Edinburgh Global

Una Europa welcomes Leiden University

Una Europa’s leading research universities welcome a new member from the Netherlands, with Leiden University joining the European alliance.


‘Not a place, but a body of knowledge, ideas, and values, evolving freely beyond borders, mediums and time.’ - Una Europa

The University of Edinburgh has had an active role in the Una Europa alliance since its establishment in 2018, connecting eight leading European research universities to go beyond traditional geographical and disciplinary boundaries to work towards a virtual ‘multi-campus’ European university of the future.

The alliance has educated more than 400,000 students to date, with a combined student and staff community approaching half a million people – with digital learners spanning to the millions. Una Europa aims to draw on collective strengths to create a progressive inter-university environment. Key projects of the alliance include the 1EUROPE project, which focuses on education and international mobility, and includes the Future UniLab think tank.

Leiden landscape
Leiden, Netherlands - July 22, 2020: Cityscape Leiden view Rapenburg with Academy building of the Univerity of Leiden.

Welcoming Leiden University

The University of Edinburgh and Una Europa welcome Leiden University to the alliance, joining Freie Universität Berlin, KU Leuven, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and the universities of Bologna, Edinburgh, Helsinki, and Jagiellonian University, Krakow.

Leiden University and the other Una Europa partners will draw on their collective strengths to shape the future of Europe through innovative education, research, and international exchange.

The alliance’s flagship project 1Europe aims to establish a Europe-wide living lab with over twenty joint innovative formats for education and mobility at its core, including the Una Europa Joint Bachelor in European Studies and Joint PhD in Cultural Heritage as well as the Micro Module in Sustainability and the Continuous Education Certificate in Data Science and AI. In the Una Resin project, the alliance is taking the first steps towards developing an Una Europa ecosystem for research and innovation by building a common research and innovation agenda, developing joint strategies for sharing infrastructures, and strengthening human capital.

As Leiden joins Una Europa, James Smith, Vice Principal International at the University of Edinburgh, takes over as Chair of the Una Europa Board of Directors from 1 January 2022.

Leiden University is an absolutely outstanding institution. It is one of Europe’s leading research universities, a sector leader in educational innovation, and deeply international in its outlook. These qualities and values align perfectly with Una Europa and our existing university partners and will further strengthen UNA Europa’s position as one of Europe’s leading university alliances and push us to raise our ambitions and extend our horizons still further.

James SmithChair of the Una Europa Board of Directors and Vice Principal International at the University of Edinburgh
Man in business suit
James Smith, Chair of Una Europa Board of Directors

The goals, thematic focus, and partners of Una Europa closely align with our ambitions for international engagement. Synergy in our international portfolio, our research, and our teaching agendas is of great importance to us, because this makes it possible to create significant impact and will open up new horizons for our students and staff. We sincerely believe that joining this alliance will help us achieve this goal and that is why we have decided to accept this invitation with great pleasure.

Hester BijlRector Magnificus of Leiden University

About Leiden University

Leiden University encompasses seven faculties in two major Dutch cities: Leiden and the Hague. The campus in Leiden is home to the Leiden Law School, archaeology, and humanities. For natural sciences, medicine and social and behavioural sciences, the Leiden Bio Science Park is the place to be, and it’s where Leiden University joins forces with the business community and the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). The focus in The Hague is on engaging with international organisations and the public sector, and the city is also home to Leiden University College. The Campus in The Hague is home to the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs.

With over 33,800 students and 7,100 staff members, Leiden University is a large, research-intensive institution with global reach that will make a strong contribution to the Una Europa community and further enhance the future strategy of the alliance.

Leiden university building
Leiden, Netherlands - September 03, 2017: Main building of the university of Leiden, Netherlands