Islamic University of Rotterdam

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The Islamic University of Rotterdam (Islamitische Universiteit Rotterdam) also known by its acronym IUR is a vocational university founded in 1997.[1] It is a member of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World. Although the Islamic University of Rotterdam has eleven courses which can be followed, only the Bachelor program Islamic Theology and the professional Master program for Islamic Moral Guiding have been accredited[2][3] by NVAO, the official accreditation organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders. According to a news article from 2010 the university has close religious ties with the Turkish Nurcu movement.[4] Although the Dutch word for 'University' is embedded in the name, it is not a member of the VSNU (association of Dutch universities) and it does not have any university level programs. As the Dutch words for 'University of Applied Sciences' and 'University' are not yet protected by law, the use of the Dutch word for 'University' is not in violation of Dutch law.


From 2003 the university is located in the North of Rotterdam, in a characteristic stately building on the Bergsingel. The building previously belonged to Zadkine MBO.[5]


The IUR mentions on its website eleven courses, of which six are elective courses open to anyone and five are bachelor/master/certificate programs.[6] As of October 2008, the university still had no legal accreditation as an institute of higher learning and only one faculty was described as "active" in an article to which the general secretary of the institute contributed. In the same article, the general secretary stated that he hoped that the university would obtain accreditation soon, as it would allow the institute to issue official degrees.[7] In June 2010 one its programs was accredited to give grades at University of Applied Sciences level,[8] in March 2013 accreditation was given to the Bachelor program Islamic Theology.[9] Although education is marketed as 'academic' "[most teachers] at the Islamic University tend not to [have an academic degree]".[4] The University is not ranked and lacks any credible academic reputation.


The institute is not a true (research) university in the official Dutch sense. As a private school, it has no state funding and is mostly reliant on donations. "These have been forthcoming from private individuals, foundations and Turkish religious entrepreneurs, most of them part of the personal contact network of principal Akgündüz".[4]


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Coordinates: 51°56′07″N 4°28′10″E / 51.9352°N 4.4694°E / 51.9352; 4.4694