News & Event

New USRN Member: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The University Social Responsibility Network (USRN) is delighted to welcome Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) to the Network and be our first member institution in the Netherlands. 

“Responsible”, “Open” and “Personal” are the three core values of VU. In today’s world this constituting value set is manifest in different but related activities such as a strong orientation towards the SDG’s, multi- and transdisciplinary approaches to challenges, community engagement and service, innovation through co-creation and start-ups, equipping students with skills to realize impact, embracing and learning from other perspectives.

VU is a comprehensive university employing over 4,500 members of staff and having 30,000 students enrolled. The university is very well connected internationally and is known for the high quality of its research and for its high level of societal engagement.

VU distinguishes itself in research and teaching through four major themes reflecting its strong level of involvement in current societal issues.

  • Governance for Society: Philosophers, economists, lawyers and psychologists join forces under this heading. The central question is to the effectiveness of our ways of governing society, and more specifically of our global surroundings.  How can the way we manage and organize these contribute to a better society?

  • Human Health and Life Sciences: how do we become and how do we stay healthy? Contributors come from many disciplines: from physicists to doctors and from biologists to ethicists and human movement scientists.
  • Connected World: a unique multidisciplinary association of VU researchers examines what it means to live in a world in which everything and everyone are connected. A question that affects us all and has far-reaching consequences for people.
  • Science for Sustainability: VU integrates all disciplines that can help safeguard the well-being of the earth. From biology to economics and from social to natural sciences. A cross-pollination that seeks answers to the greatest questions of our time.

We look forward to working with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and other USRN members to expand the impacts of the Network and to advocate for a broader social responsibility in the higher education.