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Vrije University, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Apr 28, 2022

Vrije University (VU Amsterdam): Rankings, Courses, Admissions, Fees, and Scholarships 

Vrije University Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally recognized research university established in 1880. Since its foundation, VU Amsterdam has stood for scientific and value-driven learning, research, and knowledge transfer. For students wishing to study in the Netherlands, VU Amsterdam is a pristine choice.

The university offers over 175 English-taught programs at Bachelor’s, Masters’s, and Ph.D. levels to more than 26,000 students from all over the world.  VU Amsterdam is a unique university with faculties in the humanities, STEM, social sciences, and medical sciences.

The University is known worldwide to take responsibility for people and the planet by delivering  truly value-driven education, research, and knowledge transfer. It offers a unique learning opportunity for students and offers excellent career prospects. 

Why study at Vrije University?

  • The education at VU is very student-centric and runs through mutual collaboration and respect.
  • Amsterdam is home to the headquarters of numerous global companies, and they often recruit from VU Amsterdam.
  • The international student community is huge and extensive. There are over 3000 international students. The Netherlands is a popular destination for international students with over 112,000 students coming from across the world.
  • The campus culture at VU is extremely vibrant and fosters creativity, collaboration, and learning.
  • Financial assistance to International students is provided through scholarships to support and recognize outstanding academic achievement. 
  • It is an internationally renowned research university, ranked 115th in THE university world ranking.

Vrije University of Amsterdam Rankings in 2022

Ranking Position
ARWU (Shanghai Rankings, 2022)  101-150
QS World Universities Ranking (2022) 209
Times Higher Education (THE) Universities World Rankings (2022) 115
US News & World Report (Global, 2022) 84
US News & World Report (National, 2022) 6

Programs & Courses offered by Vrije University of Amsterdam

Undergraduate/Bachelor’s Program

All Undergraduate/ Bachelor’s Programs at Vrije University are taught in English and are for three years.

Course Full-time/Part-time
Ancient Studies Full-time
Archaeology Full-time
Artificial Intelligence Full-time
Biomedical Sciences Full-time
Business Analytics Full-time/Part-time
Communication Science Full-time
Communication and Information Studies Full-time
Computer Science Full-time
Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology Full-time
Econometrics and Data Science Full-time
Econometrics and Operations Research Full-time
Economics and Business economics Full-time
English Language and Communication Studies Full-time
History and International Studies Full-time
International Business Administration Full-time
Language Learning and Language Teaching Full-time
Language and Media Full-time
Law in Society Full-time
Liberal Arts and Sciences Full-time
Mathematics Full-time/Part-time
Mechanical Engineering Full-time
Media, Art, Design, and Architecture Full-time
Philosophy Full-time/Part-time
Philosophy, Politics and Economics Full-time
Political Science: Global Politics Full-time
Psychology Full-time
Theology and Religious Studies Full-time/Part-time

Post Graduate/ Masters Program

Masters Programs at Vrije University are one year and two-year programs. Some programs can be taken as part-time too. Vrije University offers over 100 Master’s and Pre-masters programs in the following field of studies:

  • Earth and Sustainability
  • Economics and Entrepreneurship
  • Behaviour and Society
  • History and Heritage
  • Health Sciences and Health Care
  • Arts, Culture and Literature
  • Theology, Religion and Philosophy
  • Natural Sciences
  • Law and Governance
  • Language and Communication
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics and Information Sciences

Some popular courses offered by Vrije University are:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Business Administration
  • Business Analytics
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • History

A complete list of Masters’s programs offered by Vrije University can be found on their website.

Campus and accommodation

Campus at Vrije University is extremely vibrant and cheerful. Several sports events and cultural events keep on happening throughout the year. There is a cozy restaurant for students to enjoy, a modern sports center, and a cultural center with performances and an extensive range of courses. 

The VU Library spans five floors in the building and houses over 1,000,000 printed volumes, 70,000 manuscripts, and digital learning resources. Also, the building houses the main auditorium, fair trade store, bookstores, restaurant, and several kiosks. Other recreational options on the campus include a bar, health center, residence halls, and several volleyball fields. The campus is also at a small distance from various transport terminals. And by bike or public transport can easily reach the city center of Amsterdam. 

The International Office offers accommodation to participants in international Bachelor’s, master and exchange programs. The International Office offers furnished and unfurnished rooms with private or shared facilities. Due to limited housing facilities, the university offers housing to only first-year students and that too on a first come first serve basis.

Admission requirements for international students

More than 4,000 international students attend Vrije UniversityAmsterdam. Both the UG and PG applications require the completion of a Studielink form and a VUNet application form. A diploma equal to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma is required to meet the general admission requirements for a Bachelor’s program at Vrije UniversityAmsterdam.

Every Bachelor’s degree program has its unique set of admissions standards and procedures. All overseas applicants must take an English language competency test at VU Amsterdam. For PG admissions, the submission of a statement of purpose and a letter of recommendation is necessary, but not for UG admissions. GMAT/GRE scores are solely necessary for Vrije University’s MBA program. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent on an accepted test is required as proof of English language proficiency.

The application process for International Students

The entire Vrije University Amsterdam application process comprises two steps: Studielink (Step I) and VUNet (Step II). The guidelines are the same for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Step I: Studielink

  1. The first step is to create one’s Studielink account and log in to complete the form.
  2. Complete the 5 steps to submit your enrollment application in Studielink. Choose study program and enter details.
  3. Add a new enrollment application, if you want to apply for more than one program.

Step II: VUNet

Applicants must follow the following steps while applying via VUNet.

  1. Login using the credential received via email
  2. Confirm the choice of program to continue the application.
  3. Enter/Check qualifications and other details
  4. Enter personal information
  5. Answer general and course-specific questions (not entirely program-specific)
  6. Upload supporting documentation like CV, LOR(s), Motivation letter, ELP scores
  7. Confirm the provided details and submit the application.
  8. Pay the application processing fee of 100 EUR

After correctly completing all these steps, the application for admission will be successfully submitted to the university for evaluation.

Admission and Application Requirements at VU Amsterdam:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Students should submit their official academic transcripts from institutions last attended.
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Copy of a valid passport

Tuition, fees, and the annual cost of attendance

The fees and cost of attendance at Vrije University varies from program to program however the average comes down to the following:

Program Type Annual Tuition in USD* Annual Tuition in AED**
International Foundation Year (three terms) 18000.27  66114.81
Bachelors 8094.80 – 12781.26 29732.12 – 46945.44
Masters 15976.57 58681.78 

*Tuition costs listed in the table above are converted from EUR to USD using the current exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.06 USD. Exchange rates are subject to periodic change.

**Tuition costs listed in the table above are converted from EUR to AED using the current exchange rate of 1 EUR = 3.88 AED. Exchange rates are subject to periodic change.

Cost of Living

In addition to the tuition fees, the candidates will also need to take into account the costs of living and insurance. The average cost of living in Amsterdam comes down to the following:

Heading Annual Cost in USD* Annual Cost in AED**
Rent 5340 19614
Food and Supplies  1200 4407
Transportation  816 2997
Relaxation, going out and sports 1860 6832
Others 600 2204
Total 9816 36,054

The average cost of living is about 9816 USD or 36,054AED per year.

The average annual cost of attendance for an international student pursuing a bachelor’s program at the VU Amsterdam is about 20,000 USD or 73460 AED. For international students pursuing a master’s program at VU, the average annual cost of attendance comes to 25,729 USD or 94,735 AED

*Tuition costs listed in the table above are converted from EUR to USD using the current exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.06 USD. Exchange rates are subject to periodic change.

**Tuition costs listed in the table above are converted from EUR to AED using the current exchange rate of 1 EUR = 3.88 AED. Exchange rates are subject to periodic change.

Scholarships for international students

Several scholarships are available for international students studying at Vrije University.

  • VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP)

The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) offers talented prospective non-EU/ EEA students the unique opportunity to pursue a tuition-free Master’s degree at Vrije University Amsterdam. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • One must hold a non- EU/ EEA passport and you are not eligible for the lower tuition fee.
  • Should not have the Dutch nationality.
  • Can prove academic excellence (GPA equivalent to a Dutch 8).
  • Must be admitted to the first year of a full-time English-taught Master’s program at Vrije University Amsterdam starting in September.

The VUFP scholarship covers the tuition fees only. It does not provide any additional allowance towards study or living costs, like rent, food, or insurance.

  • Holland Scholarship Program (HSP)

The Holland Scholarship Program (HSP) is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Dutch research universities, and universities of applied sciences. Students eligible for this scholarship are students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are applying for the first year of a Master’s program in the Netherlands.

When applying for the VUFP scholarship, you automatically apply also for the HSP. No separate application is necessary. Eligibility criteria for the HSP are the same as for the VUFP.

Several other scholarships are available for international students from the university and the government.

Career prospects for Vrije University of Amsterdam graduates

Career Prospects after studying at Vrije University are endless. Some of the world’s largest companies are Dutch, and many global groups have their European headquarters in the Netherlands. This will give the candidates huge exposure. In addition to that, there are several other career prospects:

  • Each faculty has its own Career Services contact at VU Amsterdam who knows exactly what the possibilities are and what suits your study program best.
  • The career services offered by VU are tailored to the specific wishes and circumstances of the market and students.
  • Each faculty organizes events and offers workshops and coaching sessions, often in collaboration with its own network of potential employers, alumni, and study associations.
  • Some faculties have an extensive Career Portal, others are currently working on expanding their Career Services.
  • Several workshops and networking events will be organized to help you grow personally and create a professional global network.

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FAQ’s

Yes, the university provides several scholarships to international students. There are several university scholarships and government scholarships available for international students.

Yes, the university has limited accommodation facilities for first-year students. They are available to book on a first come first serve basis.

The Application fee for Vrije University is 100 EUR.

Yes, VU offers a part-time program for certain courses. It is not available for all courses.

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