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Leiden University signs strategic partnership with Asian Development Bank

Leiden University is going to partner with the Asian Development Bank, a bank committed to regional development. President of the Executive Board Annetje Ottow signed a memorandum of understanding on this unique partnership in Manila on 27 April.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the regional development bank that helps developing countries in Asia and the Pacific reduce poverty and improve their standard of living. It is increasingly becoming a climate bank. Leiden University will leverage its interdisciplinary expertise to work with the bank on topics such as urbanisation, circular economy, water, biodiversity and tax reform. It will thus add its expertise to the significant investments the ADB is making for the climate and poverty alleviation.

‘The MOU between ADB and Leiden University will support our shared aspiration to pair impactful development finance with cutting-edge policy and technical support to tackle complex societal challenges. This collaboration is unique with ADB’s programmes in Asia and the Pacific offering “living labs” to students and professors at Leiden University and acting as a meeting ground for academia and practice’, said Woochong Um the Managing Director General of the ADB.

Leiden University is the first European university to which the ADB has made a structural commitment. The ADB considers an integral approach to complex challenges in the region to be essential and has based its decision on Leiden University’s unique, regional knowledge about Asia and broad interdisciplinary expertise. Collaboration will also explicitly be sought with the alliance between Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam (LDE).

Strategic and prestigious partner

For Leiden University, ADB is a strategic and prestigious partner in Asia with whom it can further develop and apply its teaching and learning and expand its international networks in the region. ‘We often talk about research and teaching that can make a difference’, says Professor of Anthropology of Digital Diversity Bart Barendregt. ‘The collaboration with the ADB, and through them with the ADB member states, is a fantastic opportunity to solve some of the most pressing issues of our time. Big challenges call for big collaboration. No discipline alone has the answers, but together, and with the ADB’s country experts and the solution-focused approach they advocate, we will come a long way.’

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