KU Leuven

KU Leuven

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal, ranking among the best 50 universities worldwide.
Inspiring the outstanding

KU Leuven is a large organisation with many different environments. Based at various locations in and around Leuven, and across the rest of Flanders and Brussels, KU Leuven comprises about 100 services, faculties and departments, which are often highly diverse. Respect for local identity and diversity within this large organisation is our strength and a defining characteristic of our culture.

Working at KU Leuven means directly or indirectly contributing to high-quality teaching and innovative research. Doing a job that has social relevance. In view of KU Leuven’s international ambitions and the competitiveness inherent in an academic environment, we encourage every employee to develop the same drive and ambition as can be found in the research and teaching to which they contribute.

KU Leuven takes 45th place in World University Rankings

KU Leuven has secured the 45th place in the annual World University Rankings by Times Higher Education. Amidst a rapidly changing higher education landscape, the university stands firm as it remains the top-ranked university in both Belgium and the Benelux region, as well as the fourth university in the European Union.

KU Leuven’s results are in line with previous years, maintaining its performance in the research environment category, while improving its score in teaching, research quality, international outlook and industry.

Learn more

‘A place within the top 50 of 1000 universities worldwide is a remarkable accomplishment,’ responds Rector Luc Sels. ‘It confirms our strong position, both nationally and internationally, which is a testament to the hard work of our researchers, teaching staff and the many colleagues supporting them. Dropping a few places does not mean we are performing worse, nor does it detract from our international standing. Instead, it highlights the importance of international collaboration and openness, which, in turn, results in increased regional impact. I also emphasised this message during my opening address at the beginning of this academic year.’

People make the difference

We believe that the inclusion and collaboration of people with diverse backgrounds, nationalities and cultures enriches the workplace and inspires new perspectives, insights and ideas. Hence, KU Leuven seeks to create an environment where all talents are nurtured, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or any disability.

At KU Leuven, our aim is for every employee to feel satisfied at work. That’s why we want to support you in your personal development by encouraging self-direction and empowerment. Moreover, we offer you a broad range of career prospects, flexible and tailored to your interests.

  • We encourage you to be as autonomous and self-directed as possible in carrying out your responsibilities in your specific work context.

  • We provide opportunities to help you shape your career (growth, diversification, …) and develop personally and professionally. To this end, we offer:
  • an extensive range of training opportunities;
  • in-house career coaching;
  • a wide range of international mobility opportunities;
  • a training programme specifically aimed at junior researchers.

  • We offer a vibrant internal job market with diverse career prospects:
  • a variety of (research) fields and disciplines;
  • a wide range of positions and profiles.
Relocating to Belgium

Today about 23% of all KU Leuven staff members come from a country outside of Belgium. An even larger amount can be called ‘international employees’ in the sense that they are internationally mobile and operate in a highly international environment.

Working at KU Leuven as an international staff member may imply that you will consider to permanently move to Belgium. KU Leuven offers its international staff members support with various aspects of this relocation process. Our aim is to make you and your family feel welcome at KU Leuven and in Belgium, and to help you settle in and integrate yourself smoothly and quickly.


Our HR Consultants International Employment will screen your and your family’s immigration obligations. They can give you specific information on whether and how to apply for a visa, work permit, residence permit and how to report your change of address to the municipal authorities of your new place of residence in Belgium.

Within KU Leuven, several initiatives are taken to help international staff members to build out their social network. From getting acquainted with Belgian habits and peculiarities, participating in the university’s cultural and sports offer, becoming a member of one of the university’s staff ensembles etc.

If your partner is moving with you to Belgium, he/she may want to search for a new career opportunity in Belgium. Our webpages contain information for your partner on the legal aspects of working in Belgium, the job market in Belgium and job search strategies. External job search assistance services are also listed, for example on the website of International House Leuven.

A few of the university residences offer temporary housing for international staff, but most of our international staff members find accommodation on the private housing market.
We provide a list of all temporary and permanent housing alternatives, together with general information on renting or buying a property in Belgium.

Childcare and education are of high quality and extensively subsidized in Belgium. The individual expenses are thus relatively low and even non-existing with respect to tuition fees for preschool, primary education and secondary education.
KU Leuven also offers home care for sick children and holiday childcare for children up to 12 years old.

Most of our employees and scholars will be covered by Belgian social security, which offers extensive coverage. We explain the social security and health care system in our welcome sessions.
HR will also determine in which country you will have to pay taxes. We offer information on the personal income tax system in Belgium and on how to fill out your Belgian tax declaration form.
Leuven high-tech region

Centrally located in Flanders and Europe, the Leuven Mindgate region provides fertile ground for innovation and high-tech entrepreneurship. Leuven is home to several world-renowned knowledge institutes, has an innovative business climate and a large amount of investment capital. Leuven provides state-of-the-art lab and office space in incubators and science parks and has a large talent pool of highly educated, multilingual and flexible employees.

In close cooperation with the city of Leuven, KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD) has created a favourable business climate for high-tech entrepreneurship. In particular, LRD is an active partner in setting up networking initiatives and technology clusters, as well as in planning, setting up and managing incubators, science parks and business centres in the Leuven region. Leuven is also a great city to live, study and work.


Stories from the inside

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