Dutch universities and South Asia & Tibet studies
South Asia research and teaching are carried out at the main Dutch universities. These 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. Between the universities, the emphasis on specific fields of study varies. The universities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam are leading the field of modern South Asian studies, while Leiden University is the national centre for classical Sanskrit studies. Classical Tibet research and teaching are only found at Leiden University, while on a modest scale modern Tibetan studies are carried out at Amsterdam University (UvA).
Depending on discipline, South Asia research falls under the faculties of humanities, of social and behavioural sciences, of theology and/or economics and business. Within these faculties, a further organization exists with departments, schools, centres or institutes. Names, organization and the number of faculties, departments and institutes have changed and still change following developments in research and education. Although some common trends are visible through the years, the changes for the greater part are specific for a specific university. It is not the objective of this site to record all these changes.
In addition to the scholars in the South Asia departments of the main universities, individual scholars at other universities (Tilburg, Wageningen) have been working on South Asian issues. See Other universities.
Because of the historical links between the Indian subcontinent and the Indonesian archipel, the study of classical Indonesian languages, art and archaeology received special attention within South Asia research. This interest in classical Indonesia grew further as a result of the Dutch colonial occupation of the East Indies because of duties of conservation and law. In the organization of academic research and teaching these factors at times resulted in the merger of South and Southeast Asia academia, especially in the field of art history.