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English language communication

Explanatory Note UvA Translation List

Basic principles

  • The UvA Translation List includes primarily UvA terms. For a more complete list of Dutch higher education terms in English, please consult the Nuffic Glossary.
  • As a European institution the UvA adheres to British English. This is reflected primarily in word choice, spelling and punctuation.
  • The names of accredited degree programmes are included, in both Dutch and English, as they are registered in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes (CROHO) database, or otherwise as they are registered in the UvA application for accreditation.
  • The names of degree programmes taught in English are included in English only.
  • The names of individual courses are not included. The faculties maintain their own lists of these.
  • The UvA Translation List is adapted on an ongoing basis and should therefore be consulted regularly.


  • Where a unit or division within the UvA chooses to use the American spelling in its English name (e.g. ‘Center’ instead of ‘Centre’), this is retained in the UvA Translation List.
  • Translations are sought that reflect general Anglo-Saxon usage and that will be the clearest to an international public. Depending on the target audience, an American English equivalent is sometimes required; where relevant, this is included in the UvA Translation List.
  • Because a term may occur in different contexts, alternative translations are sometimes offered (see, for example, the term ‘onderwijs’.)
  • Capital letters are used according to the different rules that apply in Dutch and English and according to the rules specified in the UvA corporate style guidelines (see UvA-spelling and UvA English Style Guide).
  • Acronyms appear between round brackets after the Dutch entry. Because the English acronym sometimes differs from the Dutch one, the acronym also appears after the English translation. Only use acronyms when they are functional!


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