Leiden University has been founded on February 8, 1575 and is the oldest university in the Netherlands. William of Orange took the initiative for the foundation as a gift to the citizens of Leiden who had withstood a long siege by the Spaniards during the battle of the Northern Netherlands for freedom of religion and belief. Leiden University has as motto Praesidium Libertatis, Bastion of Liberty.
More recently, the Spinoza Award - the most prestigious Dutch academic award, granted by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)- has been presented to professors from Leiden University 9 out of 36 times.
A strong international orientation has been a guiding principle since the foundation. Proof are the multiple alliances and contacts of the university with universities worldwide.
For more information on the Leiden University, click here.