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About us Faculty of Law International programmes

University, Faculty and City

The University of Groningen

Ever since its establishment in 1614 the University of Groningen has been educating people to serve society. All this knowledge and experience has stimulated the University to become what it is now: a modern, international university where work is being carried out at the frontiers of knowledge. It is a university with its own character. This is partly due to its geographical situation in the north of the country. The University is bold enough to be different: sober, but inventive; reliable, but surprising; solid, but prepared to accept challenges. The University of Groningen not only admitted the first-ever female student in the country but also produced the first Dutch space traveller: pioneering is a trait that is fundamental to this university. People talk to one another in Groningen: researchers from various disciplines cooperate and arrive at achievements that are recognised as belonging to the international top. Staff and students are engaged in educational renewal: the University and the commercial sector are in close contact. Above all, Groningen is a convivial city, a magnet to students. They keep the University and the city youthful. The University of Groningen is a classical university that knows the challenges of the future.

The Faculty of Law

Size and Scope

The Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen is a modern, internationally oriented institution that has existed for nearly four centuries. Since it has the ambition to measure itself with the best law faculties in Europe, advanced systems of quality control have been implemented to continuously improve the Faculty’s research and education. And although the Faculty has grown to become one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands, it has kept its friendly and informal atmosphere and its concern for good relations amongst its staff and students.

The Faculty offers the entire range of law subjects and a large variety of specialized courses. Over 3,500 students study here under the supervision of 38 full time professors, 18 professors holding a special chair, 6 visiting professors and 220 full time staff members (152 academic teaching staff members and 70 administrative staff members). Each year approximately 600 foreign students stay for a term or a full year of study. Over 65 courses are taught and examined in English.

The research in the Faculty of Law consists of six legal area transcending, multidisciplinary and internationally orientated research programmes in which the research is approached in a Governance perspective.

Research: governance perspective

A sustainable society requires that laws and dispute resolution, in short the legal organization of a society, meet good governance standards. Research has shown time and again that this is necessary for economic growth, democratic development, and the prevention of social conflict in general. The faculty of law of the University of Groningen wishes to contribute to sustainable societies – both in the Netherlands and abroad – by adopting a governance perspective.

Broadly intended, governance could be defined as decision- and policy-making within a group of persons or within an institution, or within a system of institutions. It means governing with or without the government, policy-making with or without politics. Speaking of good governance, one may argue that the best governance of an institution is the one which combines a maximum of efficiency with a maximum of democracy, transparency, accountability, sustainability, and respect for fundamental/human rights and the rule of law.

The seven programmes of the Groningen Law Faculty may be seen as the seven faces of a cube which content is good governance in the law. These seven programmes explore the development of national and supranational legal systems towards good or better societal governance, from six different angles:

  1. Effective Criminal Law
  2. Energy and Sustainability
  3. Protecting European Citizens and Market Participants
  4. User-friendly Private Law
  5. Public Interests and Private Relationships
  6. Public Trust and Public Law
  7. Transboundary Legal Studies

In addition the Faculty has a long-standing reputation in several fields of public international law and specialised subjects such as administrative relations between individuals and the State; peace and security co-operation; constitutional institutions and their relationship; criminality in a changing society; socio-economic and company law; the principles of Roman Law; Byzantine law, and the interdisciplinary study of law.


The Law building is located in the very centre of the city and has its own library. The library has reading rooms, several study rooms and computers with free internet connection. Apart from the computers in the library, the Faculty has a large number of computers installed in computer rooms to which students have free access. Besides this, the buildings of the Law Faculty have a Wi-Fi-connection, so laptops can be used everywhere on the premises of the Law Faculty.

International Office

The International Office is the Faculty's information and service centre for international relations. The Faculty has established international exchange agreements with more than 80 partner universities and faculties of law in and outside of Europe. Furthermore, the Faculty offers five LLM programmes in English and a Bachelor of Laws in English. The International Office provides general support and (study) guidance to foreign law students, both LLB and LLM, plus exchange, and gives advice to Dutch law students on studying abroad, and general support in preparing such a study period. The office’s international atmosphere and internationally oriented staff offer an excellent basis for a rewarding and stimulating period in an outward-looking and research-led environment.

Ranking and accreditation

All university programmes supported by the Dutch government are assessed every five years. The last round of assessments was in 2004 and in this assessment round the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen was ranked first in the Netherlands.
As from 2005, the Dutch government has changed this way of assessment into an accreditation. All Bachelor and Master programmes of Faculty of Law in Groningen have full accreditation, including the English-language programmes. This accreditation of the Groningen law programmes leads to a direct legalisation of the diplomas that are granted here in most countries in the world. A new accreditation round was conducted in the academic year 2010-2011. This led to a full positive advice for renewed accreditation for all Bachelor and Master programmes of the Faculty.

Groningen, the top of Holland!

Groningen, an old but modern city of about 195,000 inhabitants, is the cultural, commercial and business capital of the province of the same name in the north of the Netherlands. It was founded over 950 years ago and is a centre of trade and transport, culture, education and science. It has two large hospitals (the University Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands), several theatres and museums, bookshops specialised in all European languages, and art galleries. Its industry includes sugar, tobacco and coffee factories, and the printing of schoolbooks. We call it the Top of Holland!

Young at heart

Groningen is a University city; the presence of the University staff and students can be felt in all aspects of city life. But it is not only the University that leaves its mark. Other educational facilities, vocational training, art academy, etc. also give the city a very special and particularly youthful character. Over 50% of the inhabitants is under 35!

Beautiful surroundings

The surrounding countryside offers many sights within easy reach: woods and meadows to the south, the Friesian lakes to the west, the sea, the islands, the dunes of the Wadden, tidal flats and the unique wetlands to the north. And what is more, it is only two and a half hours by train to Amsterdam!

Facts and figures

> 28,000 students
> over 5,000 Full Time Equivalent staff
> over 2,000 Full Time Equivalent academic staff
> Annual turnover: 614 million euro
> 10 faculties, covering all academic disciplines

International Rankings
> Times Higher Education World University Rankings: 98
> QS World University Rankings: 97
> Academic Ranking of World Universities: 92

> 3,000 out of the 28,000 Master’s and Bachelor’s students
> 1,100 exchange students
> 800 out of the 1,500 PhD students
> Nearly 20% of academic staff
> 115 nationalities

> 1,750 (full time equivalents) academic staff (of whom almost 20% are international)
> 479 full professors
> 436 dissertations
> 14 research master’s degree programmes
> 5,000 academic publications
> 9 graduate schools

Strategic partners
> Europe: Uppsala University (Sweden), Ghent University (Belgium), University of Göttingen (Germany)
> Asia: Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Indonesia, Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia), University of Beijing, Tsinghua University, Fudan University (China), Osaka University (Japan)
> Americas: National Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM (Mexico); University of Sao Paulo (USP; Brazil), University of California, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
Networks include:
The Coimbra Group, Asea Uninet, APAIE and EUA

Famous alumni
> A.M. Donner, first president of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (former professor at the Faculty of Law)
> Job Cohen, prominent within the Dutch Labour Party and former mayor of Amsterdam (Faculty of Law)
> Peter Rehwinkel, former mayor of Groningen (Faculty of Law)
> Wim Duisenberg, the first president of the European Central Bank
> Aletta Jacobs, first female graduate in the Netherlands
> Klaas Knot, President of the DNB, the Dutch Central Bank
> Willem Kolff, inventor of the dialysis machine/artificial kidney
> Wim Pijbes, General Director of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
> Several members of the Royal Family
> Wubbo Ockels, astronaut
> Bert V.A. Röling, co-founder of the science of peace research and judge in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo)
> Frits Zernike, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics
> Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics
> Albert Szent-Györgyi, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine
Last modified:22 May 2019 2.42 p.m.