Dutch universities and South Asia and Tibet studies

The main Dutch universities provide for education and research in the field of languages​​, history, religion, art and culture of South Asia. The universities are, ranked by city name, the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Amsterdam Free University (VU), the University of Groningen, Leiden University, the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Utrecht University. In addition to the scholars in the South Asia departments of these universities, individual scholars at other universities (Maastricht, Wageningen and Twente) have been working on South Asia issues. Tibet research and teaching are unique to Leiden University. Read more.

The Faculty of Humanities

  • South Asian and Tibetan languages, literature, and religions
      The South Asian languages consist of Old-Indo-Aryan (Vedic and Sanskrit), Middle-Indo-Aryan (Prakrit and Pali), New-Indo-Aryan (Hindi, etc.), Dravidian (Tamil, etc.) and Munda languages. Many of these languages, including their literatures, are or were taught at Dutch universities. The study of Indian religions (esp. Hinduism and Buddhism) is usually linked to language studies, but it is also carried out at the departments of Religious Studies:
      Sanskrit, Vedic and related studies (Indology) and Hinduism, read more
      Hindi and other New-Indo-Aryan languages, read more
      Tamil and other Dravidian languages
      Buddhism, Tibetan languages and Indian philosophy, read more
      Munda languages
  • Indo-European linguistics and Tibeto-Burman languages, read more
  • South and Southeast Asian art history and archaeology, read more
  • South Asian performing arts, read more
  • South Asian religious and philosophical studies, read more
  • Modern South Asian history, read more

Modern South Asian social science studies
Social science studies refer to academic studies in the field of sociology, (cultural) anthropology, economics, political science (including public administration), modern social history and (human) geography. In general, these studies are based on field work and, in the case of South Asia, roughly date from the second half of the 20th century. Unlike the language and related cultural studies within the Faculty of Humanities, the social science studies are focused on discipline, are not Sanskrit-related and not split up into geographic areas. There might be a preference for certain regions in South Asia, but often regions in Latin America or Africa are included as well. These studies fall within the Faculties of Social and Behavioural Sciences and the Faculties of Economics and Business

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

  • South Asian sociology and cultural anthropology, read more
  • South Asian human geography, planning and (international) development studies, read more

The Faculty of Economics and Business

  • South Asian economic and political studies, read more


(Inter)university institutions

In the course of the years, centres, programmes, research schools and institutes have been founded as part of one or more universities to bring together researchers in a specific field of studies and to provide them the appropriate accommodation and facilities. Some of these institutions issue(d) a series of publications or a newsletter. Read more.

Associations and foundations


Training centres for Civil Service in the Dutch East Indies, 1842-1950

In the Netherlands, the term Indology in the meaning of classical South Asia studies (Old-Indo-Aryan philology and related cultural studies) has been used only after the 1950’s. In earlier days, the term indicated the education required for the civil service in the Dutch East Indies. Read more

Institutions in the Dutch East Indies

A selection:
Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, read more
Commissie in Nederlandsch-Indië voor Oudheidkundig Onderzoek op Java en Madoera, read more
Oudheidkundige Dienst in Nederlandsch Indië, read more