VU – UTAbout us

Making the difference

Two universities. One ambition. More social impact.

We have a strong shared drive to make a difference

in four societal areas: “Resilience“, “Circularity”, “Talent” and “Smart Societies”. Working together more closely will yield other important benefits, too: bringing together alpha, beta, gamma and technology sciences in order to develop multidisciplinary solutions to societal issues; a better answer to the shortage of highly educated technical staff; better connections between the ecosystems of Eastern Netherlands and the Randstad, and more collaboration with companies; a stronger employer position for both universities; stronger and more viable joint propositions to Dutch and European funds; and new impulses for higher education.

More impact on universities, students, the labor market and society.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and the University of Twente (UT) are working ever more closely together in the fields of education, research and valorisation. In doing so, we aim to make a major difference in four areas of society: a resilient and secure society, a clean and sustainable society, a smart and digital society and developing talent.  

Need for highly educated professionals

Our society is facing increasingly complex challenges. Our social contexts are becoming more turbulent, more complex and more uncertain. This also applies to the world of higher education and research. Competitors from all over the world are emerging and private investors play an increasingly important role. Society is making different demands on universities. So do students. Moreover, in our country there is a great need for highly educated, broadly oriented and socially involved (technology) professionals.

Societal challenges as a starting point

This means that we must increasingly make societal challenges the starting point of our education and research: from climate change to social inequality. Thereby, we want to bridge the boundaries between disciplines and integrate scientific domains.

We believe that the best way to do this is by working together, as we can offer a unique combination of expertise in higher education in The Netherlands. Together, we can educate the right talent and develop relevant educational programmes and research projects.

Building bridges between disciplines and groups

Our complementarity allows us to build new bridges between disciplines: from alpha, beta and gamma sciences to life sciences & health and engineering. For example, by offering technical bachelor programmes in Amsterdam and facilitating the transfer of VU bachelors to UT master studies. We also build bridges between groups, from social actors to students and from government to business. All these bridges bring us and our society closer to the heart of the challenges of our time.