Educational Vision

The Educational Vision specifies the basic principles for education at VU Amsterdam.

Personal, open and responsible

Since its foundation in 1880, VU Amsterdam has cherished its freedom and independence: a strong tradition in teaching and research that is free from the influence of church and state. The university promotes the free and open communication of ideas. Its original Protestant-Christian identity is expressed in the values that VU Amsterdam propagates in 2019. On this basis, a number of core values have taken root in the academic culture of VU Amsterdam, a culture that is personal, open and responsible. These three words serve as a guideline for the work and conduct of staff and students alike, and shine through in our teaching and research.

Responsible, critical and committed academics

VU Amsterdam’s mission answers the question of why we teach: to make the world a better place by educating students to become responsible, critical and committed academics who are keen to further their own personal and professional development. In its academic teaching, VU Amsterdam emphasizes not only the practice of science, but also the societal value and relevance of the questions posed in the world of scientific and academic endeavour. Scope and attention are devoted to considering what motivates teaching staff and students, and the kind of formative influence the academic world has on the members of the VU community. Students are encouraged to give account of their own values, beliefs, cultural identity, and their implicit and explicit assumptions. By doing so, students learn to relate to each other and to the increasingly complex and diverse society to which they belong.

At the heart of society

In the tradition of the university’s founders, there is still the recognition that teaching and academic research are not value-free. VU Amsterdam’s aim is to be at the very heart of society and make a genuine contribution to society through its activities. In addition, a focus on academic quality and the pursuit of rigorous academic research are important conditions for providing high-quality academic education.

Read the full Educational Vision