Since its creation in 1425, UCL has both reached out to the world and invited it in. Through student exchanges, hosting international professors and researchers, interuniversity partnerships, participation in European and global networks, and a long tradition of cooperation in international development, UCL has exerted influence throughout the world for nearly 600 years.
The university welcomes more than 30,000 students in seven locations in Brussels and Wallonia. Its main campus is in the pedestrianised city of Louvain-la-Neuve. Our university offers courses in all disciplines, from bachelor’s degree to doctoral degree level, as well as many lifelong learning programmes. It is also a pioneer in the creation of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and the first French-speaking university in Europe to offer online courses on the edX platform (16 courses available in 2016).
UCL is a research university and assumes its place in an international community based on the recognition of the excellence of its contributions to development and knowledge dissemination.
UCL offers seven sites and two university hospitals in the French Community of Belgium, world-class research and educational capabilities, dynamic alumni network, formidable spin-off creation capacity, science parks, incubators and international development cooperation projects.
UCL prioritises universal access to high-quality education and makes innovation the governing principle of its activities, in teaching as much as in research. It creates synergies between its involvement in regional development and its international influence, enabling them to fuel each other.
The values on which UCL’s vision is based are openness to others and to differences, solidarity, freedom and respect. Faculty enjoy academic freedom enshrined in the constitution, specifically, freedom of thought in the pursuit of truth arrived at scientifically and free from the undue influence of current trends.
Placing 149th in the 2016 QS ranking of the world’s universities, UCL is ranked first among Belgian francophone universities. It is also one of Europe’s most well established universities, having been founded in 1425. Erasmus, Gerardus Mercator and Andreas Vesalius are among the greats to have graced its halls; it’s where Georges Lemaître formulated his Big Bang theory and Christian de Duve conducted research that won him the 1974 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Research is a driving force at UCL. It’s organised via distinct yet complementary research entities: research institutions, research centres, technology platforms and Louvain4. Fundamental and applied research is pursued with equal vigour in the university’s 22 research institutes. In the humanities, science and technology, and health sciences—the university’s three ‘sectors’—the institutes develop research policies that may be formulated around research clusters.