VU Annual report: more students and a positive financial result

More students came to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam last year. The number of first-year Bachelor's students increased by thirteen percent, while the number of first-year Master's students grew by eight percent.

06/26/2018 | 9:01 AM

The university has also been able to offer more places to students and scientists who are refugees. Once again, the university achieved a positive financial result despite a substantial investment in the quality of its education. The details are available in the university’s annual report, which was published today.

The number of first-year Bachelor's students has increased by thirteen percent to 5,031, while the number of first-year Master's students has grown by eight percent to 4,731. Of the almost 23,000 students enrolled at VU Amsterdam, 4,113 come from abroad. This group grew by more than 22 percent compared to 2016. Meanwhile, the number of VU Amsterdam students studying abroad for a semester increased by 25 percent to 616.

Students and academics who are refugees
Of all the universities in the Netherlands, VU Amsterdam has welcomed the greatest number of refugee students in regular programmes. In addition, 651 refugees received Dutch lessons and 68 refugees were prepared for future academic education by completing a bridging programme. VU Amsterdam, with the support of the VU association, provides accommodation for researchers who have had to flee their country of birth. For example, in 2017 six academics from Iran and Iraq were enabled to continue their scientific work at VU Amsterdam.

Vice-chair Marjolein Jansen commented: "We are satisfied with the good results that we achieved in 2017. Our annual report shows a lot of positive trends. The growth in the number of first-year students, and thus our market share, and the positive financial result are the most important figures. We can take particular pride in the fact that we have the highest number of refugee students in regular programmes at VU Amsterdam, and that we have been able to offer places to academics who have had to flee their own countries, so that they can continue their scientific work with us.”

Quality impulse
VU Amsterdam currently operates within a financial environment that is characterized by decreasing funding from central government and increasing competition from other institutions in both education and research. In order to address this situation, VU Amsterdam is investing significantly in the quality of education, maintaining market share, limiting increases in student enrolments and improving the VU campus in order to provide better facilities for students, researchers and staff at the university. In order to achieve these goals, a substantial investment of almost €30 million has been gone into improving the quality of education. The university invested €5.6 million more in the quality of education in 2017 than in the previous year.

Another positive financial result
Once again, VU Amsterdam achieved a positive financial result in 2017. The overall surplus was €14.3 million. This was €10 million more than the budgeted result of €4.3 million. When lower than forecast depreciation and lower than forecast financial flows are excluded, the result is €0.9 million higher than the budgeted result.

The public report can be viewed here.

The 2017 annual report can also be downloaded at here.