There are four regular university astronomy institutes in the Netherlands - Leiden (UL), Groningen (RUG), Amsterdam (UvA) and Utrecht (UU). Since a few years, there is a small astronomical institute including a Ph.D. program in astronomy at the Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (RUN), the Roman Catholic university. At the Vrije Universiteit (VU), the Calvinist confessional university in Amsterdam, education in astronomy is provided by joint appointments with the University of Amsterdam. The present Directors of the other institutes are:
There tends to be some specialization in astronomical research interests between these various institutes, namely:
The commonality of interests between Leiden and Groningen on the one hand, and Utrecht and Amsterdam on the other hand, although by no means strict, has expressed itself many times by the exchange of personnel. For instance, J.H. Oort started in Groningen and quite a few of the present Groningen staff are Leiden graduates.