The UvA in brief

The University of Amsterdam is an intellectual hub with over 30,000 students, 3,000 PhD researchers, 6,000 staff and 100 different nationalities. Our mission is to educate tomorrow's leaders, conduct cutting-edge research and translate our research results into applications that can benefit society.

Since 1632

The University of Amsterdam’s open, tolerant and international academic tradition dates back to 1632 when its predecessor, the Athenaeum Illustre, was founded by two prominent academics. Since then, the UvA has grown into a world-class international research university.

Master of ceremonies during the Dies Natalis

The Dies Natalis, a celebration of the University's birthday, takes place each year on January 8.

Top 100 university

The UvA ranks among Europe's 20 best universities and consistently scores in the top 100 of global rankings including the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ShanghaiRanking) and the CWTS Leiden Ranking.

Campus locations

The UvA is woven into the fabric of Amsterdam, from our historical landmark buildings in the city centre and to modern, state-of-the-art research facilities at Science Park. Research and teaching are clustered into four campuses across the city.

Amsterdam city centry

Amsterdam's city centre, home to the UvA's University Quarter and Roeterseiland Campus.


We think Amsterdam is a great place to live and work. Here’s why:

  • Amsterdam is one of the world’s best places to live (Mercer's Quality of Living Survey 2017)
  • Amsterdam is the 4th best student city in Europe (The Class of 2020)
  • Amsterdam ranks 3rd in the EU and 7th globally for attractiveness to new businesses and talent (Global Power City Index 2017)
  • Amsterdam is the safest city in Europe and 6th safest globally (Safe Cities Index 2017)

The city is also 1st for English proficiency, 3rd for innovation and 6th for happiness. Find out more in I Amsterdam's overview of international surveys.

Over 100 nationalities

With more than 100 nationalities represented among our students and staff, the UvA is truly international. We offer 200 English-taught Master’s programmes and a growing number of Bachelor’s. About 35% of staff are international. The UvA is a bilingual university by choice. Both Dutch and English are spoken. English is the lingua franca for many people working in research.

Summer School 2017

International classrooms: about 3,000 students from over 90 different countries are enrolled at the UvA.

Research-based university

The UvA is a leading international research institution that values, promotes and rewards excellent research. The UvA is home to 21 research institutes, the lead organisation for 12 national research schools and a proud member of LERU, a network of prestigious European research universities.

Over the past decade, the UvA has received over 100 grants from the European Research Council, more than any other Dutch university, and over 400 grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

As a research university, our study programmes have a strong theoretical focus and prepare students for research. Every student at the UvA will have the opportunity to learn from, and conduct, research.

Comprehensive university

The UvA is the largest university in the Netherlands, both in terms of student numbers and choice of study programmes. We offer dozens of different Bachelor’s programmes and hundreds of Master’s, including Research Master’s, Dual Master’s and Executive Master’s programmes, in a wide range of fields. Students can choose from the humanities, social and behavioural sciences, medical, physical and biological sciences, and interdisciplinary fields such as logic and computation, digital humanities and future planet studies.

Published by  University of Amsterdam

29 November 2018