The University of Amsterdam is an internationally recognized public research university founded in 1632 by municipal authorities, located in Amsterdam, the beautiful city of the Netherlands. It was formerly named Athenaeum Illustre (1632–1877), Municipal University of Amsterdam (1877–1961) before it was made a national university by the federal government in 1961, giving its current name, the University of Amsterdam.
With over 350 years of experience, the university has seen over 30,000 students admitted across seven faculties every year. There are over 6,000 staff members who work in a diverse range of fields, ensuring students are provided with quality education.
The motto of the university is “Engaged, innovative, and determined.” The current rector magnificus of the university is Prof. Karen Maex, attaining this position in 2016.
The University of Amsterdam is a comprehensive research university with a pretty good reputation for teaching and research; it’s one of the best universities in the country and the world at large. From its inception till this moment, the university has seen six Nobel Laureates rise through its rank.
Notable alumni include Jacobus Henricus Van’t Hoff (Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner in 1901), Christiaan Eijkman (Nobel Prize in Medicine winner in 1929), Joop den Uyl (Former prime minister of the Netherlands), Alec Jeffreys (inventor of DNA fingerprinting), Menno ter Braak (writer), Jeff Wilbusch (actor), Michael W. King (Emmy award-winning producer), among many others.
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The University of Amsterdam is placed among the top 100 best universities according to several rankings. The university is seen as one of the most prestigious universities based on its reputation over the decades.
In both National and Global rankings, different publications have given their verdict. Below are some of the orders done by other publications;
- According to the QS World University Ranking in 2021, the University of Amsterdam is ranked 61st globally and 2nd in the Netherlands.
- According to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking in 2021, the University of Amsterdam is ranked 66th globally and 2nd in the Netherlands
- According to the U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), Global University Ranking in 2021, the University of Amsterdam is ranked 40th globally and 1st in the Netherlands.
The acceptance rate at the University of Amsterdam is quite fair, offering exceptional students admission every year if they meet their admission requirements. The university accepts over 30,000 students every year, out of which over 5000 are international students.
The University of Amsterdam is one of the most comfortable universities to get admission as an international student in the Netherlands compared to other universities with strict requirements. Though, the university is quite competitive due to its reputation and high standards.
The admission requirements at the University of Amsterdam vary depending on the program. There are two-degree programs offered in University – Bachelor’s and Masters’ programs.
Below are the admission requirements of each of the degree programs;
Application into the Bachelor’s programs in the university of Amsterdam requires that applicants should hold a Dutch VWO diploma, an HBO propedeuse, or a foreign diploma, which is equivalent to any of the outlined credentials.
For international applicants, their credentials should include mathematics and English. They are also required to submit proof of Dutch/English proficiency scores to prove their skills in the languages and upload relevant documents such as academic transcripts, personal statements, documents required for visa processes, and CVs. In some departments, interviews via skype might be needed.
The Masters’ program at the University of Amsterdam lasts for a period between one to two years, depending on the course of study. Application into the Masters’ programs at the University of Amsterdam requires that applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent degree from a well-recognized tertiary institution.
Another criterion is that applicants must sit for the GRE/GMAT exams before the application deadline. In some departments, the applicants might need work experience.
How To Apply As An International Student
As an international student who wants to study at the University of Amsterdam, here are the procedures to follow;
- Applicants are to check the deadlines of each course because they vary.
- Applicants are to assess their academic requirements to know if it matches the university’s needs.
- Applicants are to register at Studielink by submitting an enrolment application.
- Applicants are to activate their University of Amsterdam net ID via their mail.
- Applicants are to wait to receive a confirmation within eight weeks of submission.
- Once the application is responded to positively, applicants are to submit all relevant documents.
- Applicants should also submit their Dutch/English proficiency scores to test their skills in the languages.
- Applicants are advised to assess their visa and accommodation matters via the university website.
The University of Amsterdam runs on a two-semester session. The application deadline varies for each program; while some have closed, some are still open. The deadlines for each program have been fixed for 2021. Below are the deadlines;
- For the departments Business Administration and Liberal Arts & Sciences, the two programs’ application is currently closed; the deadline was on the 15th of January and 1st of February.
- For the departments of PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics), the application deadline is on the 1st of March.
For other programs, the university has given some conditions on their deadlines. They include;
- The final deadline for non-EU/EEA students possessing an international degree who needs a visa or accommodation through the University of Amsterdam is on the 1st of April.
- The final deadline for EU/EEA students possessing an international degree who require accommodation through the University of Amsterdam is on the 1st of April. The final deadline for those who do not need services from the University of Amsterdam is on the 1st of May.
Tuition Fees and Cost of Living
Students studying at the University of Amsterdam are required to pay an annual tuition fee during their programs. The tuition fees depend on the students’ nationality and degree program.
The tuition fees in the University of Amsterdam are in two categories; the statutory fee and the institutional fee.
The statutory tuition fee is usually applicable to eligible domestic students and international students from the EU/EEA (European countries). The institutional tuition fees are generally relevant to most international students from the EU/EEA (students from European countries). The institutional fees are always higher than the statutory prices because the Government offers the university money to subsidize the statutory costs.
For undergraduates, the statutory tuition fees are fixed between €1,847 and €4,560 per year depending on the program, while the institutional tuition fees are fixed between €8,300 and €22,770 per year, depending on the program
For postgraduates, the statutory tuition fees are fixed between €1,847 and €4,560 per year, depending on the program. In contrast, the institutional tuition fees are set between €10,400 and €25,080 per year, depending on the agenda.
This analysis is according to the University of Amsterdam 2021/2022 tuition fees analysis.
As a student, the cost of living in Amsterdam is quite expensive. Students are expected to spend between €900 and €1,500 every month on living expenses. Getting to campus via public transport can be quite expensive, commanding a fee of around €70 – 100 per month unless the student chooses to live outside Amsterdam.
Most university students get to campus by bicycle because it’s the cheapest and easiest way to travel in Amsterdam. The hostel rents are estimated to be between €300 and €850 monthly, depending on the room type.
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The University of Amsterdam consists of old and new buildings all over the environment. All campuses in the university are located in Amsterdam. The majority of its structure is located in the center of Amsterdam. Only a few faculties like Medicine, Dentistry, Business & Economics, and Science are located outside the city.
The University of Amsterdam is not a separate, isolated campus; students and residents in the city readily get along, assuring Amsterdam maintains close cultural and academic ties to the institution.
Here are the various campuses in the City of Amsterdam;
- City Center Campus: Located at the center of Amsterdam, the institution’s administration and most faculties are located on this campus
- Science Park Amsterdam Campus: Located on the east side of Amsterdam, it is where the Faculty of Science is located. This campus is a meeting place for scientists, entrepreneurs, and students working in natural sciences research, ICT, and Life Sciences.
- Amsterdam Roeterseiland Campus Campus: This campus is where the Faculties of Business and Economics, Social and Behavioural Sciences are located. It offers well-equipped facilities to students to enhance learning and research.
- Amsterdam Academic Centre for Dentistry: This is where the Faculty of Dentistry is situated. The University of Amsterdam shares with VU university, and it was formed in 1984 when both universities decided to combine their Dentistry schools.
- Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre: Located in the southeastern Bijlmermeer neighborhood, it is where the Faculty of Medicine and its teaching and research hospital is located; it was formed in 1983 when the University of Amsterdam combined with two hospitals, named Binnengasthuis and Wilhelmina Gasthuis hospital.
University Faculties and Departments
There are seven faculties at the University of Amsterdam, offering world-class programs to students across several departments. They include;
- Faculty of Humanities: This faculty is the largest among all humanities faculties in the Netherlands. There are about eight departments under this faculty, including history, Dutch studies, Media studies, European Studies and Religion, Archaeology and Classics, Language and Literature, Art and Cultural studies, and Philosophy.
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences: The departments under this faculty include Sociology, Political Science, Social Geography, Communication Science, Psychology, Planning, International Development Studies, and Educational sciences.
- Faculty of Economics and Business: This faculty consists of two departments including, the departments of Economics and Business.
- Faculty of Science: This faculty offers high-quality education and research in seven science departments, including mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, logic, astronomy, and computer science.
- Faculty of Law: This faculty is basically for law students. The faculty trains students in the following courses: Private law, International law, Labor Law, Environmental Law, and Information law.
- Faculty of Medicine: This faculty is basically for medical students. It offers study programs in almost every recognized medical field. It is one of the best medicine faculties globally. It has a medical center that provides treatment for patients, medical education, and academic medical research for medical students.
- Faculty of Dentistry: The faculty of Dentistry at the University of Amsterdam is merged with the one in VU university, called the Academic Center for Dentistry (ACTA). The faculty is one the best dentistry faculties globally, offering high-quality educational programs, scientific research, and ensuring patient care in dentistry.
Life on Campus
- Getting to Campus: There are several public transportation options in the city available for students, including buses, metro, trams, and ferries. Most students in the university of Amsterdam get to campus by bicycle.
- Clubs and societies: There are several student organizations that students can choose from at the University of Amsterdam. Some of them include ASVA Student Union, CRE cultural center, Agora student restaurant, to mention but a few. The ASVA student union is opened to all university students, ensuring that students’ satisfaction is guaranteed.
- Sports Activities: There are several sports activities students can engage themselves in at the University of Amsterdam. The university offers over 50 sports activities for its students and staff members, including soccer, tennis, ice skating, aerobics, swimming, dancing, golf, skiing, among many others.
- Housing: Students are offered accommodations through non-profit Housing Corporations that the University of Amsterdam does not own. They provide high-quality accommodations to students at an affordable rate. Permission is granted to students of the opposite sex to be roommates in the different types of rooms.
The University of Amsterdam offers a wide range of Scholarship opportunities for its students — both for undergraduates and postgraduates. Since the university aims to attract the world’s brightest students to its classrooms, excellent students from non-EU/EEA countries can apply for their scholarship programs. Below are some of the scholarship opportunities available in the university;
- Amsterdam Merit Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to excellent students who possess a non-EU/EEA passport and those that have applied for a degree program at the University of Amsterdam. The scholarship value varies depending on the faculty, and it’s between €2,000 – €25,000.
- Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship: This scholarship is exclusively awarded to talented and exceptional students from Non-EU/EEA countries to pursue their Master’s Programmes at the university. The value of the scholarship is estimated to be worth €25,000, covering both tuition and living expenses for an academic year, with the option of an extension.
In conclusion, the University of Amsterdam has proven to be one of the best international universities. Being among the top 100 best universities globally is worth comprehending. The University has continued to improve on its academic standards by enriching students with world-class education and research.