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The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (abbreviated as VU, "Free University Amsterdam") is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded in 1880. The VU is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the University of Amsterdam (UvA).The literal translation of the Dutch name Vrije Universiteit is "Free University". "Free" refers to independence of the university from both the State and Christian Church. Both within and outside the university, the institution is commonly referred to as "the VU". The VU University Amsterdam was chosen as the best university in Amsterdam by students in 2018.