Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded in 1880. Amsterdam is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, boasting 179 different nationalities and English is widely spoken. VU is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the University of Amsterdam. The literal translation of the Dutch name Vrije Universiteit is “Free University”. At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 78 nationalities work and study closely together, creating an international and dynamic academic community.

The official university seal is entitled The Virgin in the Garden. Personally chosen by Abraham Kuyper, the Reformed-Protestant leader and founder of the university, it depicts a virgin living in freedom in a garden while pointing towards God, referring to the Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th century. In 1990, the university adopted the mythical griffin as its common emblem.


VU stands for universal university values such as academic freedom and independence. The literal translation of the Dutch name Vrije Universiteit is “Free University”. “Free” refers to the independence of the university from both the State and Church. Both within and outside the university, the institution is commonly referred to as “the VU”.


In 2014, VU had 23,656 registered students, most of whom were full-time students. That year, the university had 2,263 faculty members and researchers, and 1,410 administrative, clerical and technical employees, based on FTE units. The university’s annual endowment for 2014 was circa €480 million. About three-quarters of this endowment are government funding, the remainder is made up of tuition fees, research grants, and private funding.

World Ranking:

The 2013 Shanghai Ranking placed the Vrije Universiteit overall in the 101-150 range in the world, with higher rankings in the subject areas like  Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (48th), Life and Agricultural Science (76-100 range), Social Science (76-100 range), and Economics and Business (76-100 range).

  • In the 2014 QS, World University Rankings the Vrije Universiteit was placed 171st overall in the world.
  • In the 2014/15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, VU was ranked 136th.
  • In the subject area Clinical, Pre-clinical, and Health, the university ranked 61st.

Main Campus: 

The University’s Main Building, established in 1973, is located at the intersection of the Boelelaan and the Buitenveldertselaan.The Main Building is home to the faculties of Arts, Philosophy, Economics and Business, and Theology. The University Library occupies five floors as well as several floors with closed stacks. The Main Building houses the Aula (main auditorium), the university restaurant, several kiosks, a fair trade store, and the VU bookstore.

Studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam:

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers 50 bachelors, almost 160 masters, and the number of Ph.D. programmes with 22,897 students.

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • PhD Programs

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: Subjects Departments

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Business Analytics
  • Computer Science
  • Communication and Information Studies: Language and Media
  • Communication and Information Studies: Language Learning and Language Teaching
  • Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology
  • Econometrics and Operations Research
  • Econometrics and Operations Research: Econometrics and Data Science
  • Economics and Business Economics
  • History: History and International Studies
  • International Business Administration
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences (Amsterdam University College)
  • Literature and Society: English
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE, J.S. Mill College)
  • Corporate Law: Law Markets and Behavior
  • Hydrology
  • Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences
  • Parallel & Distributed Computer Systems

University Services:

  • Student Services
  • Housing Services
  • Library Services
  • ICT Services
  • Medical Services

Contact Information: