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Archaeology in eighth position worldwide in QS World University Rankings 2021

It is the fifth year in a row that the Faculty of Archaeology is placed in the top ten of archaeological institutes worldwide. The QS World University Rankings by Subject looks at criteria like academic reputation and citation ratios. Dean Jan Kolen is pleased with this news: 'In recent years, the Faculty of Archaeology has managed to maintain a high level of research.'

Group effort

Reaching a high score in prestigious rankings like the QS World University Ranking can only be a group effort. 'The high position on the QS ranking is a collective achievement of our scientific and support staff, and of course also of our students - in particular our PhDs,' Dean Jan Kolen notes. 'The latter have conducted their research in the past year under very difficult circumstances, but still distinguish themselves at a young age with their innovative research, methodical innovations and surprising new theories.'

Research and education

Asked to explain the success of the Faculty, Kolen reflects on the past years. 'In recent years, the Faculty of Archaeology has managed to maintain a high level of research. We have been successful in acquiring large and prestigious grants, our scientific output has increased and we regularly publish in high-profile journals and with renowned publishers.'

While research is one important side of the equation, education is at least as important. 'Our education has come to match the quality of our research in recent years, according to the visitations, and we allow our students to benefit from the high-quality research carried out by the Faculty.'

In January 2020, the Faculty of Archaeology hosted a conference on the applications of artificial intelligence, together with SAILS.

Plans and developments

Do not be mistaken to think that the Faculty will now rest on its laurels. 'In the coming years we will take new steps to keep our research at a high level and to offer our students even more and better opportunities,' Kolen explains. 'The Faculty is participating in four new “stimulation programmes” at Leiden University, in which current social issues are investigated from an interdisciplinary perspective and at a high scientific level: Liveable Planet; Resilient Societies; SAILS (Artificial Intelligence in scientific research); and the Centre for Museums, Collections and Society.'

And this is only the start. Plans are being unfolded to establish a Heritage Campus in The Hague, in close collaboration with the LDE Centre for Global Heritage and Development. 'We will also launch the Leiden Archaeology Field Unit (a working title), which will house our research in landscape archaeology, field archaeology, archaeological heritage management and methodological innovation, and where the field schools will be prepared for our students.' More news about this development will follow soon.

Kolen is grateful to the efforts of the Faculty's staff, academic and support staff alike. 'With all the new developments and achievements we look forward to the next ranking!'

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