Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) was founded in 1880 and is now ranked one of the top 100 universities in the world. With a focus on research and academic excellence, VU Amsterdam hosts about 25,000 students a year, and 14% of them are international. Higher education in the Netherlands is world renowned and regulated by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). All Bachelor programs are accredited through the NVAO.
VU Amsterdam was the first university in the Netherlands to be established without interference from the church or the state. In fact, Vrije Universiteit literally means Free University. That secular tradition continues in the university’s work to create its own study programs with an emphasis on a personalized approach to teaching and learning. The campus is easy to navigate, thanks to the single-building complex design, and students quickly feel at home.
The university has a wide variety of academic offerings, with over 350 courses regularly taught in English. Like many Dutch institutions, VU Amsterdam puts a heavy emphasis on academic responsibility and independence. Instructors expect students to be active listeners and participate in classroom discussions. There is a high level of classroom interaction, a strict adherence to attendance policies and school rules, and direct honesty in grading, with no grade inflation.
When you study at VU Amsterdam, you’ll be just 15 minutes by bike from the city center. International students are actively welcomed, and encouraged to take part in arts, sports, and cultural programs through the student center and the ERASMUS Student Network (ESN). You can even expand your horizon by joining student clubs, participating in free workshops, or joining a volunteer program. From the campus bike repair shop to volleyball courts to film screenings and the on-campus grocery store, VU Amsterdam creates a cozy home away from home for all students.
The Dutch grading system is generally based on a mark between 1 (minimum) and 10 (maximum). The highest grades of 8, 9 and 10 are rarely awarded. Generally, a grade of 6.0 or more is a passing grade, and a grade of less than 6.0 is a failing grade. However, it is up to the provider/partner and/or home institution to determine the appropriate grade conversion for students. Transcripts from VU Amsterdam will always come with grades based on a Dutch grading scale, which then must be converted to the grading scale of the host institution.
||8.0 - 10.0
||7.5 - 7.9
||More than satisfactory
||7.0 - 7.4
||6.5 - 6.9
||6.0 - 6.4
||0.0 - 5.0