Universiteit Leiden

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Alternative Humanities Campus in Leiden city centre

Leiden University and the Municipality of Leiden will develop new plans for an alternative Humanities Campus in the city centre. This means they will not proceed with the compulsory purchase of the De Doelen housing complex to facilitate the construction of the new Humanities Campus. The plans to demolish the 58 housing association homes (the De Doelen complex) have therefore been scrapped.

Refurbishment and modernisation

The new Humanities Campus, which will be closely linked to the University Library and the important collections on Witte Singel, will guarantee the quality of the University’s teaching and research for students and staff in the coming years. By carrying out essential refurbishment and modernisation work on its buildings and facilities for the students and staff from the Faculty of Humanities, the University is building on its future. The new Humanities Campus should be complete in 2029. The plan includes creating a central square where students, staff and the residents of Leiden can meet, improving the city centre and completing the Singel Park route.

Good offer

The University had hoped to be able to agree amicably with De Sleutels housing association to purchase the land for the new Faculty of Humanities building. In recent years two successive municipal councils had approved this plan in council resolutions, with the proviso that a good solution would be found for the current residents. Together with De Sleutels, the University and the Municipality made the residents of the De Doelen complex a good offer for alternative housing with attractive removal and rent allowances. 


However, the opposition to the plan for the new Humanities Campus from residents and the De Sleutels housing association proved to be too great.  After a consultation this summer, a large proportion of the complex’s residents indicated that they do not wish to move. In response De Sleutels decided to leave its partnership with the Municipality and the University. According to the Municipality, this means that Kaiserstraat, Paviusstraat, Waardgracht and Stadsbouwhuislocatie can no longer be considered alternative locations for the residents of the De Doelen complex. 

Changes caused by the pandemic

In addition, changes caused by the pandemic (working at home/hybrid working) have influenced the requirements for the new city centre Faculty of Humanities campus. The Executive Board of the University has therefore informed the Municipal Executive that, given these two developments, the compulsory purchase of the housing complex is not advisable. This means that the current zoning procedure will be halted.

Alternative campus

The University will work in close consultation with the Faculty and the Municipality of Leiden on plans for an alternative Humanities Campus with a central square where people can meet. A participation process with local residents and stakeholders will be carried out as is usual when an area is to be developed.

Pleasant place to work, study and live

The Lipsius building will also make way for a new building in the new plans. The key principles of the plans for a sustainable Humanities Campus will once again be to provide modern facilities and a pleasant study and work environment, as well as to improve the city centre and link up the area to the Singel Park route.

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