Thursday 19 November 2020

100th Anniversary of the Vrije Universiteit (Netherlands, 1980)

The Vrije Universiteit – translated as Free University – of Amsterdam was founded in 1880. Its “free” status refers to its independence from both the State and the Dutch Reformed Church, although it was founded by Calvinists, early lectures were given in rooms above a church and its initial funding came from religious donors. By 1905, it had moved into its own premises and been given the right to award degrees, coming more into line with state funded instituions. It wasn’t until the late 60s / early 70s that the University’s religious ties were cut. One of its most famous faculty is Andrew Tanenbaum, who created MINIX, the predecessor of the Linux operating system. Of his students, perhaps the most successful is Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.

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