Universiteit Leiden

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ICT services

Leiden University offers a range of ICT services for students. For the majority of these you need to log-in using your university account to gain access, for example student workstations, Wi-Fi networks, uMail, Blackboard, uSis and SURFspot.

The essential app for all Leiden University students. Here you can find all your study information in one place. Log in once and access your timetable, grades, PC availability and the latest news, anytime and anywhere. (Please note: exceptions apply for students of the faculty of Science. Take a look under your faculty tab for further information.)

Let us know what you think

Have you spotted something that needs improvement? Or do you have other suggestions? Help us to optimise the app by letting us know. You can use the feedback button in the app, or send a mail to appdevelopment@sea.leidenuniv.nl.


Leiden University app manual

As a student, you can use Office 365 ProPlus and OneDrive cloud storage free of charge. These services allow you to work on multiple computers and mobile devices, using programmes such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel and OneNote, and to safely store and share up to 1024 GB of files in the cloud.

Read more and install Office 365 and OneDrive

There are student workstations located within many university buildings, at which you can log-in using your account. Check the current availability of workstations online.

Leiden University Wi-Fi networks

Your ULCN account (student or staff) gives you access to two Wi-Fi networks: Leiden University and eduroam.

  • The Leiden University Wireless Access network (LUWA) is intended for temporary access to wireless internet.
  • The eduroam network is safer, as all data is encrypted. You also do not need to log in every five days. Moreover, eduroam allows you to access Wi-Fi in almost all universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands, Europe and further afield.

Connecting to Wi-Fi

Using public Wi-Fi networks

When using public Wi-Fi networks, for example in a train or café, your personal data is often not secure. eduVPN offers protection against prying eyes and enables you to securely access protected services from outside Leiden University's network.

Read more and download eduVPN

All the details of your studies are recorded in uSis. From your first registration as a student of Leiden University up until your graduation. If you have questions about uSis please consult the FAQ or send an email to our uSis web editors.

uSis Mobile

Via uSis Mobile you can access the most important information in uSis using your telephone or tablet. You can log into this mobile website via m.usis.leidenuniv.nl using your university account. 

With uSis mobile you can access: 

  • Basic information about your study programme, your average grade and the progress of your studies
  • All study results, including underlying tests and seminars
  • Registration options for courses
  • Your schedule information (insofar as this information is available in uSis)
  • The status of petition requests

You do still need to log-in via a desktop or laptop for certain things, for example submitting a petition or checking specific details of your academic progress. We are continually working to expand the scope of uSis Mobile.

Petitions in uSis

If you want to request a change to your academic requirements you can submit a petition via uSis. For example if you want to be exempted from certain academic requirements, have study credits earned abroad recognised as part of your Leiden studies, or receive a different amount of credits for part of your curriculum. For more information see Exemptions and Petitions.

Blackboard is Leiden University’s online learning environment. It allows you to communicate with lecturers and fellow students, access online reading materials and upload assignments. Please note that you must always register for your courses in uSis in addition to ‘enrolling’ on a course in Blackboard. 

Once you have a student account it takes approximately 24 hours before you can log into Blackboard.

From the academic year 2020/2021 onwards, Blackboard will be replaced by Brightspace. A pilot project will take place in 2019/2020. If your course is part of the pilot project, you will receive instructions from your programme. Check the Brightspace FAQ to see which courses are part of the pilot project.

Blackboard app

You can download the 'Blackboard' app onto your mobile phone or tablet via the app store. After opening the app, enter ‘Leiden University’ into the school search field then log in using your ULCN account. Note that the app doesn't offer all the functions that can be found in the desktop version.

As a Leiden University student, you will receive a uMail address. You can log-in and access your mailbox using your account. All correspondence from the university is sent via uMail.

Email forwarding

You can set up your uMail account so that emails are forwarded to your own email address

Note that certain conditions apply: 

  • You are responsible for correctly setting up the forwarding of your uMail. 
  • If your mailbox is full, emails will not be forwarded. Empty your mailbox on time. 
  • Leiden University maintains the right to cancel a mail-forward if this leads to problems in the university email system. 
  • Leiden University is responsible for forwarding emails, but is not responsible for the receipt of emails by the email address provided. 

If you have set up email forwarding, you can still send emails from your uMail account. 

Installing on your own device

Find our how to install uMail on your own computer, telephone or tablet

If you use your own laptop to log into the wi-fi network, make sure to keep your anti-virus software up to date and download the latest (security) updates for your operating system. You can download fee anti-virus software, for example MS Security Essentials and Avira Anti Virus. Or why not purchase affordable anti-virus software via SURFspot?

Students of all Dutch universities can purchase affordable software, such as Adobe, anti-virus software, MindManager and SPSS, via SURFspot. You can also purchase hardware, subscriptions for magazines and newspapers, and internet services. To do so log into Surfspot, select Leiden University, then enter your student account log-in details.

What are web lectures?
A web lecture is a recording of a lecture, which is later published online for viewing. If a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation has been used, this can also be viewed. You can adjust the playback speed and use a search function which is linked by keywords to the presentation.  

Supplement, not replacement
You should consider web lectures as a supplement to your lecture, not a replacement. If you do not attend the lecture, you will miss out on the interaction with your lecturer and fellow students and won’t have the opportunity to ask questions.

On top of that, there is no guarantee that the web lecture will be made available online, for the following reasons:

  • Web lectures are only offered if the lecturer agrees and if the technology allows. If a lecture is to be recorded, you will be informed just before the lecture.
  • Technical issues can arise, meaning a planned web lecture cannot be published online.
  • You cannot assume that a web lecture will be published immediately after the lecture. The publication moment depends on the lecturer’s methodology and can vary from a couple of days or weeks, till just prior to your exam.
  • Web lectures are a complimentary service and not an entitlement.

Studying effectively with web lectures
To benefit from web lectures it is therefore essential that you use them as a supplement to your participation in lectures. How can you make effective use of web lectures?:

  • Make sure that you attend the lecture and play an active role; ask questions and discuss the material with your fellow students. This is important, as dealing with information in a variety of ways can help you to retain it better.
  • To retain information well, it is also essential that you study the materials on time, frequently, and spread out over the time available to you. Try to utilise web lectures in this way. For example, you can view a web lecture from a previous session just prior to attending your next lecture or, if the online publication date allows, just before your exam.
  • Actively study during the web lecture: for example, take notes, make a summary, or complete the practise assignments. This is far more effective than simply watching the web lecture.

Where can I find web lectures?
Web lectures are generally placed on the course page on Blackboard. If you can’t find them, ask your lecturer for assistance.

Brightspace starts 1 September 2020

(Current Blackboard information below)

From the academic year 2020/2021 onwards, Blackboard will be replaced by Brightspace. A pilot project will take place in 2019/2020. If your course is part of the pilot project, you will receive instructions from your programme. Check the Brightspace FAQ to see which courses are part of the pilot project.

Two Brightspace websites to remember

These pages will regularly be updated with information about the project and video tutorials, so watch this space!

Brightspace linked to uSis

One new feature is a link between Brightspace and uSis. This means you’ll only have to enroll once – on uSis. You will automatically be enrolled in the correct Brightspace course and/or group. Unenrollment is also done in uSis and communicated directly to Brightspace.

Logging in and Support

Go to https://brightspace.universiteitleiden.nl/ and log in using your UCLN credentials – just as in Blackboard. Unless you have taken courses that are part of this pilot, you won’t see any courses yet.

You will find online manuals for Brightspace use on https://universiteitleiden.screenstepslive.com/. The link to the Helpdesk, in case you have further questions, can also be found there.

Go to Brightspace support site
Sandbox Brightspace - image 1
Go to Brightspace support site
Sandbox Brightspace - image 2

Blackboard until 1 September 2020

Blackboard is the online learning environment for the University of Leiden. A learning environment is a web-based tool designed to help manage and improve student learning. Blackboard offers not only facilities to have structured learning content (web pages, presentations, lecture notes, computer-aided learning applications, audio, video clips, etc.), but also provides student management, communication and assessment tools, and a range of other useful functions.

Login to Blackboard

Go to the Blackboard site. You need your ULCN account to log in. Enter your username and password and click the Login button. (Your username is your studentnumber preceded by an “s”.)

Can't login?

When there is a problem with your ULCN account/password combination you can contact the ISSC helpdesk (Lipsius building, ground floor next to the Literair Café; please do not forget to bring a valid identification card) by telephone 071-527 8888 or by e-mail: helpdesk@issc.leidenuniv.nl. They will change the password and inform you. It is wise to enter your mobile telephone number in uPrefs. uPrefs is the system where you can change the preferences of your ULCN account. When you might forget your password again in the future, the helpdesk people can send you an SMS with a new password to your mobile phone. Go to the website and select "Eigen Velden" and then "Instellen/wijzigen'.

Can't enroll?

In some cases Blackboard will not show the chevron (the double arrow). It may be that the option for self enrollment is disabled, or that the end date for self enrollment has expired, or that the course is full. Please contact your teacher and ask whether you can still be enrolled. Always provide the course name and your student number ('s number').

Enrolling to courses

To enroll for a course go to the tab Courses and open the Course Catalog (module on the right) and open “Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen”. Now use the navigation panel to select your course. Select the one you want to enroll to. Click on the chevron behind the course ID and select “Enroll”. Confirm your enrollment and click Submit. You now have been registered to the course. Go to the tab My Institution at the top of your screen. This is Blackboard's home page after login. You can find and open your new course via the module (list) My Courses.

SafeAssign and Turnitin

An instructor might ask you to upload a paper etc. through either SafeAssign or Turnitin. This works essentially the same as uploading a standard assignment, but these tools will check your submission for plagiarism. The way these programs work is by comparing your text to public texts on the internet, and to texts in academic and commercial publications. Further, submitted papers are compared to papers that have been submitted earlier by other students of the same university. 

To upload your assignment via one of these tools click View/Complete. Fill in the form. 

 Upload your paper in section 2 (check the guidelines of your instructor regarding size, and format), and add comments for your instructor if you like. Then, in section 3, you are asked whether you want to have your paper added to the Global Reference Database. When checked, your paper will not only be added to the paper database of Leiden University – which is always done – but also to the world-wide database, such that papers from students of other universities will be compared to your paper! Submit your paper. 

Enter the name of your paper, upload it and confirm that this is really the paper that you want to submit. Check the guidelines of your instructor regarding size, and format first. Turnitin will send you a confirmation receipt by email. 

In principle, the results of the plagiarism scans are only available for instructors.

Blackboard support

More information on Blackboard can be found at the homepage of Blackboard under 'Informatie voor Studenten en Docenten' (Information available in English). Do you still have a question? Use this question form. You can also use the Quick Start Guide for students.

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