.


Leiden University is an internationally oriented, comprehensive University. The scientific research and teaching inspire one another, and this cross-pollination shapes the contribution to society. 

With research, the university works to gain a fundamental understanding of the world and the people around us. In teaching, the university train 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. 

Where possible, the programmes endorse and apply the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.


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.

Alumni and employers
  • Via contacts with alumni and employers we are able to gain a good impression of the skills and competences that are expected of graduates. The university also guides students in making the step from university to the job market so that our alumni are truly able to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired for the benefit of society.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards

University Ranking

QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
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122 -13
QS World University Rankings is one of the top international rankings measuring the popularity and performance of universities all over the world.
World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
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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
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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
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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.


Student services

Perhaps you have questions about your studies or could use some extra help? Or maybe you’d like some support of a more personal nature? At Leiden University we have people and departments who are glad to help out in any and all of these areas.

Prior to arrival you can contact your International Programme Officer with any questions. After arrival, there are many Leiden University staff members ready to lend a hand:

If you have any questions or concerns that are not related to your academic programme, the International Student Adviser is there to help.

Housing services

The Housing Office offers accommodation for international students in Leiden and The Hague via DUWO student housing corporation. You can choose from a room with shared facilities or an apartment with private facilities.

If you have a disability you may require additional facilities in your living environment. Finding suitable accommodation can be time-consuming, so please contact the Housing Office as early as possible for advice. 

Medical services

Before arrival in the Netherlands, it is important to take out appropriate health and liability insurance. You are also highly advised to register with a local doctor as soon as possible. On these pages you can find detailed information about the type of insurance required, how to take out a policy and how to register with a doctor.

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.

Sports facilities

Fancy burning off some calories after a day’s studying? Or perhaps you’d prefer to spend your evenings on the stage? Either way, the good news is that Leiden and The Hague also have plenty to offer in the areas of sport and culture.

If you’re looking to work up a sweat, the University Sports Centre (USC) is the place to be. You can participate in individual recreational sports, or competitive sports that you can do with your fellow students. This completely renovated sports complex caters for more than 60 sports and offers a range of group lessons, so whatever your sport is you’ll find it here.

Student clubs

You can add an extra dimension to your student experience by becoming a member of a student association, and at Leiden University you’ll certainly be spoiled for choice.

You could, for example, join an association for students of the same discipline, or a generic student association, or one in which religion plays a key role. Alternatively, how about signing up for a social organisation or an interest group?

International Student Network (ISN)

  • The International Student Network (ISN) spearheads academic and social integration through activities and programmes that include trips to various destinations, language-exchange initiatives and international dinners and parties.

Student Reviews

Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

Very diverse and open minded I met people from all over the world and widened my horizon!

Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

I just love studying in The Netherlands

Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

When I was selected to study in my current university, Leiden university , i was very happy as I knew the future will be bright .now my expectations are coming to be real thanks to the professional and friendly professors and administration.

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