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VU University Amsterdam

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • Ranked 154 The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016
Setting Information not available
Living cost Information not available
Student population Large
International students Information not available
Institution type Public

About VU University Amsterdam

VU University Amsterdam (Dutch: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) or VU is a university in Amsterdam, the 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 [as in liberated] University". Both within and outside the University, the institution is commonly referred to as "the VU" (pronounced somewhat like "vew" as in "new"). In English, therefore, the university uses the name "VU University".

Though founded as a private, faith-based 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, Protestant institution into a broad, research-intensive university attended by a wide variety of students of diverse backgrounds.

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 2012, VU had about 24,500 registered students most of whom were full-time students. Measured in FTE, the university had 2,250 faculty members and researchers, who were supported by 1,500 administrative, clerical and technical employees. The university's annual endowment for 2013 is around €450 million. About three quarters of this endowment is government funding, the remainder is made up of tuition fees, research grants, and private funding.

The emblem of the university is the griffin. The position of its wings symbolizes the freedom in the university's name: freedom from both state and church.

Campus information

VU University's main campus and medical centre are situated in the Buitenveldert neighbourhood, part of the southern district of Amsterdam. The campus occupies about 0,4 km 2 and is built along the 'De Boelelaan', a large east-west thoroughfare. Initially a fairly isolated location surrounded mostly by fields, the campus is now adjacent to the modern Zuidas business district housing some of the largest banks, accounting and law firms in the Netherlands. The VU campus is served by the 51 metro line as well as a number of tram lines and bus routes. It is also within walking distance of the Amsterdam Zuid railway station.

The University's Main Building ('Hoofdgebouw' or HG), established in 1973, is located at the intersection of the Boelelaan and the Buitenveldertselaan. The sixteen-story building is currently undergoing major renovation works. 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. In addition, the Main Building houses the Aula (main auditorium), the university restaurant, several kiosks, a fair trade store, and the VU bookstore.

On the south side, the Main Building provides access to the campus square ('Campusplein'). Many student organizations have their offices along the campus square entrance. South of the square is the Sciences Building ('Wis- en Natuurkundegebouw' or W&N), another 1970s building. The W&N is housing the faculties of Sciences and Earth and Life Sciences. In the middle of campus square is The Basket, the university bar, as well as a number of volleyball fields. Recent additions to the campus square area include a campus supermarket and an Italian coffeehouse. Also adjacent to the campus square is the modern building of the Institute for Health and Welness, which has been nicknamed the Red Potato after its distinct shape and color. Along the Buitenvelderselaan is the Initium Building, housing the Faculty of Law. The arch-shaped building, opened in 2010, now forms the eastern entrance of the VU campus. The Faculty of Social Sciences is located in the Metropolitan Building, technically just off-campus, on the other side of the Buitenveldertselaan. The medical faculty is located on west end of campus, adjacent to the sprawling medical centre. 

The satellite campus 'Uilenstede' is located further south, in the municipality of Amstelveen. Uilenstede, built mainly between 1966 and 1970, is home to several large student housing complexes and apartment buildings, the VU Sports Centre, the 'Griffioen' cultural centre, and a campus café. Several of the university's administrative departments are also located at the Uilenstede campus. Uilenstede is served bymetro 51 and tram 5. Many of the residential halls at Uilenstede are currently undergoing major renovation works. A new apartment complex for visiting staff and international Ph.D. students on the eastern side of the campus was opened in 2012. The new building was awarded the municipality's architecture prize. A large renovation of the public space, made possible with a grant from the Schiphol Foundation, started in September 2013 and includes the construction of three new squares at the campus.

The university's independent newspaper, Ad Valvas, has been in print since 1952. The newspaper formally acquired editorial independence in 1979. Ad Valvas appeared on a weekly basis until fall 2012, when it became as a biweekly magazine. The Ad Valvas magazine focuses primarily on background stories, interviews and op-ed articles, while daily campus news is mostly provided through the newspaper's website.

Accommodation

The rental period is the period during which tentant and lesser have agreed to rent accommodation. The rental periods for VU University Amsterdam students are always fixed periods, even if you arrive some days later, or leave some days earlier. You should not register for any other period than the ones mentioned under paragraph 2 "Registration" (desired rental period). Note that you must enter one of the fixed rental periods, otherwise your application will not be approved and you will not be able to reserve accommodation.

Apartments with rooms with shaared facilities (kitchen, bathroom and toilet) are same-gender rooms. The first person to reserve a room determines whether the apartment has only male or only female tenants. This is only applicable for units and apartments with less than four rooms.
You should register as a single (1) applicant. Student accommodations reserved for international students are not suitable for (married) couples or families. 

 

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Courses available 10

Accounting and Finance 2 Applied and Pure Sciences 1 Business and Management 4 Computer Science and IT 2 Humanities & Social Sciences 1

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