The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits is sweet ~ Aristotle

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela

Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey


Amsterdam University

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has a long history. It evolved from the Athenaeum Illustre (1632) and now, with around 25,000 students, 5,000 staff and a budget of over 487million euros, it ranks among the largest comprehensive universities of Europe. It belongs to the League of European Research Universities and maintains intensive contact with universities all over the world.

At the University of Amsterdam, education and research are conducted in the seven faculties of the humanities, the social and behavioural sciences, economics and business, law, the natural sciences, medicine and dentistry.

The University of Amsterdam has a broad academic curriculum. UvA staff publish around 7,500 academic articles each year. The university's academic research is at the top of the international league in many respects, and the applied research programmes are often of an interdisciplinary nature and are frequently concerned with social issues.

The UvA aims to offer an inspiring, broadly-oriented international academic environment where both staff and students can develop their capacities to an optimal level. The UvA is characterised by a critical, creative and international atmosphere, open-minded and strongly engaged with society. Because the UvA is located in both historic and modern buildings spread throughout the city, the university forms an integral part of Amsterdam.
Close cooperation with Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA)

The UvA aims to see all its students graduate, which is why it wants to give each student the education that suits him or her. This means a wide range of educational routes with tailor-made student guidance. In order to facilitate this, the UvA has been actively involved with the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA), a professional and technical training college. If a student appears to have made the wrong choice in the course of the first year, he or she is steered towards a more appropriate programme within the UvA or HvA. In light of this the UvA and HvA have increasingly synchronised their student guidance facilities.


Research and Education at the University of Amsterdam take places in seven faculties in the Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Each faculty is headed by a Dean. Scholarly activities are divided among various institutes within the faculties. Each faculty also has a central services department which carries out its operational management.
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Economics and Business
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
A Brief history

The predecessor of the University of Amsterdam, the Athenaeum Illustre, was founded in Amsterdam in 1632 to educate students in Trade and Philosophy. Lessons were generally given at the professors' homes, as the establishment was not yet a proper university.

The Athenaeum remained a small institution until the nineteenth century, with no more than 250 students and eight teachers. The situation changed in 1877 when the Athenaeum Illustre became the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and was permitted to confer the highest educational degrees.

Years of rapid growth lay ahead. There were 900 students at the University of Amsterdam by 1900. This figure had risen to 2,500 by 1935, and to 7,500 by 1960. More fields of study and research were introduced, and new university departments were established.

Currently there are around 25,000 students at the University of Amsterdam, and 5,000 staff. The university has seven faculties spanning the humanities, the social and behavioural sciences, economics and business, law, the natural sciences, medicine and dentistry.

Nobel Prize Winners

At the beginning of the 20th century, four scholars from the UvA received the Nobel prize:
Jacobus van 't Hoff, Chemistry 1901.
Appointed professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geography in 1878.
Pieter Zeeman, Physics (together with H.A Lorentz) 1902.
Appointed professor at the UvA in 1878 and honorary doctor at ten foreign universities.
Johannes van der Waals, Physics 1910.
Appointed first professor of Physics in Amsterdam, in 1877.
Tobias Asser, Peace 1911.
Professor of Law, 1862-1893
UvA NWO Spinoza Laureates

Spinoza Prizes, the ‘Dutch Nobel Prizes’ have been awarded to:
Prof. Alexander Schrijver, Mathematics (2005)
Prof. Michiel van der Klis, Astronomy (2004)
Prof. Robbert Dijkgraaf, Mathematical Physics (2003)
Prof. Daan Frenkel, Macromolecular Simulations (2000)
Prof. Ronald Plasterk, Molecular Biology (1999)
Prof. Johan van Benthem, Mathematics (1996)
Prof. Ed van den Heuvel, Astronomy (1995)

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands ranked 48th in the THES-QS 2007 World University Ranking

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands ranked 53rd in the THES-QS 2008 World University Ranking

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands ranked 49th in the THES-QS 2009 World University Ranking

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands ranked 56th in the QS 2010 World University Ranking

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands ranked 63rd in the QS 2011 World University Ranking

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Background Image of this blog courtesy of Laura Furniss at Flickr. The author owes a million thanks to her.

Disclaimer: Most of The information obtained are from and the corresponding universities' websites.Images may be taken from the internet, and/or the corresponding universities' websites.The author does not have the rights to any of the images and thus request for information - if any- regarding the ownership of the pictures and/or images