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VU University Amsterdam

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VU University Amsterdam: looking further
Ever since it was founded in 1880, VU University Amsterdam has been known for its distinctive approach to knowledge. VU is an open organization, strongly linked to people and society. What matters is not just the acquisition of a greater depth of knowledge, but also a wider one. We ask and expect our students, researchers, PhD candidates and employees to look further – to look further than their own interests and their own field, and further than what is familiar and further than the here and now.

Freedom in responsibility: three core values
Academic research and education at VU is characterized by a high level of ambition, and encourages free and open communications and ideas. VU stands for universal university values such as academic freedom and independence, which is reflected in our name (‘VU’ is the Dutch abbreviation for ‘free university’): free from the church, state and any commercial interest. The basic philosophy of VU is expressed in three core values:

  • responsible
  • open
  • personally engaged


About the Faculty of Psychology and Education
The Faculty of Psychology and Education is is organized in 9 departments, and offers two Bachelor's programmes plus four Master's programmes. All of our Master's programmes are conducted by The William James Graduate School (WJGS). Also our PhD's course programmes are conducted by the WJGS.Over 1800 students and some 300 staff members are occupied in education and research.

The Faculty is offering, by a personal approach, high-quality education in an inspiring environment. Course programmes are small-scale and well organized, while members from different academic disciplines within the faculty cooperate closely, keeping a focus on current issues.

Our scientific research is substantiated in 11 Research programmes, and our faculty is engaged in various interdisciplinary Research Institutes. The faculty stimulates strong international collaboration, which contributes substantially to the quality and impact of the conducted scientific research.

Related to AAL-ALFA project
The Department of Clinical Neuropsychology of the VU University of Amsterdam is doing extensive research into the effects of movement on cognition in elderly.

It is known that physical activity such as walking is beneficial for people, for their physical condition and their sense of wellbeing. Much less is know that this activity also is very beneficial for our cognition, our intellectual capacities. Research suggests that physical activity has a stimulating effect the part that helps us to function independently which are our executive functions (Cahn et al., 2000, Churchill et al., 2000). It also has been demonstrated that moving improves peoples mood and helps to prevent or improve depression. VUU has started a program with three different lines of investigation to demonstrate this effect on people with dementia. The lines walking around and chewing food are part of this project. They are widened in this project to other activities that demand people to move and do physical exercise. To complete the contribution by VUU they will assign a candidate PhD from the TU Delft who is specializing in interaction design. Her promotor professor Scherder of the VUU, the head of the department of clinical neuropsychology will supervise the scientific part of the project. For the project this is important because this contribution considers the importance of interaction between patients, carers and their surrounding environment in relation of stimulating movement.