VU University Amsterdam focuses on four profile themesOver the coming years, the university will be focusing particularly on strengthening the link between science and society. As part of its work analysing social issues and searching for solutions, the university has identified four themes, which are described in the VU Strategic Plan 2015-2020 (IP):
1. Governance for Society
2. Human Health & Life Sciences
3. Connected World
4. Science for Sustainability
By focusing its teaching and research activities on these four themes, VU University Amsterdam is creating a clearer profile for students, researchers, businesses, funding agencies, government bodies and other (knowledge) partners. The themes are, in part, based on the identity of the university and its core values. These themes not only make us more distinctive as an institution, but they also encourage cooperation across the boundaries of academic disciplines.
The way in which science relates to business, and vice versa, is constantly changing. Contemporary social issues are increasing in complexity and require a more multi-disciplinary approach. The scientists and professionals of the future must be able to cooperate with others beyond the boundaries of their own specialist fields. Science is increasingly being challenged to justify its role in society. As a university, we need to ask ourselves how we should handle this development. How can we integrate scientific and technological developments into our culture as a university, and what does this mean for people, their values and identities?