The Vrije Universiteit (literal translation from Dutch: "Free University") is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch name is often abbreviated as VU. The university is located on a compact urban campus in the southern part of Amsterdam in the Buitenveldert district. Though a faith-based institution, the VU receives government funding on a parity basis with the public universities.
The university should not be confused with the University of Amsterdam, which is a different university, located in the same city. That university was formerly owned and operated by the City of Amsterdam, but is now one of the public universities in the Netherlands.
The VU University Amsterdam has about 22,738 students, most of whom are full-time students. The number of faculty members and researchers is 2764 (excluding personnel at VU University Medical Center). Teaching and research activities are supported by 1905 administrative, clerical, technical, and other employees. The university's annual budget is around US$500 million, about two third of which comes from the Dutch government. Tuition, research grants, and industrial contracts provide the rest.
The logo of the university is the griffin, pictured on the right. The position of its wings symbolizes the freedom in the university's name: freedom from both state and church.