Strategy 2020-2025

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has an ambitious strategy for the coming years: VU Strategy 2020-2025. It focuses on three priority areas: sustainable, enterprising and diverse. These give direction to our actions and to the content of our core tasks of education, research, knowledge transfer and operational management.

Within our core tasks, we have formulated nine aspirations that we are concentrating on throughout the duration of this strategy.

The strategy also outlines four substantive profile themes—Human Health and Life Sciences, Connected World, Governance for Society and Science for Sustainability. These themes reflect our substantive focus and connect us with the world around us.

For the implementation of the strategy, a project organization has been set up in which project leaders and numerous employees work together to achieve our strategic objectives. Curious about how this works out? On this page you will find more information on our working method and deliverables so far.

See the infographic for an explanation of the strategy and the relationship between priority areas, aspirations and profile themes.

The project organization consists of various teams:

Core teams
A core team has been formed for each of the three priority areas and nine strategic aspirations. The core teams are responsible for translating the objectives of our strategy into concrete actions and projects, as well as for ensuring their implementation.

Working groups
Each core team will form one or more working groups which will work out the finer details regarding the actions and projects and their implementation.

Project leaders
The core teams are supported by a project leader. These VU employees have been given a substantial amount of time to manage the implementation process of their priority area or strategic aspiration and are the connecting link to the line organization. See the table below for an overview of project leaders:

Priority area/aspirationProject leader
Enterprising /Impact through E&RErik Boer
SustainableIvar Maas
DiverseRuard Ganzevoort
Nathalie Janssen
Future-proof forms of educationErna Klein Ikkink
Life Long DevelopmentBrendy Boogaard
Profile themes and Focus & PositioningPeter Beek
Academic reputationRichard de Waard
DigitalizationCécile Willems
Social campusStefan Titus
Recognize and RewardMarjolein Vloothuis
Effective and agileBart van Leijen
Nynke Rodenhuis

A strategy team has been set up to provide overall coordination and support for the implementation of the strategy. This team consists of (on a part-time basis):

Programme director: Bart van Leijen   
Policy: Nynke Rodenhuis  
Organization & Financing: Tim Mensink   
Policy: Ellen Koudijs – Siebel 
Communication: Bart Leeuwenburgh 
Communication: Omayra Mac Donald        
Secretariat: Merijn Sligting

We are using a specific method for the implementation of the strategy: the DOT (Do One Thing) method. The core of this method is that intensive work is consistently carried out within periods of five months on a limited number of projects (DOTs) and that these are brought to a concrete end result. This method helps us to prioritize and concretize. At the end of every five-month period, we organize a strategic conference in which we look back on the results and formulate roadmaps with new priorities for the coming period.
The most important results of the first year of implementation are listed in The VU Strategy Times. If you want to know what we will be working on in the coming period, take a look at the roadmaps of the priority areas and aspirations under the heading ‘Roadmaps 2021’.

Take a look at the overview of roadmaps and websites related to the various priority areas and aspirations:

Enterprising /Impact through E&R
Roadmap (in Dutch)
Roadmap (in Dutch)
Future-proof forms of education
Roadmap (In Dutch)
Lifelong Development
Roadmap (in Dutch)
Profile themes and Focus & Position
Roadmap (in Dutch)
Academic reputation 
Roadmap (in Dutch)
This aspiration does not have a roadmap or website available. 
Specific time schedule related questions can be addressed via
the projectleader:
Social campus
Roadmap (in Dutch)
Recognize and reward
Roadmap (in Dutch)
Effective and agile
This aspiration does not have a roadmap or website available.
Specific time schedule related questions can be addressed via
the projectleader(s):

If you would like to know more about VU Amsterdam's strategy, please send an email to Please also contact us if you have ideas for relevant initiatives or would like to put your own expertise and enthusiasm to use in contributing to the further implementation of the strategy. The office of the strategy team can be found on the VU campus on the ground floor of the W&N building, room G0-76.