Brussels, international city and European capital
In the heart of Europe, just 1h20 by train from Paris, 1h30 from Amsterdam, and 1h50 from London and Cologne, Brussels offers all the advantages of a capital city and the quality of life of a large and lively town.
Brussels is home to all the major European institutions. It is the official seat of the EU and many other political and economic decision-making entities and boasts a growing number of businesses, organizations and international experts.
The long tradition of hospitality and exchange in Europe's greenest capital means visitors and residents alike can enjoy a broad mix of world food and music, while culture vultures can choose from a host of museums and shows.
Located in the heart of the city, the Université libre de Bruxelles or ULB also offers many cultural, festive and sports activities. The university campuses and surrounding areas are extremely attractive, providing just the right mix between study and leisure.
The Université libre de Bruxelles and the world, an ongoing dialogue
As a multicultural university with one-third of students and researchers from abroad, international relations is a daily reality for the Université libre de Bruxelles, just like the city of Brussels itself, one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities.
Collaboration with universities from around the world has been stepped up in both education and research, thanks in large part to the various European mobility programs. In addition to student mobility programs, the University offers diverse integrated programs with foreign partners, including joint Master and doctoral degrees. Several of these programs have received the prestigious Erasmus Mundus accreditation.
Its outward-looking position with regard to Europe and the world has resulted in a number of agreements, collaborations and special partnerships being set up with some of the world's top universities.
With many years of experience on the international stage, the University launched UNICA, a network of 45 leading European universities that encompasses over a million students. It is also a founding member of the International Forum of Public Universities (IFPU).
The institution's internationalization is anchored by the following:
- Cross-border cooperation with the Nord-Pas-de-Calais (Lille) region of France
- A policy of preferred partners to build joint, long-term, activities with about ten institutions (notably Oxford, Paris VI, Berkeley, Montreal, UBC in Vancouver, Fudan in Shanghai)
- Several specialized institutions and centers including the Institut d'études européennes (Jean Monnet research pole), the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, the School for Public Health, the Centre for Canadian Studies, Czech Studies, etc.
- A transatlantic dialogue and opening to emerging countries
Over the years, and despite limited resources, ULB has been able to sustain its level of excellence and meet its public and social responsibilities.
The University believes that it can help in the creation of a more just and democratic world by contributing a relationship of trust, a critical dimension and the impartiality required in a globalized world.
Four scientific Nobel Prizes, one Fields Medal, three Wolf Prizes and two Marie Curie Prizes are further evidence of the University's longstanding tradition of excellence.
The Université libre de Bruxelles is an active member of the Research Area and is involved in almost 130 projects financed by the 7th European Framework Programs. Over the past few years, it has obtained 7 starting Grants from the European Research Area (ERC) to finance research in Medicine, Economics, Mathematics, Sociology, or Political Science, as well as 2 Advanced Grant in Artificial Intelligence and Physics. In addition, the University's Institute for European Studies is recognized as a “Jean Monnet European research center” for its work on European integration.
High teaching standards
The Université libre de Bruxelles has 13 faculties, schools and specialized institutes that cover all the disciplines, closely combining academic input and research. It offers almost 40 undergraduate programs and 250 graduate programs. It also partners 20 Doctoral schools, with almost 1,600 Ph.D. in progress.
Some of our Master programs focus on transdisciplinarity, whilst others place more emphasis on international relations through European Masters degrees, or on multilingualism. We have also been working in close collaboration with the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Brussels Flemish-speaking university) for a number of years.
In the field of health, in addition to the Erasme teaching hospital, the University works closely with an extensive network of hospitals around Belgium.
One of the University's main aims is to give its students a solid foundation in critical thinking as well as a taste for research, while at the same time catering to the needs of new publics.
Executive education programs and courses with specially adapted hours for working professionals are offered alongside more traditional programs and courses involving cutting-edge research.
A Focus on Linguistic and Cultural Diversity
As a French-speaking university, most of the courses at the Université libre de Bruxelles are delivered in French. However, a growing number of Master degrees are partly or entirely delivered in English.
The University offers a wide range of French courses, prior to and during the academic year, to help its international students improve their language skills.
A Committed University
The Université libre de Bruxelles has developed a large spectrum of student support initiatives: e.g., financial and psychological support, guidance, French classes, etc.
Since its foundation in 1834, the Université libre de Bruxelles has been closely involved in the ongoing debate on critical thinking and freedom. This has included outspoken opposition to dictatorships and other nationalist abuses, the promotion of equal opportunities and a raft of other social issues. Based on the principle of free inquiry that postulates independent reasoning and the rejection of all dogma, the University has retained its original ideals as a free institution that is firmly engaged in the defense of democratic and human values.