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Studying at the UvA

The UvA traces its roots back to 1632, when the Amsterdam city council founded the Athenaeum Illustre to train students in trade and philosophy

1. Rankings

The UvA scores highly in various world university rankings (Times Higher Education, Shanghai; Centre of Higher Education Development, Leiden). It is ranked among the top 20 universities in Europe and the top 65 worldwide in the QS and THE rankings.

University rankings

2. Range of study programmes

The UvA offers more than 15 English-taught Bachelor's programmes and has one of the largest selections of international Master's study programmes of any university in Europe. This includes nearly 200 taught in English and several entirely unique to the UvA.

International Master's programmes

3. Depth of study programmes

Students benefit from excellent academic career paths, with multiple options to pursue a study within or across disciplines, from the Bachelor's up to the PhD level and beyond. Teaching and research are closely linked in all Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes at the UvA.

Vision on teaching and learning

4. International research networks

The UvA is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and of Universitas 21, a leading global network of research-intensive universities. It is also an active partner in many EU-wide initiatives with other universities and research institutions.



5. History

The UvA's open, tolerant and international academic tradition dates back to 1632, when its predecessor the Athenaeum Illustre was founded. With more than 34,000 students, it is now one of the largest comprehensive research universities in Europe.

History of the UvA

6. Quality of life

Amsterdam was ranked 12th out of over 200 cities worldwide in Mercer's 2018 ‘Quality of Living Survey’. In the pan-European 'International Student Barometer', 96% of students polled felt safe and secure, and 97% said Amsterdam was 'the place to be'.

7. Practical support

Over 7,000 international degree and exchange students from over 100 countries are presently enrolled at the UvA. They are actively supported by UvA staff and fellow students during their time in Amsterdam. The UvA helps with practical matters such as opening a bank account, applying for visas and finding accommodation.

UvA service departments

8. Career prospects

The presence of numerous Dutch and international businesses (e.g. Philips, ING, Heineken), academic institutions and cultural organisations makes Amsterdam the commercial, social and artistic heart of the Netherlands and a prestigious global business centre. Our Student Careers Centre also offers tools, workshops and support to help students prepare for their careers.

Businesses in Amsterdam

9. Prime location

Amsterdam is well connected for travel within Europe and has excellent links to the rest of world. The city has long been a cultural and commercial crossroads, and offers students access to the many arts, entertainment and social activities of a capital city. The UvA's faculties are located in or near the centre of the city or in the state-of-the-art Amsterdam Science Park.

Iamsterdam website

10. Personal development

The study programmes at the UvA offer students a high level of autonomy, reflecting the respect for individual opinions and convictions that is characteristic of Dutch society. The result is an interactive teaching style that encourages students to develop self-reliance and independent thought.