Beginnings of VU University
VU University Amsterdam is one of the fourteen universities in the Netherlands. VU was established in 1880 by Abraham Kuyper, Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905 and spokesman of the orthodox protestants in the Netherlands. VU stands for 'Vrije Universiteit' which means 'Free University'. Here, 'free' refers to freedom from state and church interference.
The logo of VU University Amsterdam depicts the griffin, a creature of myth and fable which can be traced back to some of the earliest artworks to emerge from the Near East. The griffin has the body of a lion and the head and the wings of an eagle. It represents the values embodied by VU University. The spreading wings symbolize the quest for knowledge, in complete freedom. The possession of knowledge brings about responsibilities which have to be addressed conscientiously. The griffin's feet, planted firmly on the ground, embody the university's commitment to the well-being of society as a whole. Our university acknowledges that academic work cannot be detached from the concerns of society, in terms of standards, values, philosophy and religion. In this sense, VU University Amsterdam aims to be inspiring, innovative and involved.
The university campus and academic hospital are situated in the south-western part of Amsterdam, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts, i.e. the Zuidas, in the Netherlands. Currently, our university comprises twelve faculties and has teaching facilities for 20,000 students. With more than fifty undergraduate (or Bachelor's) programmes and almost a hundred graduate (or Master's) programmes, VU University Amsterdam offers a wide choice of study options. VU University nurtures research that meets the highest academic levels acknowledged by European and global scientific communities.