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Last updated on 22 September 2021

Welcome to VU Amsterdam! This VU Guide provides an overview of important, fun and useful information to help ensure you get a good start to your degree programme at VU Amsterdam.

Information per theme

  • All you need to know about courses and lectures

    Timetable

    Your personal timetable can be found on timetable.vu.nl.
    More information about your timetable can be found here.

    Registering for courses and exams

    You do this yourself using the registration module. In some cases, the education office in your faculty will take care of registration for you or you may not be able to register for groups yourself. You should therefore always consult the study guide. It is important to ensure that you register in good time , maar ook dat je je afmeldt als je toch niet meedoet. More information about registering and deadlines for registration

    Negative recommendation on the continuation of studies (BSA)
    In the first year of the Bachelor’s programme, you need to obtain a certain number of credits. This number varies per programme. You will find the precise details In the Academic and Examination Regulations (OER). If you fail to achieve the required number, you will not be permitted to continue the programme at VU Amsterdam and will not be able to register for the same programme for the next three years. More information

    Study guide
    In the study guide on the VU website, you will find detailed information about all of the programmes and courses at VU Amsterdam. You can find the study guide here.

    Canvas
    Canvas is the VU digital learning environment. In Canvas, you will find all of the courses for which you are registered. You can reach Canvas via your dashboard or use your VUnet ID to log in directly to canvas.vu.nl. You can also download the Canvas App onto your tablet or phone. 

    Dashboard
    You use your dashboard on VUweb to arrange everything to do with your studies. This includes registering for courses and exams and consulting your personal timetable and VU-mail. 

  • Student support and advice

    At VU Amsterdam, there are various types of study support for you as a student, depending on your questions. 

    Study related and practical questions
    For questions related to your studies, you can contact the academic advisor of your study program or faculty. You can also contact the central student desk with practical questions.

    Questions around your studies

    You are welcome to make an appointment in case of questions about study delay, disability support, quitting a study, disagreements about grades, conflicts with staff members, financial issues related to your study, emergency housing problems etc. Find out more about the student counsellors

    Personal or psychological problems

    If you encounter any problems that impact on your academic work and your enjoyment of university life such as motivation problems, procrastination, fear of failure, planning difficulties etcetera, the student psychological counsellors for students provide short-term counseling. They can also give you advice about other mental issues. More information

    Disability, dyslexia, illness
    If you are studying with a disability, dyslexia or a (chronic) illness, you can arrange facilities and contact your academic advisor for advice. Extra support and guidance is possible for students with ASD. More information

    Peer support

    Students-4-Students@VU helps to connect you with a study partner - a fellow student who can support you if you are finding it hard to settle in at VU Amsterdam or if you need advice from someone with a little more experience. More information

    Safety and inappropriate conduct: confidential counsellors for students

    Sexual harassment and other forms of undesirable conduct (violence, intimidation, aggression, bullying) will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Incidents are rare but not entirely unknown. VU Amsterdam therefore applies an active policy to counter all forms of undesirable conduct. The Executive Board is keen to ensure that VU Amsterdam offers a safe and pleasant environment for all staff and students. Special 'confidential counsellors' have been appointed.

    We strongly encourage you talk about it with someone of VU Amsterdam, strictly confidential if you want to, to help you to deal with it and discuss possibilities to end the situation. You can reach out to us to share your experiences.

    Confidential counsellors for students:
    Mariken Blom  020 5985027 and Fatiema Khadje 020 5982094.
    vertrouwenspersonen-studenten@vu.nl, or m.blom@vu.nl or f.khadje@vu.nl.

    LGBTQ+ and cultural/religious related incidents: Diversity Officer Campus & Community Wim Haan, divers@vu.nl.

    Do you think you have been treated unfairly (for instance because of a procedure has gone wrong)  you can talk about in a confidential way with the Ombudsman Lies Poesiat studentenombudsman@vu.nl, tel. 06 27625636

    Do you feel unsafe in any way, or are you aware of undesirable conduct or someone you can always contact the Safety and Security Centre  or make a report at the Reporting and Advise Centre of VU Amsterdam. Emergency is always: +31 (0)20 598 2222.

    There is also a formal complaints procedure and an independent investigating committee. The confidential counsellors will explain this possibility.

  • Facilities on campus

    As a VU student, it is useful to know where you can find coffee in the morning, borrow books or study in peace and quiet. An overview of useful facilities on VU Campus can be found below.

    University Library (UB)

    The UB is the VU Amsterdam academic library which gives you access to a large amount of scientific information, like books, digital magazines and databases to VU Amsterdam theses and publications, early editions and manuscripts. We also help you find your way through all that information: through our online Libguides and free workshops on literature and data searching. And of course you are welcome to study in our study rooms and we are happy to help you with all your questions. As a VU student you can borrow for free and have permanent access to the digital collections. More information.

    Find a place to study using Studyspot
    If you are looking for somewhere to study in peace and quiet, check out https://vu-amsterdam.im-motion.net/ for an up-to-date overview of available study places. 

    UCIT-Service Desk
    The IT Service Desk is the point of contact for all your questions and problems concerning the use of IT services at VU Amsterdam. The Service Desk can be contacted by e-mail via servicedesk.it@vu.nl, by phone on +31 (0)20 59 80000 and in the following places:

    • Main building: 0A-11
    • W&N building: M0-20

    Wireless network
    As a student, you can use the VU wireless network. You can find more information on how to arrange this and about other IT facilities at VU Amsterdam on the askIT page

    Quiet room
    If you need somewhere to meditate or simply to enjoy some peace and quiet, you can use room in the main building. View the rules of use

    Prayer room
    In the main building an Islamic prayer room has been set up. View the rules of use.

    Food and drink on campus
    Every VU building has its own restaurant or coffee corner. On the campus, you will also find a Doppio Espresso, Grand Café The Basket and SPAR. More information.

    Academic bookstore
    The VU Boekhandel is an independent academic bookstore based in the main building. It also sells textbooks. More information.

    Surfspot
    At the webshop SURFspot.nl, you can buy software at a discount for use at home. This includes Microsoft software, multimedia software and mathematics and statistics software (SPSS). Please note: VU students can download basic and optional software packages for Windows and Mac OSX free of charge via the webpage. Windows basic and optional software packages are available at download.vu.nl. Software packages for macOS can be downloaded from the VU Software Center. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Servicedesk.

  • More than just study?

    Would like to do more than simply studying during your time at university? Below, you can find out how to enrich your study programme. Options include standing for a council or committee or joining an association.

    Student societies

    You can become a member of a study association that belongs to a faculty or study programme, or of a general study association, where you also meet students from other faculties.

    Consultation and representation

    The VU consultation bodies represent students’ interests.

    • The University Student Council (USR) concerns itself with the quality and accessibility of education and student policy at VU Amsterdam. It consults regularly with the Executive Board.
    • The Faculty Student Council (FSR) is the faculty’s official consultative body and can exercise an influence on faculty policy and education.
    • Programme Committee (OLC): Every programme has its own Programme Committee, made up of students and lecturers. Together, they evaluate various courses and suggest improvements for the years ahead. 
    • The student assessor represents the interests of students. He or she observes the Faculty Board, keeping a close eye on its decision-making in order to present the students’ point of view when it matters. This concern such issues as teaching and faculty facilities, as well as finance, research and strategic decisions that can affect students.

    More information

    Honours programme

    The VU Honours programme offers talented and motivated Bachelor’s students an opportunity to broaden their horizons and study more intensively. As an Honours student, you will take additional courses in the second and third year of your Bachelor’s programme. In some faculties, you can even start it in the first year. In order to qualify, you must achieve an average of 7.5 in all your first-year courses. More information.

  • Sport & Culture

    VU Sports Centre

    The VU Sports Centre is based at three locations where you can engage in a range of different sports. As a VU student, you qualify for a significant discount. More information.

    Griffioen Cultural Centre

    The Griffioen is the VU cultural centre where you can view theatre performances, attend fun courses and watch movies. More information.

    Rialto

    Rialto VU is a brand new theater, located in the New University Building on the campus. More information.

  • Stay up-to-date at all times

    There are various channels for finding information and news about issues relating to your study and the university as a whole.

    VUnetID

    Your VUnetID is a digital identity (username and password combination) that gives you access to a range of IT services and systems, including your e-mail box and your dashboard. All students are issued with a VUnetID. Are you looking for a part-time job at VU Amsterdam or on VU campus? You will find VU Student jobs on your dashboard. 

    How does it work?

    Your VUnetID gives you access to a variety of digital services. Even if you are doing various programmes, you will only be issued with a single VUnetID. Your VUnetID is unique and will remain active throughout your studies. Change your password and make sure you memorize it. More information

    vu.nl

    VU.nl keeps you updated on what’s happening at the university and in your faculty or programme. You use your dashboard to arrange everything to do with your studies. 

    VU-Mail

    Every student is issued with a VU e-mail address and e-mail box, including an address book with all VU e-mail addresses in it. You can access your e-mail box from your VU digital account using MS Outlook and webmail and you can synchronize your VU-mail with your smartphone, tablet or PC.

    All e-mails you receive from VU Amsterdam will arrive at your VU e-mail address.

    Follow VU Amsterdam:

    Instagram

    Twitter

    Facebook

    YouTube

    Ad Valvas

    Ad Valvas is VU Amsterdam’s independent journalism platform that distributes a free magazine on VU campus. Their website always features the latest news. Take a look at www.advalvas.vu.nl.

    VU Events

    Every year, numerous different events are organized at and by VU Amsterdam, including the Opening of the Academic Year (OAJ) and the VU New Year's Gala. You can find details of all events announced in your news messages on your dashboard and on various places at VU.nl.

    Opening hours and map

    Did you know that the opening hours of the VU buildings vary and that only one building is open on Saturday and Sunday? You’ll find more details about opening hours here.

    Campus development

    Would you like to be kept informed about campus developments? If so, take a look here.

Contact

Do you have any questions? Please contact the Student Desk.

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00)

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on VU.nl, please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl

Are you currently a VU student? Ask your question via the question form (log in with your VUnetID)