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Customer Snapshot: Overview

Reducing tasks from 20 to 2 minutes- as simple as pressing a button.

Becoming one of the best research universities in the world starts with attracting the brightest students and best professors—and that starts with making sure their experience is a sought-after one. 

Aiming for exactly that—VU University Amsterdam used the SAP Student Lifecycle Management application to let students manage their affairs online – from admissions through graduation – dramatically improving user experience, reducing administrative costs, and broadening self-service capabilities.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Customer Website

Implementation Partners
itelligence BV, SAP Consulting

Higher Education & Research


Line of Business
Human Resources, Information Technology, Platform and Technology, Service


SAP Solutions
SAP Consulting, SAP ERP, SAP Student Lifecycle Management

Customer Snapshot: History

Established in 1880

VU University Amsterdam first opened its doors to students in 1880. At first the university was only open to Reformed Christians and was entirely financed by their fund-raising efforts and donations. Since the 1960s, however, VU University Amsterdam has been open to everyone and funded in the same way as the other Dutch universities (mainly through state funding).

To this day the university retains its core values of fostering the freedom to gain knowledge, and a commitment to the well-being of society as a whole.

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

A public university with over 22,000 students, VU University Amsterdam focuses on three main areas:

– Research in many subjects
– Undergraduate education (Bachelor’s programs)
– Graduate education (Master’s and PhD programs) 

With more than 50 undergraduate and almost 100 postgraduate programs, VU offers a wide choice of study options. But the university does not stop here; it is also continuously expanding its academic research through new local and international partnerships with other research institutes, private sector companies, and the City of Amsterdam authority.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

From top quality education and research, to efficient academic services and class enrollments—VU Amsterdam plans to rise to the top as their reputation grows.

Already ranked among the top 75 global universities, VU University Amsterdam wants to be known as a major research university by the year 2025. Establishing partnerships with universities in emerging economies and growing a more competitive range of renowned research and academic programs are some strategies that are gaining global recognition.

The Challenge

Modernizing and Mobilizing

Being mindful of today’s economic climate, VU University Amsterdam was looking to improve upon its student self-service capabilities, cutting down on timely and costly administrative tasks—and offering mobile interfaces. It therefore needed to replace its outdated, non-supportable legacy IT system.

Enter SAP

Continuing on the Right Path

VU University Amsterdam already had the SAP ERP application and SAP ERP Human Capital Management solution in place. Evaluating different options, they found that expanding on the SAP portfolio was the right way to go.

We considered either SAP Student Lifecycle Management or the Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise campus solution. We received very positive feedback during our visits to universities using the SAP software.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

We had a very highly qualified, motivated team. It was considered an honor to be part of this initiative.

VU University Amsterdam worked with SAP Consulting and Intelligence BV as an implementation partner. Applying lessons learned and offering the right level of solution expertise ensured that the project was implemented on time and within budget.

Better Business

From Matriculation to Graduation

SAP Student Lifecycle Management covers the entire lifecycle of a student, encompassing matriculation, enrollment, course registration, fees, grading, and graduation. The solution also allows VU to manage its academic structure and curriculum and maintain student master data.

When students register online for a course with SAP Student Lifecycle Management, they also get their bill. All the financial processes are integrated with SAP ERP.

Better Business: Benefits

Streamlined Processes and Improved Student Services

Overall, SAP allowed VU University Amsterdam to streamline its process and strengthen organizational cooperation.

They now have:

– Complete overview of university programs and offerings for students
– Lower drop-out rate with easier course planning and better faculty/advisor tools
– Efficient and centralized student administration and services
– Streamlined information management for better communication with faculty and board members


Students access mobile self-serve information portals daily.


Degree programs with online information and registration.


Faster generation of diplomas in the science program.

Better Business: Lessons Learned

The solution design was coauthored by the various departments at VU. Our IT people trained everyone. No one was given user authorization without the appropriate training.

Collaboration is Key

VU University Amsterdam collaborated with the faculty and administrative staff for a smooth transition. This involvement as well as a thorough training initiative ensured a successful implementation.

Better Business: Run Simple

Whenever, Wherever, However

By implementing SAP Student Lifecycle Management and utilizing SAP’s consulting services, VU University Amsterdam is now able to streamline their IT processes and have one single “source of truth.” Now a solid and future-proof architecture is in place and student self-services are readily available not only allowing for better cooperation between the departments, students services and IT, but also allowing for improved student experience – whenever, wherever, however with mobile access.

Journey Ahead

Better can Always Get Even Better

VU University Amsterdam is looking into extending the reporting capabilities by enhancing the standard reports with tailored reporting functions. In addition, they want to extend their self-service support for professors.

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