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 University”. “Free” refers to independence of both state and church. 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 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 VU University was recognized as the second best university, nationally.
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.

Main building VU University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T +31 20 59 89898
F +31 20 59 89899