VU Amsterdam Identity

Our key message

We’re free thinkers. Aware of the values that drive us. Relentless in questioning what others take for granted. Decisive in what we do. This is how we take responsibility, for and with each other. As individuals, from different disciplines, and in society. For the sake of a better world, for current and future generations.

Our foundation– freedom and responsibility

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was founded in 1880 as a Protestant Christian university, financed from private funds. Our most prominent founder was the theologian, journalist and politician Abraham Kuyper. The goal was for a “free” university: a university that was independent, unhampered by interference from church and state.

Since our inception, we have embodied that liberal identity. We believe in the freedom to be who you are and to develop personally and intellectually in the direction that suits you. We stand for going off the beaten path, crossing boundaries between disciplines as well as within the scientific and social debate. We approach knowledge development, knowledge exchange and organisational development as issues in which the connection or clash between fundamental values is at stake.
We embody freedom in our name, in everything we do. And with that freedom comes responsibility. We’re committed to people and society, to the future of current and subsequent generations, and to an open, equal and diverse society. Independent and with a conscience.

Our mission – values-driven and ground breaking

We take responsibility for people and planet through scientific and values-driven education, research and valorisation. We educate students and professionals with both knowledge and “A Broader Mind”. Our research is ground-breaking, both within and between disciplines. As free thinkers and with a focus on diversity, meaning and humanity, our students and staff are connected to each other and to society.

Our values

We are responsible (engaged and relevant), open (accessible and non-judgemental) and personal (showing care and respect for everyone).

Our mentality – Science with a Conscience

Our rapidly changing society requires a university that puts words into action. We feel the urgency to be engaged and to be meaningful. We dare to question the status quo and move the needle. Our freedom allows us to take responsibility. We do this by broadening our horizons and pushing our boundaries. By deepening our knowledge and developing our skills. By questioning our motives and reflecting on our values. With and for others, we operate at the intersection of science and society. We want to inspire you to work together on diverse, sustainable and entrepreneurial solutions with lasting impact. We want to make a difference.

Our promise

We work together for a better world.

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