The transformative power of the university

LW Chapters and other contributions, Missions & Responsibilities

Bert van der Zwaan

The university is one of few institutions surviving the changes that have affected society over the past 800 years. Stemming from a period which was dominated by the church and feudal lords, it successfully negotiated the Renaissance and Enlightenment, the industrial revolution of the 19th century, and the profound societal changes following World War II. One of the reasons behind its success is that over most of this time the university was held in high regard, primarily because of the value of its knowledge in combination with its increasingly independent position towards political and religious doctrines.