VU Amsterdam expands assessment framework for international collaborations   

The Executive Board of VU Amsterdam has commissioned a project team to develop an assessment framework where international collaborations are evaluated against the values of the university and international human rights standards. The framework will be completed by mid-July 2024.

"In a rapidly changing world, it is important to reflect on what this means for us as a university, and the need has grown to more broadly evaluate our collaborations with international partners", said the Executive Board.

As a socially engaged university, VU Amsterdam is committed to contributing to global challenges through education and research. We therefore believe it is important that our public and private partners share our values.

The project team currently working on the framework’s development has previously established frameworks for scientific integrity, fossil-free research, and knowledge security. Human rights instruments developed by the United Nations serve as the basis for the framework. Existing human rights documentation from other universities and knowledge institutions, such as in the advice of the Flemish Interuniversity Council and the policy implementation thereof at Flemish universities, are also being considered in the framework’s development.

The project team is tackling a complex task, answering questions such as: how do we obtain verifiable information from organisations? How can we use that information to assess risks? And is the effort of collecting, filling in, and interpreting information proportional - Therefore, it is crucial that we go through this process carefully.

Discussion cycle

To ensure that the framework also aligns with the values of VU Amsterdam, the draft framework will be tested in June by experts, staff, and students within the university. In addition to careful analysis, an intensive discussion cycle with various cross-sections of the VU-community will be organised.


VU Amsterdam is working towards an approach that is applicable to international collaborations and yields similar outcomes in comparable cases, while also considering important academic values such as academic freedom and the role of the university.

Would you like to stay updated on developments regarding the assessment framework? Updates about the process are regularly posted on this page .