With effect from 1 November 2019, TU Delft Executive Board President and Rector, Prof. Tim van der Hagen will take on the role of President of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus strategic alliance. The presidency of the alliance between Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam is a rotating position. Van der Hagen takes over the role from Kristel Baele, currently Executive Board President at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
What is Van der Hagen’s perspective on collaboration with his Leiden and Rotterdam partners in the LDE context?
‘If you are asking for the reasons behind the LDE Alliance, I would cite four key points: Quality: we are three leading universities with cast-iron reputations, thus reinforcing each other. Diversity: we are also different from each other, each bringing our own unique expertise. Complementarity: we also complement each other and our multidisciplinary approach means that we can make a real difference when it comes to addressing major issues in society, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Proximity: it is easy for a student or lecturer to hop on the train to Leiden or Rotterdam. This proximity opens up numerous opportunities for joint education and the sharing of buildings and facilities, such as computer centres, clean rooms and laboratories.
But there are already plenty of alliances within and between universities, nationally and internationally. What does LDE add to that?
The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus alliance will definitely not replace existing alliances. Every university has a range of partners, nationally and internationally, and that will not change. What makes LDE unique is its ability to join forces in tackling regional and social issues that we could not resolve individually. To achieve that, we need each other and are making concerted efforts also to forge links with the local cities and the province.
‘Besides, at Delft, we are well-positioned in terms of research collaboration as part of LDE: our technical knowledge is often complementary, making it a good match for Leiden and Rotterdam, especially in the fields of sciences and medicine. Examples include the Casimir Research school for physics and Medical Delta.’
The presidents of the three LDE universities were recently interviewed by Science Guide. You can read the full interview here.