Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded in 1880. VU is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the University of Amsterdam (UvA).The literal translation of the Dutch name Vrije Universiteit is "Free University". "Free" refers to 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".

Although founded as a private institution, VU has received government funding on a parity basis with public universities since 1970. Over the past decades, VU has transformed from a small institution into a broad, research-intensive university attended by a wide variety of students of diverse backgrounds. While the Netherlands does not have an official ranking system, according to the "CWTS Leiden Ranking", the Vrije Universiteit was recognized as the second best university, nationally.

The university is located on a compact urban campus in the southern Buitenveldert neighbourhood of Amsterdam and adjacent to the modern Zuidas business district.

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 is government funding; the remainder is made up of tuition fees, research grants, and private funding.

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.[6] The position of its wings symbolizes the freedom in the university's name from both the State and Church. The bright and blue postmodern symbol has been the focal point of the university's Main Building ever since.

 

 

Origins (1880 CE)

The VU was founded in 1880 by a group of orthodox-Protestant Christians led by Abraham Kuyper as the first orthodox-Protestant (Calvinist) university in the Netherlands. Kuyper was a theologian, journalist, politician, and prime minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905. He was a professor of theology at VU as well as the university's first rector magnificus (academic president). Kuyper's worldview and philosophy is referred to as Neo-Calvinism. As a reflection of his beliefs, Vrije Universiteit literally means 'Free University' (or 'Liberated University') to signify independence from both government and church. Teaching at the Vrije Universiteit started in 1880 in a few rooms rented at the Scottish Missionary Church (now the Kleine Komedie theater), along the Amstel river in Amsterdam's city centre. Here, Kuyper and four fellow professors began lecturing in three faculties: theology, law, and the arts.

Expansion (1900s - 2000s)

By the turn of the 20th century, the Scottish Missionary Church became too small for the growing number of students and the university bought its first building, located at Keizersgracht 162. In the following years, the university acquired more buildings throughout the city. In 1905, VU was formally accredited and granted the legal right to award academic degrees. New faculties were subsequently added to the original three, including a science faculty (1930) and a medical faculty (1950).

Funding for the university was provided through the VU Association, the Christian organization founded by Abraham Kuyper, which was firmly rooted within the reformed Protestant community in the Netherlands. By the end of the 1960s, the university received financial support from more than 200,000 private contributors. Many were making small coin donations collected by some 10,000 (mostly female) fundraisers, who going door to door with the quintessential green VU collecting box.

It was in this period of time, the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s, that the university's profile changed significantly in many respects. From 1968 onwards, the university relocated from Amsterdam's city centre to a new, functional campus in the southern Buitenveldert neighbourhood. In order to strengthen academic research, university administrators decided to apply for public funding on parity with public universities, which is guaranteed under the Dutch constitution, and no longer opposed admitting non-Protestant professors and students. As a result, the number of students grew substantially. Against the background of increasing student activism at universities around the world, new student organizations were formed demanding a more democratic academic culture at VU. By the end of the 1970s, the small, elitist Christian institution had all but disappeared and had become a broad, research-oriented university, open to students of diverse backgrounds.

Expansion and Reform (2000s - present)

Student numbers continued to grow rapidly in the 21st century: from 15,700 students in 2002 to about 25,000 in 2011, causing growing pains which have resulted in lower student satisfaction and budgetary constraints. The university has embarked on an ambitious reform agenda, including a large-scale renewal of campus facilities, austerity programmes and staff reorganizations, which in turn were met with opposition and legal action from trade unions as well as a newly formed grassroots movement of staff and students.

Today, the university's Christian heritage is reflected through a continuing focus on social, cultural and philosophical perspectives within its various academic programmes. The VU Association, which had founded and funded the university for almost a century, now serves as a social network to promote the relationship between society and scientific research, higher education and patient care, with a special focus on subjects of philosophy, culture and society. In pursuit of these goals, it provides for lectures, debates and other activities connecting science and society throughout the Netherlands under the name 'VU Connected'.

VU Amsterdam requires all international applicants to take an English language proficiency test and to submit their scores before 31 August 2016.

Applicants who have completed their education in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia are exempt from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programs only).

We accept the following tests and minimum scores:

· IELTS: 6.5- please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the general one!

· TOEFL paper- ·based test: 580

· TOEFL internet-based test: 92

· Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): A, B or C

· Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C

· Vu-test English-language proficiency: TOEFL ITP

NB: for PPE the entry requirements towards English are higher!

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

As a VU Amsterdam student, you will have a wide range of facilities at your disposal. You will have access to an extensive library, a university-wide wireless network and numerous computer rooms and reading rooms. The university’s sports centre offers more than 35 different sports and the Griffioen cultural centre organizes a variety of courses in the arts as well as other cultural activities.

Personal supervision 

VU Amsterdam devotes considerable attention to personal study advice. Right at the start of your course of study, you will be introduced to your faculty’s study advisor. This person can help you plan your study, choose any extra courses that may be useful, discuss personal matters which may affect your study and can advise you with career choices. In some cases, the study advisor may refer you to someone else if he/she thinks they are better suited to help you. We also offer help to study with a disability. There are student counsellors and a a student desk for any specific questions you may have.

IT and study facilities 

VU Amsterdam has plenty of computer facilities and study rooms for its students. There are several computer rooms, a notebook study room and internet work spaces available. All faculties have their own study and computer rooms, often combined. Students can also study in the faculty libraries. In addition to each faculty’s own resources, VU University also has central facilities like the VU Media Experience.

Dutch courses

The Dutch as a Second language Department offers various courses in Dutch. Whether you are new to our language or speak it reasonably well, they can help you learn Dutch fast and effectively. Taalcentrum-VU is an independent translation and language-training agency with its roots in VU University. They provide a broad range of services in the field of Dutch and major European languages, such as language courses. They also organize the VU University institutional TOEFL test. This test is much cheaper than the official TOEFL test, although it is only recognized at VU University Amsterdam.

Career Services 

VU Amsterdam provides career guidance from the very start of your study programme: activities such as Career Counselling, CV workshops, Interview Training and Career & Network events. The services are designed for students at all educational levels and across all academic disciplines, reaching out to both domestic and international students. By offering career services we aim to prepare you for the Dutch and International labour market. The Dutch government offers an Orientation Year to Non-EU students who are willing to work in the Netherlands. 

(International) student association

There are several types of student bodies at the university. ESN VU Amsterdam is an organization for all international and Dutch students at VU University. It brings together Dutch and international students from a variety of disciplines to introduce them to the university and to Amsterdam, and to make them feel at home. ESN VU Amsterdam organizes a host of activities, including cocktail parties, weekly get-togethers (borrels) and social gatherings every two weeks, as well as a larger social event once a month.

Study abroad 

VU Amsterdam has set up exchange agreements with more than 200 partner universities worldwide. As a VU Amsterdam student, you will have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in various destinations, such as Denmark, China, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, the United States, and many more. 

A unique university

Our students and staff look further: beyond the boundaries of their own field, culture, traditions and philosophy to become critical and socially engaged academics.

Lively Amsterdam

We are located in lively and multicultural Amsterdam, the city with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands and where English is the second language.

The Netherlands

Dutch society is multicultural. People from other parts of the world have been living in the Netherlands for decades, thanks to the country’s historical ties with other nations.

High quality education

VU Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university, ranked among the world's best.

Services from our international office

Our International Office assists you with excellent services such as housing, visa and residence permits. We also organize social and career activities for you to attend.

Campus

Almost all of our students, staff and programmes are located on campus: a single building complex in the business district of Amsterdam.

During your studies

Meet new people through one of our student associations, learn Dutch or visit our Griffioen theatre. Just one of many things you can enjoy during your stay here.

 

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on map :

Study programs at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam :
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • International students: $ 16.7k / 1 year
  • Ranking:
  • 144 StudyQA
  • Duration:
  • 1 year
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
    • Tuition Fee:
    • International students: $ 15.2k / 1 year
    • Ranking:
    • 237 StudyQA
    • Duration:
    • 1 year
      Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
      • Tuition Fee:
      • International students: $ 7.55k / 1 year
      • Ranking:
      • 396 StudyQA
      • Duration:
      • 2 years
        Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
        • Tuition Fee:
        • International students: $ 15.2k / 1 year
        • Ranking:
        • 113 StudyQA
        • Duration:
        • 1 year
          Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
          • Tuition Fee:
          • International students: $ 7.55k / 1
          • Ranking:
          • 138 StudyQA
          • Duration:
          • 2 years
            Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
            • Tuition Fee:
            • International students: $ 6.76k / 1 year
            • Ranking:
            • 109 StudyQA
            • Duration:
            • 1 year
              Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
              • Tuition Fee:
              • International students: $ 15.1k / 1 year
              • Ranking:
              • 204 StudyQA
              • Duration:
              • 1 year
                Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                • Tuition Fee:
                • International students: $ 7.49k / 1 year
                • Ranking:
                • 114 StudyQA
                • Duration:
                • 2 years
                  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                  • Tuition Fee:
                  • International students: $ 7.55k / 1 year
                  • Ranking:
                  • 138 StudyQA
                  • Duration:
                  • 2 years
                    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                    • Tuition Fee:
                    • International students: $ 6.76k / 1 year
                    • Ranking:
                    • 121 StudyQA
                    • Duration:
                    • 2 years
                      Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                      • Tuition Fee:
                      • International students: $ 7.6k / 1 year
                      • Ranking:
                      • 113 StudyQA
                      • Duration:
                      • 2 years
                        Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                        • Tuition Fee:
                        • International students: $ 15.2k / 1 year
                        • Ranking:
                        • 395 StudyQA
                        • Duration:
                        • 1 year
                          Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                          • Tuition Fee:
                          • International students: $ 7.55k / 1 year
                          • Ranking:
                          • 201 StudyQA
                          • Duration:
                          • 2 years
                            Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                            • Tuition Fee:
                            • International students: $ 7.55k / 1 year
                            • Ranking:
                            • 180 StudyQA
                            • Duration:
                            • 2 years
                              Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                              • Tuition Fee:
                              • International students: $ 4.17k / 1 year
                              • Ranking:
                              • 222 StudyQA
                              • Duration:
                              • 3 years
                                Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                                • Tuition Fee:
                                • International students: $ 4.17k / 1 year
                                • Ranking:
                                • 272 StudyQA
                                • Duration:
                                • 3 years
                                  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                                  • Tuition Fee:
                                  • International students: $ 4.17k / 1 year
                                  • Ranking:
                                  • 277 StudyQA
                                  • Duration:
                                  • 3 years
                                    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                                    • Tuition Fee:
                                    • International students: $ 4.17k / 1
                                    • Ranking:
                                    • 154 StudyQA
                                    • Duration:
                                    • 3 years
                                      Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                                      • Tuition Fee:
                                      • International students: $ 2.85k / 1 year
                                      • Ranking:
                                      • 244 StudyQA
                                      • Duration:
                                      • 3 years
                                        Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
                                        • Tuition Fee:
                                        • International students: $ 4.45k / 1 year
                                        • Ranking:
                                        • 189 StudyQA
                                        • Duration:
                                        • 3 years