The University of Amsterdam is an intellectual hub with over 30,000 students, 3,000 PhD researchers, 6,000 staff and 100 different nationalities. It traces its roots back to 1632, when the Golden Age school Athenaeum Illustre was established to train students in trade and philosophy. Today the UvA is the largest university in the Netherlands, both in terms of student numbers and choice of study programmes and it is one of the largest general research universities in Europe. The UvA is a member of LERU, a network of European research universities with a common vision for higher education and European research policy.
The Faculty of Science at UvA is organised in one comprehensive faculty and consists of a College of Science, three Graduate Schools, an Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, eight research institutes and a support unit. The multidisciplinary research focuses on the major scientific challenges in connection to modern society and labour market of the 21st century. The faculty is setting up new research institutes across traditional disciplinary boundaries and establishes collaboration with small and large companies. The education is often organized across the traditional boundaries within STEM disciplines while Institute of Interdisciplinary organizes interdisciplinary curses and study programmes across all disciplines at the university including social sciences and art. All courses at the University of Amsterdam use digital technology and teaching methods that enable active involvement of students in their learning process.