The university is the offshoot of the French-speaking University Libre de Bruxelles that was founded in 1834 by a Brussels lawyer with Flemish origins, Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen. He wanted to establish a university that would be independent from the state and the church and where academic freedom would reign. The university is a dynamic and modern university with four campuses in the Brussels Capital Region the main campus in Etterbeek is home to seven faculties. High quality education and research are central issues. The university research teams are internationally recognised in many disciplines of fundamental and applied research.
The university is the largest Dutch-speaking employer in the Brussels Region. Centrally situated in the capital of Europe, the university takes up its role as an ambassador for Flanders and Brussels, in a spirit of active pluralism and open mindness. We offer a quality education to more than 15,800 students. Add to that the 5,000 students of the university partner, the Erasmus Hogeschool Brussels; the 400 students at the English-speaking Vesalius College the 5,000 students at the Centre for Adult Education that shares our campus, and more than 150 research teams working on our campuses, and one of the biggest centres of knowledge in the capital of Europe. A good example is the Centre for Information, Documentation and Research on Brussels (BRIO).
Another initiative through which the university stays in close touch with current trends and sensibilities in society is the Science Shop. With more than 6,000 employees and more than 9,000 students, the university plays a crucial role in emphasising the Flemish presence in the capital of Flanders, Belgium and Europe. The university Tech Transfer invests resources from the Industrial Research Fund in its IOF knowledge centres. These are research groups that exceed the average level of the standard research teams. The funding enables strategic and applied research, leading to new application-specific findings with economic potential. The first priority of the IOF funding is also developing a portfolio of potentially applicable and transferable know-how with economic and social value. It also finances short-term proof-of-concept projects.