Centro Paulo Freire

The Centro Paulo Freire at VU Amsterdam is the centre for exchange and collaboration in teaching and research between Brazilian institutions and VU Amsterdam. The CPF facilitates activities on teaching, research, student exchange and broader academic cooperation.


The exchange of bachelor, master and PhD students between Brazil and VU Amsterdam is extensive. Each year, many students cross the Atlantic Ocean to study at a Brazilian partner institution for a semester or a whole academic year. Brazilian students can chose from a large number of courses that are offered in English at the VU, both at bachelor and master level. Brazilian universities also increasingly offer courses taught in English. Many Dutch students also opt to learn Portuguese before they go to Brazil for study or research.


Researchers at VU Amsterdam have longstanding academic relations with universities and research institutes in Brazil. Three examples are (i) Amazonian Linguistics; (ii) the Paulo Freire programme in Social Sciences; and (iii) Climate Studies in the Amazon of the Amsterdam Global Change Institute. In the last five years, 15 Brazilians obtained their PhD degree from VU Amsterdam.

Currently, more than 30 academic contacts from nearly all VU faculties exist between researchers at VU Amsterdam and researchers in Brazilian universities. Several CAPES-Nuffic projects have been approved over the past years, facilitating collaborative research and student training by teams of researchers from both countries.

FAQs on VU Brazil Academic Cooperation

Centro Paulo Freire for VU-Brazil academic cooperation

This myriad of academic contacts was recently brought together in the Centro Paulo Freire for VU Brazil Academic Cooperation as an important part of the VU internationalization policy and its objective of intensifying the academic cooperation between the academic partners in Brazil and VU through the stimulation of the cross-links between post-graduate education and research.

Institutional agreements on student exchange and research exist between VU Amsterdam and the federal universities of Minas Gerais (UFMG, Belo Horizonte), Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS, Porto Alegre) and Pernambuco (UFPE, Recife), the University of São Paulo (USP) and the state university of Rio do Janeiro (UERJ) and São Paulo (UNESP). The Centro Paulo Freire facilitates contacts with existing and prospective Brazilian partners and provides a platform for information exchange. Furthermore, the Centre provides networking possibilities for PhD students, researchers and staff from VU Amsterdam and Brazilian partner universities.

Student Exchange

Undergraduate (Bachelor) exchange students are eligible for a tuition fee waiver when there is an exchange contract between the partner institution in Brazil and a faculty of VU Amsterdam. For more information: VU students should contact the International Office. Brazilian students should contact their own international office.

More information about funding

  • Fellowship programme offers Master-bursaries; specifically for candidates from Brazilian: 2 fellowships for the 2014 / 2015 academic year
  • NESO-Brazil is the portal to Dutch higher education and research cooperation
  • NWO funds short research visits to Brazil
  • The State of São Paulo (FAPESP) and NWO fund Joint Research Projects in the Biobased Economy: NWO-FAPESP - BE Basic
  • Science without Borders is the programme of the Brazilian Government to boost the number of science graduates, PhDs and postdocs through education and twinning with Dutch researchers
  • BRANETEC is the programme for student exchange at undergraduate level with a focus on technology
  • The CAPES-NUFFIC programme concentrates on science, arts, humanities and social science based areas.

More information about Centro Paulo Freire and VU-Brazil Academic Cooperation

Marjo de Theije, academic director

Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences
De Boelelaan 1105. 1018 HV Amsterdam. The Netherlands
T    + (31) (0) 20 59 86704
M   marjo.de.theije@vu.nl

Marinus Kool, programme manager
International Office. OE-Wing. Main Building
De Boelelaan 1105. 1018 HV Amsterdam. The Netherlands
T    + (31) (0) 20 59 89056
M   m.kool@vu.nl