Vrije Universiteit – Ranking, Fees & More

Vrije Universiteit is one of the leading European public research universities. It has over 29,000 students and 4,600 employees and offers courses in 9 faculties. 

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was founded in 1880, most notable by prominent theologian, journalist, and politician Abraham Kuyper. Over the years, it has garnered a sterling reputation for the quality of its teaching across its 1,000+ courses. 

The campus is located in the high-end international knowledge and business center of Zuidas. The university’s official address is as follows:

De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The impressive Vrije Universiteit ranking tally puts it on the map for students across the globe. It is placed at 115 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022. VU Amsterdam also ranked among the top 200 universities worldwide in the 2021 THE Impact Rankings. 

As of 2021, it ranks 79th globally, 24th in Europe, and 4th in the Netherlands in the CWTS Leiden Rankings. It is one of the top 150 universities worldwide in the Shanghai Rankings. Moreover, it boasts of a 209 QS World University Ranking in 2022. 

Infrastructure at Vrije Universiteit

The university forms the knowledge center for collaboration with the business community and civil service organizations. The campus has the following buildings:

  • VU Main (HG) Building
  • New University (NU) Building
  • Medical Faculty (MF) Building
  • W&N (WN) Building
  • Initium (IN)
  • O|2 Lab Building
  • Transitorium
  • ACTA
  • OZW Building
  • BelleVUe
  • TenT
  • Kinderrijk Day Care Center
  • VU Sports Center
  • Coordination Center Energy

Research Facilities at Vrije Universiteit

The campus has evolved to provide students with a lively and inspiring environment. Here is a sneak peek at the research and education facilities at the university. 

Demonstrator Lab: 

A lab for researchers and students at the university to test their ideas. They can check if their proposal has any merit before launching an official start-up.

Human Performance Lab: 

This lab is helpful for exercise testing and allows human performance testing under highly controlled circumstances. For example, low pressure or extreme temperatures. 

O|2 Research Labs: 

The O|2 lab building was built as a research facility for Human Life Sciences. It houses biochemical labs, labs for radionuclides, and labs for synthesis.

ML-III Labs: 

This lab facilitates research into threatening pathogenic micro-organisms. The lab is crucial for studying and developing newer antibiotics to combat resistant bacteria. There are three level III labs to enable parallel research.

Skills Labs: 

These are labs designed as hospital rooms. There are four types of skills labs- basic nursing care, operation room assistant with an OR table, intensive care room, and radio-diagnostic laboratory assistant.

University Library: 

The university has a state-of-the-art library used by students, researchers, and lecturers alike. Apart from being a place for study, the university library can be a place for people to upload their thesis, attend workshops, use video conferences and multimedia workstations, and use 3D printers for their projects.

Academics at Vrije Universiteit

The university has two semesters every year- Fall starting in September and Spring starting in February. The applications are invited in only one phase starting from October of the previous year. 

The deadlines for the applications vary depending on whether the student needs a university-sanctioned visa or residence permits. 

The 2022-2023 semester applications have closed for Non-EU/EEA students. However, EU/EEA students who do not require a university study visa or residence permit can still apply before 1st May 2022 for Bachelor’s programs and 1st June 2022 for Master’s programs.

Admission Process at Vrije Universiteit

The Vrije Universiteit admission process has similar steps for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The enrollment procedure is as follows:

  • Studielink Application: On Studielink, the student must create an enrollment application for the programs they want to apply. One student can take up to four courses in the Netherlands. 
  • Payment on Studielink: Once a student applies for a course, they must submit the correct payment information. The payment will not occur automatically. The applicant must pay the enrollment fees by 31st August without fail to start their course in September. 
  • Complete Application on vu.nl: After creating a Studielink account, students need to log in to their dashboard on vu.nl. Then on the vu.nl portal, they must upload all necessary documents to complete their application. 
  • VU Study Choice Check: A student applying for Bachelor’s has to fill out the Study Choice Check Questionnaire. This helps them check whether the program they are applying to suits them.
  • Application Fee: All international applicants have to pay a non-refundable amount of EUR 100 as an application fee. The application processing will start only after the student pays this fee.
  • Wait for Decision: The student will receive a confirmation email after paying all the fees. The university will inform them about the decision within four to six weeks or contact the student via the International Student Advisor if additional information is required.  
  • Acceptance: The university will send an acceptance, conditional admittance, or a rejection confirmation to the email id attached to the student’s Studielink account. 

Admission Requirements for Vrije Universiteit

Take a look at the Vrije Universiteit admission requirements. 

  • Applicants from non-English speaking countries like India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc., need to prove their efficiency in the English language. This criterion can be met using IELTS or TOEFL scores.
  • The applicant must have an average score of at least 6.5 in IELTS. Otherwise, they must have at least 92 in iBT, 232 in CBT, and 580 in PBT in TOEFL. 
  • Alternatively, they must have a score of 176 or more in the Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Exams (CPE/CAE).
  • The IELTS and TOEFL scores are valid only if the student took the test within two years before 1st September of the year in which the course begins.
  • To apply to a Bachelor’s course, an Indian student must have an All-India Senior School Certificate issued by CBSE with A1, A2, or B1 grades in any five academic subjects. If not, then an Indian School Certificate from CISCE with at least five academic subjects and a minimum of 75%. The last option is a Migration cum Transfer Certificate of the Senior Secondary School Examination (NIOS) with A, B, or C in any five academic subjects. 
  • There are several valid qualifications for the application, like the International, European Baccalaureate, Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), International A-levels, and many other examinations.

Documents Required for Admission to Vrije Universiteit

An applicant must submit various documents while applying for a Master’s course. They differ according to the program, but here is a list of every document an applicant might need for their Master’s application.

  • Passport: A scanned copy of an applicant’s passport is a must. The passport must be valid until the first day of the semester, either September or February.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): A CV stating all the prior educational qualifications and relevant work experiences are required. A European CV format is preferred, although all formats will be accepted.
  • LORs: One or two letters of recommendation by professors from the last education institution are mandatory. An applicant can get a digital copy of the LOR or get the professor to directly email the document to the point of contact at the International Office. 
  • Statement of Intent: An applicant must submit a 1–2-page letter of motivation, directed towards the admission board, outlining why they are applying to the program.
  • Degree or Diploma: A copy of the student’s Bachelor’s Degree or a scanned copy of their Diploma Certificate. 
  • Transcript: An English transcript of all the grades achieved in all the student’s previous higher education, including any transcripts from foreign exchange universities. 
  • Thesis: The applicant must attach a 2–5-page extended writing sample in the form of an academic paper or an essay. Some courses require the applicant to write an essay on a particular topic and attach it to their application. 
  • English Language Test: Same qualifications required as for Bachelor’s courses.
  • Valid Residence Permit: If the applicant lives in the Netherlands, they must attach a scanned copy of their residence permit’s front and back. 

The Vrije Universiteit acceptance rate varies across its courses. The official figures are unknown as the university does not divulge this data.

Courses Offered at Vrije Universiteit

The university offers around 45 Bachelor’s programs, 100 Master’s programs, 250 professional courses, and over 110 minors. These courses operate under the following 9 faculties:

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • School of Business and Economics
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Religion and Theology
  • VUmc School of Medical Sciences
  • Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)

UG Courses

Here are some popular programs at the undergraduate level:

  • Archaeology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Business Analytics
  • Computer Science
  • International Business Administration
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Theology and Religious Studies

PG Courses

Here are some popular postgraduate courses at the university:

  • Business Analytics and Data Science
  • Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose
  • Masters in Biomedical Sciences
  • Masters in Computer Science
  • Masters in Economics
  • Masters in Artificial Intelligence
  • MBA in International Business

Credit System & Academic Calander of Vrije Universiteit

The credit load for each semester is 30 ECTS. Most courses are 6 ECTS, and the university requires a student to take at least 24 ECTS per semester. However, a student can take up to 30 ECTS per semester. 

The university also offers Minor programs to its students in the Fall semester. They are a set of 5-6 Advanced Bachelor level courses that add up to 30 ECTS. Minor specialization allows students to gain knowledge in one specialized field of their liking and adds to their CV. 

Term Dates for the academic year 2022-23 are as follows:

  • Fall Semester: 6th September 2022 to 4th February 2023
  • Spring Semester: 7th February 2023 to 1st August 2023

Extracurriculars and Diversity at Vrije Universiteit

Almost 15% of the university’s students are international. Moreover, the institute has a diversity office to ensure that people from all backgrounds, races, castes, sexual orientations, cultures, religions, and nationalities feel safe and included.

In terms of extracurricular activities, there are five active study associations under the Faculty of Humanities. These are Icarus, KallioPPE, Kliché, Merljin, and Synkratos. The university has a SPAR University supermarket and a VU Amsterdam Bookshop on campus. This, coupled with the numerous cafes and restaurants around the academic building, makes for a perfectly convenient college experience.

VU also has its cultural centrum known as the Griffioen Cultural Hub. They put up exciting new plays and have creative courses for the students to participate in. For sports enthusiasts, there is Sportcentrum VU. It has facilities for 35 different sports activities ranging from yoga to indoor soccer.

Career/Professional at Vrije Universiteit

Each of the nine faculties has its own career services at the university. Each faculty arranges workshops, events, and coaching sessions in collaboration with alumni, study associations, and potential employers. 

Most faculties already have extensive Career Portals set up for the students to access and benefit from. However, there is a shortage of data about the specifics of the placements. 

The university has a long list of notable alumni. Here are some of the most renowned people from the list:

  • Jan Peter Balkenende (History and Law)- Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
  • Wouter Bos (Political Science and Economics)– Former Party Leader of the Dutch Labour Party and Minister of Finance of the Netherlands
  • Ellen Van Dijk (Bachelor’s Degree in Human Movement Sciences)– Five Times Cycling World Champion

Financials at Vrije Universiteit

The average annual cost of living for an international student in the Netherlands amounts to between EUR 1,000 to EUR 1,400. 

If you are a non-EU student with a work permit, you can take up a maximum of 10 hours of work per week, as per Dutch law.

Here are the Vrije Universiteit fees for the year 2022-23 for non-EU/EEA students:  

Bachelor’s Degree Programme Tuition Fee
Faculty of Humanities (except for Archaeology and Ancient studies)

Faculty of Religion and Theology

School of Business and Economics (except for International Business Administration)

Faculty of Law (except for Law in Society)

Faculty of Social Sciences

Bachelor of Psychology 

EUR 8.980 
Bachelor of Archaeology 

Bachelor of Ancient studies 

EUR 9.130 
Bachelor of Law in Society EUR 9.840 
Bachelor of International Business Administration EUR 9.870 
Faculty of Sciences 

Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

EUR 12.660
Liberal Arts and Sciences (Amsterdam University College) EUR 12.610
Bachelor of Dentistry (ACTA) EUR 22.770
Bachelor of Medicine EUR 20.560 

Master’s Degree Programme Tuition Fee
Teacher Training Programs EUR 8.720 
Master’s Degrees offered by various Faculties EUR 7.500 to EUR 25.080 

Disclaimer! All course fees/salaries/expenses are indicative.

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