Brandeis University

Brandeis University is a private research university with a liberal arts focus,located in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States. It is located in the southwestern corner of Waltham, nine miles (14 km) west of Boston. The University has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students. In 2009, it was ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as the number 31 national university in the United States.Forbes listed Brandeis University as number 30 among all national universities and liberal arts colleges combined and among the top 15 national research universities in 2009.

Brandeis was founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian coeducational institution on the site of the former Middlesex University. The university is named for the first Jewish Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856–1941).

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, founded in 1959, is noteworthy for its graduate programs in social policy, social work, and international development

Brandeis sponsors the Wien International Scholarship for international undergraduate students.


Founded in 1948, Brandeis University is named for the late Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the distinguished associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, and reflects the ideals of academic excellence and social justice he personified. Coeducational classes began on the site of the former Middlesex University in Waltham, Massachusetts, with 107 students and 13 faculty members. 

Guided for 20 years by its founding president, Abram L. Sachar, Brandeis grew quickly, establishing itself as an important national and international center for teaching and research. In 1962, only 14 years after the university's founding, Phi Beta Kappa accreditation was conferred. Under each succeeding president, the university continued to grow in breadth and stature, while maintaining the very human scale of its educational environment and its solid liberal arts focus.

In 1985, Brandeis was elected to membership in the Association of American Universities, which represents the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

Academics and Schools

The schools of the University include:
The College of Arts and Sciences
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Rabb School of Summer and Continuing Studies
Brandeis International Business School

The College of Arts and Sciences comprises 24 departments and 22 interdepartmental programs, which offer 41 majors and 46 minors.

The Brandeis University Press, a member of the University Press of New England, publishes books in a variety of scholarly and general interest fields.

The Goldfarb Library at Brandeis has more than 1.2 million books and 60,000 e-journals.

Brandeis University ranked 185th in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking


Lomonosov Moscow State University

M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russian: Моско́вский госуда́рственный университе́т и́мени М.В.Ломоно́сова, Moskóvskiy gosudárstvennyy universitét ímeni M. V. Lomonósova), for a time the Lomonosov University or MSU (Russian: университе́т Ломоно́сова, Universitét Lomonósova; Russian: МГУ, MGU), is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be the oldest university in Russia and the tallest educational building in the world. As of 2004, the university has some 4,000 staff teaching 31,000 students and 7,000 postgraduates. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy. In 1940, the university was renamed in honor of its founder, Mikhail Lomonosov.


The establishment of the university was instigated by Ivan Shuvalov and Mikhail Lomonosov, and the decree ordering its creation was issued by Russian Empress Elizabeth on January 25 (January 12 old style), 1755. The first lectures were held on April 26. January 25 is still celebrated as Students' Day in Russia.

It is disputed whether Moscow State University or St. Petersburg State University is actually the oldest higher education institution in Russia. While the former was established in 1755, the latter, which has been in continuous operation under the moniker "university" since 1819, claims to be the successor of the university established on January 24 1724 by a decree of Peter the Great together with the Academic Gymnasium and Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

Originally located in the Principal Medicine Store on Red Square, the university was transferred by Catherine the Great to the present Neoclassical building on the other side of Mokhovaya Street. The main building was constructed between 1782 and 1793 in the Neo-Palladian style, designed by Matvei Kazakov, and rebuilt after the Fire of Moscow (1812) by Domenico Giliardi.

In the 18th century, the university had three faculties: philosophy, medicine, and law. A college for future students was affiliated with the university before being abolished in 1812. In 1779, Mikhail Kheraskov founded a boarding school for noblemen (Благородный пансион), which was transformed into a gymnasium for the Russian nobility in 1830. The university press, run by Nikolay Novikov in the 1780s, published the most popular newspaper in Imperial Russia — Moskovskie Vedomosti.

In 1804, medical education was split into Clinical (therapy), Surgical, and Obstetrics faculties. In 1884-1897, the Department of Medicine, supported by private donations, City Hall, and the national government, built an extensive, 1.6 kilometer long, state-of-the-art medical campus in Devichye Pole, between the Garden Ring and Novodevichy Convent. It was designed by Konstantin Bykovsky, with University doctors like Nikolay Sklifosovskiy and Fyodor Erismann acting as consultants. The campus, and medical education in general, were separated from the University in 1918. Devichye Pole is now operated by the independent Moscow Medical Academy and various other state and private institutions.

In 1905, a social-democratic organization was created at the university calling for the tsar to be overthrown and for Russia to be turned into a republic. The Tsarist government repeatedly began closing the university. In 1911, in a protest over the introduction of troops onto the campus and mistreatment of certain professors, 130 scientists and professors resigned en masse, including prominent figures such as Nikolay Dimitrievich Zelinskiy, Pyotr Nikolaevich Lebedev, and Sergei Alekseevich Chaplygin. Thousands of students were also expelled.

After the October Revolution in 1917, the school began allowing the admission of children of the proletariat and peasants, not just those of the well-to-do. In 1919, tuition fees were abolished, and a preparatory facility was created for children of the working class so that they would be able to pass the admission examinations. The political repressions of the 1930s and 1950s severely limited the development of scientific ideas, as Soviet scientists had virtually no contacts with their colleagues abroad. Certain branches of science (e.g. genetics) were condemned for being based on anti-Communist ideologies, and a number of scientists and scholars were sentenced to life imprisonment.

World War II (known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War) was one of the most difficult periods in the history of Russia. University students and staff began to enlist in the army on the third day of fighting. One of the divisions formed out of University volunteers fought defending Moscow.

Many Moscow State University professors, students, and staff were evacuated during the war first to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, then to Sverdlovsk, returning to Moscow in 1943, after the German troops were defeated near the capital. During the war, over 3,000 specialists were trained at the University. University scientists continued their research, and their contributions to applied science allowed improvements in aircraft development, the accuracy of artillery fire, etc. Also, new explosives were invented, a study of uranium was carried out, a blood coagulant was introduced into medical practice, University geologists discovered tungsten and new oil deposits in Central Asia, and University geographers supplied the Red Army with maps and charts. University lawyers made their contribution during the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials.

During the post-war period, the leading role of Moscow State University in the restoration and further development of the country was fully recognized. There was a fivefold increase in state funding, and a new University campus was built on Vorobievy Gory (Sparrow Hills), where all the lecture halls and laboratories had the most modern equipment available at the time.

After 1991, nine new faculties were established. In 1992, the university was granted a unique status: it is funded directly from the state budget (bypassing the ministry of education), which provides a significant level of independence.

On September 6, 1997, the entire front of the university was used as the backdrop for a concert by French electronic musician Jean Michel Jarre, who had been specially invited to perform there by the mayor of the city. The entire front of the building was used as a giant projection screen, while fireworks, lasers, and searchlights were all launched from various points around the building. The stage was directly in front of the building, and the concert, titled "The Road To The 21st Century" in Russia, but renamed "Oxygen In Moscow" for worldwide video/DVD release, attracted a world record crowd of 3.5 million people.

On March 19, 2008, Russia's most powerful supercomputer to date, the SKIF MSU (Russian: СКИФ МГУ; skif is Russian for "scythian") was launched at the university. Its peak performance is 60 TFLOPS and LINPACK is 47.170 TFLOPS, making it the fastest supercomputer in the CIS.

Academics and Faculties

As of 2008, the university has 30 faculties and 15 research centers:
Faculty of Global Studies
Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics
Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics
Faculty of Physics
Faculty of Chemistry
Faculty of Biology
Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics
Faculty of Soil Science
Faculty of Geology
Faculty of Geography
Faculty of Materials Science
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of History
Faculty of Philology
Faculty of Philosophy
Faculty of Economics
Higher School of Business Administration
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Journalism
Faculty of Psychology
The Institute of Asian and African countries
Faculty of Sociology
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies
Faculty of Public Administration
Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts
Faculty of World Politics
Faculty of Education
Faculty of Further Education
Moscow School of Economics
Faculty of Military Training

Lomonosov Moscow State University Ranked 183rd in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

Lomonosov Moscow State University Ranked 155th in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

Lomonosov Moscow State University Ranked 93rd in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

Lomonosov Moscow State University Ranked 112th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking


Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (Marathi/Hindi: भारतीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान, मुंबई), popularly known as IIT Bombay or IITB, is an autonomous university located in Powai, in north central Mumbai (formerly Bombay). It is the second-oldest campus of the Indian Institutes of Technology system and the largest National Institute in the state of Maharashtra. IIT Bombay has emerged as the most favoured destination for students amongst the 15 IITs with 54, 50, 46 and 52 students in the top 100 at the IIT-JEE opting for IIT Bombay in the years 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 respectively. Its record placement figures and location within the country's financial & entertainment capital are factors leading to this.


IIT Bombay was the second IIT to be established in 1958 with assistance from UNESCO and with funds contributed by the Soviet Union. UNESCO agreed to provide equipment and technical experts mainly from the Soviet Union, while the Government of India accepted the responsibility for all other expenses including the cost of the building project and recurring expenses.

The site chosen for the institute was Powai, eighteen miles (29 km) from the city of Bombay (Mumbai), with an area of 550 acres (2.2 km2) which was given by the then Bombay State Government. While construction was being completed, the first academic session of the Institute opened on July 25, 1958, in its temporary home at the Synthetic and Art Silk Mills Research Association (SASMIRA) building in Worli (Bombay) with 100 students. These students were selected from over 3,400 applicants for admission to the first year undergraduate programmes in Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering. One of the main objectives of establishing the Institute was to develop facilities for studies in a variety of specialised engineering and technological sciences. The need for establishing adequate facilities for postgraduate studies and research was kept uppermost in mind in the founding years.

While the Institute was functioning provisionally at Worli, an effort was made to expedite the progress of the building project at its permanent location. When Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone of the Institute at Powai on March 10, 1959, water and electric supply lines were just being laid and one approach road to the site was under construction.

Today, nearly fifty years later, IIT Bombay continues to contribute significantly to the advancement of science and technology in India in a number of ways. It has produced world class engineers and scientists, and alumni of IIT Bombay are achieving success in various capacities as entrepreneurs, managers, technocrats, consultants and advisers, and as faculty members and researchers, in India and abroad.It is frequently rated as one of the best technical institutes in the world.


IIT Bombay has 14 departments, 10 multi-disciplinary centres, and 3 schools of excellence. The academic departments in IIT Bombay include the following:
Aerospace Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Science & Engineering
Earth Sciences
Electrical Engineering
Energy Science and Engineering
Humanities & Social Science
Industrial Design Centre
Mechanical Engineering
Metallurgical Engineering & Materials Science

The following multi-disciplinary centres are located in IIT Bombay:
Advance Center for Research in Electronics (ACRE)
Computer Aided Design Center (CAD)
Centre for Research in NanoTechnology and Sciences (CRNTS)
Centre for Aerospace Systems Design and Engineering (CASDE)
Centre for Research in Entrepreneurship (CARE)
Centre for Distant Engineering Education Programme (cDEEP)
Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE)
Centre for Studies in Resources Engineering (CSRE)]
Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA)
Centre for Formal Design and Verification of Software (CFDVS)
Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre (RSIC)

The three schools of excellence in IIT Bombay are:
School of Biosciences and Bioengineering (Bioschool)]
Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology (KReSIT)
Shailesh J Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM)

In addition to above, IIT Bombay also offers inter-disciplinary programs in six fields that include:
Biomedical Engineering
Corrosion Science & Engineering
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR)
Reliability Engineering
Systems and Control Engineering (SysCon)

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay ranked 174 in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay ranked 163 in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay ranked 187 in the 2010 QS World University Ranking


Universität Frankfurt am Main

The Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (also known as Frankfurt University; since June 1, 2008 presented as Goethe University Frankfurt am Main) was founded in 1914 as a Citizens' University, which means that while it was a State university of Prussia, it had been founded and financed by the wealthy and active liberal citizenry of Frankfurt am Main, a unique feature in German university history. It was named in 1932 after one of the most famous natives of Frankfurt, poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Today, the university has 31,228 students.


university was founded in 1914 through private funding. Thus, the university owes its establishment to the link – which is characteristic for the city of Frankfurt – between dynamic research, the legacy of the Enlightenment, and the conscious commitment of the citizens of Frankfurt to the fundamentals of international trade and industry.

As one of the major institutions of higher education in Germany, the university is committed to providing a wide spectrum of disciplines in research and teaching, to generating outstanding achievements, and to breaking new ground through the targeted utilization of the advantages and synergies of interdisciplinary work in research and teaching. In competition with the best national and international universities, Frankfurt University aims to fulfill its training and educational mandates through performance and open-mindedness. The university supports the practical application of knowledge based upon solid fundamental research.

The University of Frankfurt has at times been considered liberal, or left-leaning, and has had a reputation for Jewish and Marxist scholarship (or even Jewish-Marxist). Thus, during Nazi times, "almost one third of its academics and many of its students were dismissed for racial and/or political reasons—more than at any other German university." (University homepage) It also played a major part of the German student riots of 1968.

The University of Frankfurt is historically best known for the Institute for Social Research (founded 1924), institutional home of the Frankfurt School, one of the most important 20th century schools of philosophy and social thought at all. Some of the most famous University of Frankfurt scholars are associated with this school, including Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Jürgen Habermas, as well as Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and Walter Benjamin. Others include the sociologist Karl Mannheim, the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, the philosophers of religion Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Paul Tillich, the psychologist Max Wertheimer, and the sociologist Norbert Elias.

In recent years the University turned its attention especially to law, history and economics, creating new institutes like the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) and the Center of Financial Studies (CFS). One of the university's ambitions is to become Germany's leading university for finance and economics, given the school's proximity to one of Europe's financial centers. Therefore Frankfurt University’s Goethe Business School developed a new M.B.A. program in cooperation with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and has established an international award for research in financial economics, the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics.

Academic Faculties

01 Law
02 Economics and Business Administration
03 Social Sciences
04 Educational Sciences
05 Psychology and Sports Sciences
06 Protestant Theology
07 Roman Catholic Theology
08 Philosophy and History
09 Linguistics, Cultural and Civilization Studies, Art Studies
10 Modern Languages
11Geosciences and Geography
12 Computer Science and Mathematics
13 Physics
14 Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacy
15 Biological Sciences
16 Medical Science

Universität FRANKFURT am Main ranked:

169th in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

195th in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

182th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking

Chulalongkorn University

Chulalongkorn University (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย) is the oldest university in Thailand and has long been considered the country's most prestigious university. It now has eighteen faculties and a number of schools and institutes. Regarded as the best and most selective university of Thailand, it normally attracts top students around the country. It is named after King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), and was established by his son and successor King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) in 1917 by combining the Royal Pages School and the College of Medicine.

Its campus occupies a vast area in downtown Bangkok, just next to the popular teenagers hangout Siam Square and a few steps away from the most prestigious and private sports club, The Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The symbol of the University is the Phra Kiao, a royal insignia. Diplomas were traditionally handed out at graduation by the King of Thailand, created and begun by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII). But at present, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) delegates the role to one of his daughters, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

During the years 1973-1977 Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was a student at the University, becoming the first member of the Thai Royal Family to graduate from a Thai university. Prior to that, Thai royals had always studied abroad.


A Brief History of Chulalongkorn University Chulalongkorn University, Thailand's first institution of higher learning, officially came into being in March, 1917. The groundwork and preparation for it in terms of planning and development, however, took place more than a century ago. The worldwide economic, social and political changes in the late nineteenth century contributed to Siam's decision to adapt herself in order to avoid being colonized by the Western powers (“Siam” became “Thailand” in the year 1939). Thus King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) has royal policy to strengthen and improve government so that the country could successfully resist the tide of colonialism. One of the major parts of the policy, which would later prove to be deep-rooted and highly effective, was to improve the Siamese educational system so as to produce capable personnel to work in both the public and private sectors. As a result, a school was founded in 1871 at the Royal Pages Barrack within the Grand Palace compound.

Later on, in 1882, King Chulalongkorn developed this school and gave it the name of "Suankularb". In the same year, the King also established other schools, namely the Army Cadet School, the Cartographic School, the School for Princes, and the School for Dhamma Studies.

In 1899 Prince Damrong Rajanupab, a younger brother of King Chulalongkorn who was the Minister of Interior at the time, submitted a proposal to found the Civil Service Training School with Phraya Wisutsuriyasak (M.R.Pia Malakul -- who later assumed the title of Chao Phraya Phrasadej Surendradhibodi) as the principal. However, since the students of the school had to work as royal page trainees in their third year of study before graduation, the name of the school was changed to the Royal Pages School in 1902. The Royal Pages School progressed steadily and produced an increasing number of graduates for the government each year. However, King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) saw that the original intention of his father, King Chulalongkorn, was to establish an institution of higher learning. In the beginning, the course of study was focused on government, but as time passed the curriculum should be expanded to include more disciplines so as to meet the expanding needs of the kingdom. Such disciplines included law, international relations, commerce, agriculture, engineering, medicine and teacher education. Thus King Vajiravudh ordered that the Royal Pages School become an institution of higher education and gave it the name the "Civil Service College of King Chulalongkorn" on January 1, 1911.

The Civil Service College received its original funding from the remaining sum of the money which had been contributed by members of the royal family, government officials and ordinary citizens to erect a statue of King Chulalongkorn the Great. After the statue was completed, about eight hundred thousand baht remained in the Royal Treasury Ministry;with interest the sum totalled 982,672 baht . King Vajiravudh gave this sum as the original capital of the college. Furthermore, he graciously donated the palace of his brother, the late Crown Prince Vajirunhis, as the site of the college. He also gave a large plot of land adjacent to the palace in the Patumwan district measuring about 523 acres in area, for its present use and future expansion. Later the Administration Building was constructed as the first building which belonged to the college from the beginning.

After the Civil Service College had been in operation for some time, King Vajiravudh considered that it had achieved a level of readiness. Therefore,he declared that it should become Chulalongkorn University, in honour of King Chulalongkorn,on March 26, 1917. The newly founded university was under the supervision of University Affairs Department, Ministry of Education. Phraya Anukijwithoon was the first principal (the title was changed to Rector in 1935). There was a University Council, which was responsible for policy making, planning, and advising on the affairs of the university. Prince Damrong Rajanupab was the Chairman of the Council and the Principal of the university was the Secretary.

When it was first founded, the university had 380 students taking classes in four faculties which were located in 2 campuses. The Faculty of Medicine was located at Siriraj Hospital, while the Faculties of Public Administration and of Engineering were at the Administration Building and the Faculty of Arts and Science was located at Prince Vajirunhis' palace. The latter three faculties were in Patumwan district. The Law School was under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice until the university was ready to take over, and the Teachers' Training School was handed over to the Ministry of Education. The categories of students were the same as in the old Civil Service College.

In 1923, the university accepted high school graduates to study in the Faculty of Medicine, which was being supported by the Rockefeller Foundation to organize a Bachelor's Degree program. Five years later the first group of 18 graduates finished their studies, the first to be awarded degrees in the kingdom.

In 1929, the Faculty of Public Administration became the Faculty of Law and Political Science. In 1933, after the establishment of constitutional monarchy in 1932, the government transferred this faculty to Thammasat University, which was established in 1934. The result was that Chulalongkorn University had only three faculties during that time.

The development of Chulalongkorn University continued. From 1934 to 1958, the university emphasized improvement of undergraduate education; thus more faculties were established. In 1961 the university set up the Graduate School to be responsible for graduate level education. From 1962 on, the university started to focus on graduate education and began to set up research centers and institutes.


Chulalongkorn University consists of 20 faculties and schools:

Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
Faculty of Architecture
Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy
Faculty of Communication Arts
Faculty of Dentistry
Faculty of Economics
Faculty of Education
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Nursing
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Faculty of Political Science
Faculty of Psychology
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Veterinary Science
Graduate School
School of Sport Sciences

Chulalongkorn University ranked:

166th in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

138th in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

180th in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

171th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking


University of Lausanne

The University of Lausanne (in French: Université de Lausanne) or UNIL in Lausanne, Switzerland was founded in 1537 as a school of theology, before being made a university in 1890. Today about 10,000 students and 2200 researchers study and work at the university. Approximately 1500 international students attend the university, which has a wide curriculum including exchange programs with several American universities.

Before 2005, the University applied the French education model with some minor differences. The academic degrees were the Demi-Licence, Licence, DEA / DESS, Doctorate. The University now follows the requirements of the Bologna process.

Together with the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) the university forms a vast campus at the shores of Lake Geneva.


The Academy, forerunner of the UNIL, was founded in 1537. Its vocation at that time was to train ministers for the church. The university enjoyed a certain renown due to the fact that it was the only French language Protestant school of theology.

As the centuries passed, the number of faculties increased and diversified until, in 1890, the Academy received the name and status of a university. From 1970, the university moved progressively from the old centre of Lausanne, around the Cathedral and Château, to its present site at Dorigny. The end of the 20th century witnessed the beginnings of an ambitious project aiming at greater co-operation and development among the French-speaking universities of Lausanne, Geneva, and Neuchâtel, together with the EPFL. In 2003 two new faculties were founded concentrating on the life and human sciences: the Faculty of biology and medicine; and the Faculty of earth science and environment.

Schools and Faculties

The University of Lausanne comprises 7 faculties:
Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Biology and Medicine (FBM)
Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC), also called HEC Lausanne
Faculty of Geosciences and Environment (GSE)
Faculty of Law and Criminal Justice
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (SSP)
Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies

The University of Lausanne also comprises schools and different sections:
School of Criminal Justice (ESC)
School of French as a Foreign Language (EFLE)
Vacation Courses (CVAC)
Section of Pharmacy

University of Lausanne ranked 161st in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Lausanne ranked 168th in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Lausanne ranked 152nd in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

University of Lausanne ranked 136th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The Vrije Universiteit (literal translation: "Free University") is a university in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Dutch name is often abbreviated as VU. The board of trustees is the Vereniging VU-Windesheim, which also manages the Christelijke Hogeschool Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle and VUmc, which is the university's Medical Center. The university is run by an executive board ("College van Bestuur" in Dutch) which makes decisions in consultation with the Board of Deans ("College van Decanen" in Dutch). The university is located on a compact urban campus in the southern part of Amsterdam in the Buitenveldert district.

The university should not be confused with the University of Amsterdam, which is a different university, located all over the city.

The VU University Amsterdam has about 18,000 students, most of which are full-time students. The number of faculty members and researchers is 2200 (of whom 300 are full professors). The teaching and research activities are supported by 1600 administrative, clerical, technical, and other employees. The university's annual budget is around US$500 million, about two third of which comes from the Dutch government. Tuition, research grants, and industrial contracts provide the rest.


The VU was founded in 1880 by Abraham Kuyper as the first orthodox-Protestant (Calvinist) university in The Netherlands. Kuyper was a Dutch politician, journalist, and prime minister of The Netherlands from 1901 to 1905. He was a professor of theology at the VU as well as the first '‘rector magnificus’ (President of the University).

Vrije Universiteit literally means Free University (better: Liberated University) to signify freedom from both government and church. The education itself, however, is not free of cost. To overcome this association, recently a decision was made to use the term VU University instead of Free University whenever the English translation is needed.

As at all accredited universities in The Netherlands, students pay a (government determined) tuition, which is currently (2009) around €1600/year for students from the European Union and ranges from €7000 to €9000/year for students from elsewhere. Most Dutch students receive a grant or loan from the government to cover tuition and living expenses.

Although current students and faculty members are adherents of many religions, as a consequence of its Protestant heritage, the VU has always placed a special emphasis on the social and cultural context in which it operates. Many faculties offer courses teaching students about the historical, social, and cultural issues related to their discipline, with course names like "Social Aspects of Science". Topics such as the consequences of science for society, ethics, and related issues are discussed.


Centre for Educational Training, Assessment and Research
Dentistry / ACTA
Earth and Life Sciences
Economics and Business Administration
Human Movement Sciences
Psychology and Education
Social Sciences

The language of instruction for the bachelor's courses is Dutch. However, many of the master's programmes are given entirely in English in order to attract students from outside The Netherlands. In fact, in some master's programmes, international students outnumber the Dutch students by a large margin.

The Ph.D. programme is different from that in the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. Rather than applying to the university for admission in the winter, prospective students must find a (full) professor who has a position for a Ph.D. student, called an AiO (Assistant in Opleiding--Assistant in Training), and contact him or her directly. Most professors and faculties advertise their open positions on their Websites. AiOs are paid a salary and are considered university employees. They do not have to pay tuition.

VU Amsterdam ranked:

155th in the 2008 THES-QS World University ranking

165th in the 2009 THES-QS World University ranking

171st in the 2010 QS World University ranking

179th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking

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
William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.