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International students have ranked the University of Amsterdam (UvA) 1st in the Netherlands for being 'a good place to be' and for 'host culture'. Moreover, almost 96% of the UvA's international students feel safe and secure.


These are some of the findings of the International Student Barometer (ISB), an independent survey in which international students were asked about their experiences at foreign universities and universities of applied sciences. The last time the UvA took part in the ISB was in 2014, when the survey was held among its first-year international students. The latest ISB survey (ISB Autumn 2017) was presented to all international students at the UvA, 2347 of whom took part (a response rate of 39%).

Overall, the latest survey reveals ninety per cent of international students are satisfied with the UvA and eighty-six per cent would recommend the university to others.

A total of 120 universities and universities of applied sciences worldwide participated in the ISB, including 32 European and 8 Dutch institutions of higher education.

Learning, Living and Support  

The ISB assessments are made on the basis of three main categories: Learning, Living and Support. 

According to the ISB, 87,7% of the international students are satisfied with the teaching (‘Learning’) at the UvA. The UvA performed particularly well with scores between 90 and 95% in the ‘Learning’ subcategories: ‘Academics’ English’, ‘Quality of lectures', ‘Expert lecturers’ and ‘Multicultural’. There are also areas under the ‘Learning’ category where the UvA needs to make improvements, as students are less satisfied about these aspects, including ‘Careers advice’ and ‘Work experience’.

The place to be

‘The UvA is ranked third in the Netherlands in the ‘Living’ category, with an average satisfaction of 75,5%. With a score above 90%, the university is ranked particularly well in the subcategories: ‘Safety’, ‘Other friends’ and ‘Campus environment’. International students who took part in the survey also ranked the UvA as the best place to be, the best host culture and accommodation quality within the Netherlands.’

The UvA performs less well under ‘Finding accommodation’ and ‘Financial support’, two areas the UvA has highlighted for improvement. Providing adequate housing in Amsterdam remains a problem on account of the city’s growing popularity among professionals, students and tourists. The UvA is currently working closely with local government to find lasting solutions.

Monitoring education and service provision

The UvA uses the ISB to monitor the experiences of international students with regard to teaching and support services, and makes changes where necessary. The results are also used by the UvA for its internationalisation strategy. 

About the ISB

The International Student Barometer is the largest annual survey of international students worldwide and is compiled by the International Graduate Insight Group (I-graduate). The latest survey was held in 17 countries and included eight Dutch higher education institutions.