Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Photograph of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, with students


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) is an internationally renowned research university. In the ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’, it has ranked around the top 100. Located in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, VU conducts cutting-edge research into problems of major scientific and societal importance. VU was founded in 1880 as an independent university, free from interference by either church or state. Ever since its foundation, VU has been known for its distinctive approach to academic research and education. What matters is not just acquiring profound knowledge, but also taking a multi-disciplinary perspective. VU asks and expects its students, researchers, PhD candidates and employees to look further; to look beyond the boundaries of their own field, culture, traditions and philosophy to become critical and socially engaged academics. VU has over 50 Bachelor’s programmes and 160 Master’s programmes in a broad spectrum of disciplines: from the Humanities to the Sciences and from Medicine to Theology.

VU’s student population (22,500) has a diverse background; many students are descended from immigrants, international students, or the first in their families to pursue higher education. VU regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as a source of innovation and progress, and hence a special strength. Accordingly, the Department of English in the Faculty of Humanities prides itself on expertise in diversity in English: Global English, Postcolonial Language and Literature, Transnationalism and Literatures Visualized.

VU is one of the few Dutch universities that has a university campus. The campus is located in the dynamic and fast-growing business district of Amsterdam in close proximity to Schiphol International Airport and international trains. VU has a clear vision and ambition regarding sustainability which has therefore become an important part of education and research, management and the university buildings.