Reputation and ranking

The high quality of research and education at VU Amsterdam can be demonstrated by its excellent performance in international rankings. Unlike many other countries, the Netherlands does not have a ranking system for universities. However, a range of studies have shown VU Amsterdam to be one of the best universities in the country. The Netherlands has a binary system of Higher Education with 13 research universities, including VU Amsterdam, and 40 universities of applied sciences. The Dutch research universities are all of high academic quality, and consistently ranked among the first 250 universities in international rankings. Only the US and UK feature more research universities in the top 200. In no other system except for Switzerland, the proportion of all research universities in the top 250 is this high.

The best known international rankings are the Times Higher Education World University Ranking and the Shanghai Ranking. These rankings give an impression of the quality of research and education by assigning scores to institutions worldwide. Each ranking uses a different set of indicators. As a result, the position of a particular university may vary depending on the ranking’s methodology.

In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019 (ARWU, Shanghai Ranking), which focuses on research excellence, VU Amsterdam currently holds the 103rd position worldwide. Furthermore, VU Amsterdam has been ranked #24 in the Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Ranking 2019, and is therefore among the top 30 of best European universities for teaching excellence. The recent rank covers a positive development and is specifically testament to the positive (survey) responses and opinions of students themselves about the teaching environment of the university.

We are among the top 150 universities in the World university ranking of Times Higher Education: this ranking places our university at spot 138. This global performance ranking judges research-intensive universities across their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. Additionally the QS Ranking (Quacquarelli Symonds) of 2020 places VU Amsterdam 219th in the world, 12 spots higher than the year before. In this specific ranking, academic reputation shows to be the strongest indicator of VU Amsterdam. The recent ranking covers a positive development of increasing scores, and specifically testifies to increasing scores in international ratios (staff/student ratios) and academic reputation.

VU ranking in leading rankings

VU ranking in:
Leiden - Top 750
Impact PP top 10%
ARWU - Top 500
Shanghai Ranking
THES - Top 800
QS - Top 900
2012
90
101-150 (125)
140
177
2013
83
101-150 (125)
144
181
2014
64
101 - 150 (100)
136
171
2015
70
98
154
176
2016
80
101-150 (104)
156
199
2017
80
101-150 (104)
165
218
2018
96
101-150 (104)
166
231
2019
85
101-150 (103)
138
219

VU positioning in transition within new initiatives focused on education and impact (development since 2018)

VU Ranking in Times Higher Education Ranking. 1. World-, 2. Teaching- and 3. Impact Ranking
World University Ranking (since 2004)
Europe Teaching Ranking (since 2018)
Impact Ranking, based on data regarding the 17 SDG's (since 2018)
2017
165


2018
166


2019
138
24
16