Annual report for 2019 published
Leiden University has published its annual report for 2019. The report is a testament to everyone’s hard work and creativity and shows just how much we have achieved together: students, lecturers, researchers, support staff, administrators and supervisors alike.
The annual report for 2019 (in Dutch) covers the University’s teaching, research, impact on society, staffing policy and business operations – all in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The report comprises a general section and a section presenting the figures, i.e. the University’s annual accounts.
Leiden University celebrated its 444th birthday in 2019. The theme of this celebration was the University’s links with the local community, and scores of activities were organised for, by and with the residents of Leiden and The Hague. This successful event celebrated the University’s valuable ties with the local community in many different ways.
The high workload of many people at the University was a topic of concern last year. This even led to a successful alternative ‘real opening’ of the academic year organised by WOinActie and held concurrently with the official opening in Pieterskerk in Leiden, this year by Minister of Education, Culture and Science Van Engelshoven.
Alongside teaching and contributing to society, research is one of the core activities of every university. If you want to make the world a better place, you first have to understand it. This conviction forms the basis of our research in Leiden and The Hague, and our annual report illustrates the fantastic results of this research. Among the many researchers, a few stood out in particular. Professor of Health Psychology, Andrea Evers, for instance, who received the Stevin Prize for knowledge utilisation.
A major development for our research in 2019 was the launch of a series of interdisciplinary programmes that take a collaborative approach to various scientific questions.
Research and teaching inspire each other, and it is within this cross-fertilisation that our mission from society takes shape. In 2019, the University received a positive assessment in the Institutional Audit. The panel said it was impressed by the very motivated and ambitious lecturers in Leiden and The Hague. The University is also pleased with the positive verdict on the Quality Agreements Budget in the same period. The entire teaching organisation worked hard on this budget, and students, the faculty boards and the University Council were also very involved. The deployment of financial resources for the quality agreements is an important step in the development of teaching quality, and this corresponds with and builds on our shared vision on teaching and learning.
The University is also physically connected to the outside world. Issues relating to sustainability, the environment and the climate are becoming increasingly important, scientifically, socially and politically. With its buildings, laboratories and travelling students and staff, the University undoubtedly has an effect on the environment and climate. Its efforts to reduce the adverse effects are becoming increasingly visible.
Our university is financially healthy, despite the year 2019 closing with a deficit of 4.6m euros. This is the result of the decision to use our reserves for our teaching and research and to reduce the workload that is felt by many to be too high. Our financial position will be under pressure in the coming years, however. This is as a result of the corona crisis and the Van Rijn Committee report, which was published in 2019 and adopted by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
It is impossible, halfway through 2020, to predict what the future holds for us, but the effects of the corona crisis will certainly have an impact on our university.
Appreciation and pride
In these unprecedented times, the Executive Board would like to express its great appreciation for the dedication, solidarity, cooperation and creativity of everyone – students and staff alike – within our university community in their efforts to ensure our teaching and research continues as much as possible. Together, our students and staff form the university community that we are so proud of. It is in this spirit of togetherness that much good comes about, and this only serves to strengthen our contribution to society.
Essential aspects of the annual report, such as the key figures and annual accounts will also be available in an English translation.