The UvA traces its roots back to 1632, when the Amsterdam city council founded the Athenaeum Illustre to train students in trade and philosophy

1. Rankings

The UvA scores highly in various world university rankings (Times Higher Education, Shanghai; Centre of Higher Education Development, Leiden). It is ranked among the top 15 universities in Europe and the top 60 worldwide in the QS and THE rankings.

2. Range of study programmes

The UvA offers 15 English-taught Bachelor's programmes and has one of the largest selections of international Master's study programmes of any university in Europe. This includes nearly 200 taught in English and several entirely unique to the UvA.

3. Depth of study programmes

Students benefit from excellent academic career paths, with multiple options to pursue a study within or across disciplines, from the Bachelor's up to the PhD level and beyond. Teaching and research are closely linked in all Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes at the UvA.

4. International research networks

The UvA is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and of Universitas 21, a leading global network of research-intensive universities. It is also an active partner in many EU-wide initiatives with other universities and research institutions.

5. History

The UvA's open, tolerant and international academic tradition dates back to 1632, when its predecessor the Athenaeum Illustre was founded. With almost 30,000 students, it is now one of the largest comprehensive research universities in Europe.

6. Quality of life

Amsterdam was ranked 12th out of over 200 cities worldwide in Mercer's 2018 ‘Quality of Living Survey’. In the pan-European 'International Student Barometer', 94% of students polled were satisfied with safety, and 91% said Amsterdam was 'the place to be'.

7. Practical support

Some 5,000 international degree and exchange students from over 100 countries are presently enrolled at the UvA. They are actively supported by UvA staff and fellow students during their time in Amsterdam. The UvA helps with practical matters such as opening a bank account, applying for visas and finding accommodation.

8. Career prospects

The presence of numerous Dutch and international businesses (e.g. Philips, ING, Heineken), academic institutions and cultural organisations makes Amsterdam the commercial, social and artistic heart of the Netherlands and a prestigious global business centre.

9. Prime location

Amsterdam is well connected for travel within Europe and has excellent links to the rest of world. The city has long been a cultural and commercial crossroads, and offers students access to the many arts, entertainment and social activities of a capital city. The UvA's faculties are located in or near the centre of the city or in the state-of-the-art Amsterdam Science Park.

10. Personal development

The study programmes at the UvA offer students a high level of autonomy, reflecting the respect for individual opinions and convictions that is characteristic of Dutch society. The result is an interactive teaching style that encourages students to develop self-reliance and independent thought.


The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is consistently ranked among the world’s best universities in global rankings. It is a top 100 university in the THE Rankings, QS Rankings and Leiden Ranking.

UvA global rankings in 2018

QS World University Rankings 57th
Times Higher Education World University Rankings 59th
Academic Ranking of World Universities 101-150th
Leiden Ranking 74th

QS World University Rankings

The UvA is ranked 57th in the 2018-19 QS Rankings. The UvA is one of three Dutch universities in the top 100. 

In the 2018 edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject Area (published in February) the UvA is ranked in the top 50 worldwide for a total of 20 subject areas. Communication and Media Studies at the UvA is number one in the global rankings.Our University also scored highly for Dentistry (4), Sociology (14), Anthropology (14), Linguistics (14), Geography (14), Psychology (17) and Education (23).

See the QS Rankings website to find out more about the ranking methodology and scores.

QS World University Rankings

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

The University of Amsterdam is ranked 59th in the 2017-18 THE World University Rankings, making it the highest-ranked Dutch University.

The UvA is also included in four of the eight THE top 100 sub-rankings for subject areas: Social Sciences (26, highest ranked Dutch university), Arts and Humanities (32), Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health (55) and Life Sciences (68).

See the THE website to find out more about the ranking methodology and scores.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking)

As in previous years, in 2016 the UvA was listed in the 101-150 group in the worldwide top 500 ARWU ranking.

See the ARWU website to find out more about the ranking methodology and scores.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking)

Leiden Ranking

The UvA is ranked 74th overall in the 2017 Leiden ranking. In the rankings by field, the UvA is ranked in the top 100 in two fields: Social Sciences and Humanities (8th) and Biomedical and Health Sciences (44th).

See the Leiden Rankings website to find out more about the ranking methodology and scores.

Leiden Ranking

Published by  University of Amsterdam

7 June 2018

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