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University of Amsterdam

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The University of Amsterdam (abbreviated as UvA, Dutch: Universiteit van Amsterdam) is a public university located in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Established in 1632 by municipal authorities and later renamed for the city of Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam is the third-oldest university in the Netherlands. It is one of the largest research universities in Europe with 31,186 students, 4.794 staff, 1,340 PhD students and an endowment of €613.5 million. It is the largest university in the Netherlands by enrollment and has the second-largest university endowment in the country. The main campus is located in central Amsterdam, with a few faculties located in adjacent boroughs. The university is organised into seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Science, Law, Medicine, and Dentistry.

The University of Amsterdam has produced six Nobel Laureates and five prime ministers of the Netherlands. In 2014, it was ranked 50th in the world, 15th in Europe, and 1st in the Netherlands by the QS World University Rankings. The university placed in the top 50 worldwide in seven fields in the 2011 QS World University Rankings in the fields of Linguistics, Sociology, Philosophy, Geography, Science, Economics & Econometrics, and Accountancy & Finance.

Close ties are harbored with other institutions internationally through its membership in the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Institutional Network of the Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA), European University Association (EUA), the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP), and Universitas 21.
Logo VU University Amsterdam

VU University Amsterdam


VU University Amsterdam (abbreviated as VU, Dutch: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded in 1880. VU is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The literal translation of the Dutch name Vrije Universiteit is "Free University". "Free" refers to independence of both state and church. Both within and outside the University, the institution is commonly referred to as "the VU" (pronounced somewhat like "vew" as in "new"). In English, therefore, the university uses the name "VU University".

Though founded as a private institution, VU has received government funding on a parity basis with public universities since 1970. Over the past decades, VU has transformed from a small institution into a broad, research-intensive university attended by a wide variety of students of diverse backgrounds. While the Netherlands does not have an official ranking system, according to the "CWTS Leiden Ranking", the VU University was recognized as the second best university, nationally.

The university is located on a compact urban campus in the southern Buitenveldert neighbourhood of Amsterdam and adjacent to the modern Zuidas business district.

In 2012, VU had about 24,500 registered students, most of whom were full-time students. Measured in FTE, the university had 2,250 faculty members and researchers, who were supported by 1,500 administrative, clerical and technical employees. The university's annual endowment for 2013 is around €450 million. About three quarters of this endowment is government funding, the remainder is made up of tuition fees, research grants, and private funding.

The official university seal is entitled The Virgin in the Garden. Personally chosen by Abraham Kuyper, the Reformed-Protestant leader and founder of the university, it depicts a virgin living in freedom in a garden while pointing towards God, referring to the reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th century. In 1990, the university adopted the mythical griffin as its common emblem. The position of its wings symbolizes the freedom in the university's name: freedom from both state and church. The bright and blue postmodern symbol has been the focal point of the university's Main Building ever since.

Hollandsche Manege


The Hollandsche Manege in Amsterdam is the oldest riding school in the Netherlands, dating back to 1744. The current building, inspired by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, was constructed in 1882. The building has been declared a rijksmonument (national monument).

In the Hollandsche Manege, the wealthy citizenry of Amsterdam and members of the Dutch royal house could practice their riding skills. The original Hollandsche Manege was built in 1744 and stood at the corner of the Lijnbaansgracht and Leidsegracht canals. The complex included stables for 60 horses and living quarters for a horse trainer (pikeur). On the upper floor of the horse trainer's house, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister Marianne gave a performance in 1766.

The riding school was demolished in 1881 when the Leidegracht canal was extended as far as the Singelgracht canal. To replace it, a new building in neoclassical style was constructed in 1882 at Vondelstraat 140, on the northeastern edge of the Vondelpark, which at that time was frequently used for horse riding. The new building was designed by the then-popular architect A.L. van Gendt, who also designed the Concertgebouw concert hall and the Amsterdam Centraal railway station.

The richly ornate interior features a main hall with balustrades and a cast-iron roof construction and a hallway from the lobby to the main hall with an iron and glass roof. In 1889 an extension was added onto the back side of the building, facing the street Overtoom. This extension, which included a carriage house, was demolished in 1969.

The present riding school has a stable of 35 horses and 15 ponies. The student riding clubs ASR BLOK and ASR H.O.R.S. have weekly training sessions in the Hollandsche Manege. The building is also used for dressage competitions. The building includes a publicly accessible café/restaurant and is rented out for receptions, weddings, and other events.

In the early 1970s, there were plans to demolish to Hollandsche Manege. Joop Ritmeester van de Kamp, chair of the organisation "De Hollandse Manege" (which managed the building), sought to demolish the building and build a new riding school in the Amsterdamse Bos, a manmade forest to the south of Amsterdam. The plans were scrapped after vocal protests, including a petition by art history students at the University of Amsterdam, who collected over 2,000 signatures against the demolition.

In 1986 the building underwent restoration. In 2007 it celebrated its 125-year anniversary. Since 28 May, 2009, the horses are no longer confined to the building but are also regularly let outside on the Koeienweide meadow of the adjacent Vondelpark.

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