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International rankings

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a strong profile based on its academic and societal impact. In prominent international rankings, we are among the world's top universities.

The Impact Ranking of Times Higher Education (THE) relates specifically to our aspirations as a university, as described in the Strategy 2020-2025. This is especially the case when it comes to our priority area ‘sustainable’ and our profile theme Science for Sustainability. This THE Impact Ranking puts VU Amsterdam in the top 200 worldwide. Unlike the more traditional rankings, which are based largely on research output, the THE Impact Ranking is about the contribution universities make toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations in the areas of policy, education and research.

VU Amsterdam considers the CWTS Leiden Ranking, specifically the top 10 per cent most frequently cited scientific publications (PP top 10%), as the most important indicator of its international position. The same applies to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU/Shanghai Ranking). These two rankings place a high value on objective and quantitative indicators of the quality of research conducted at universities, such as research output, publications and citations. In the 2021 CWTS Leiden Ranking, VU Amsterdam is listed as 79th in the world, 24th in Europe and 4th in the Netherlands. In the Shanghai Ranking, VU Amsterdam is consistently ranked among the top 150 universities worldwide.

This visualisation shows VU Amsterdam’s position in the most prominent international rankings—click on the logos to see our position over the years in the CWTS Leiden Ranking, Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU/Shanghai Ranking), Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings and the QS World University Rankings.

About international rankings
International rankings assess the international visibility of universities on the basis of data regarding research, teaching, academic staff and funding. These rankings give an impression of the quality of education and research at the university, and are primarily aimed at international students and researchers. Each of the rankings uses different indicators and methods to measure the performance of universities worldwide. Dutch universities as a whole are well represented in international rankings and are among the best in the world.

Our position in the international rankings