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WHAT DOES ACADEMIC YEAR 21-22 LOOK LIKE?

In times of corona, we are constantly having to reinvent ourselves. What will the next academic year look like? If the corona figures continue to evolve positively, the next academic year will be able to start in code green. We will communicate about this later on. What we can already tell you for sure is that we’re looking forward to it! On this page you can find the key elements of our teaching approach for the academic year 2021-2022. We update the page continually in light of any new information. So check back regularly. That way you’ll know – more or less – what you can expect!

How will academic year 2021-2022 look at VUB?

Of course we hope our campuses will be able to reopen completely and we can welcome our students (and you) in our auditoria and classrooms. But we have to fully comply with the coronavirus measures imposed by the experts and our government. As an Urban Engaged University we take our social responsibility seriously. We do this out of solidarity, to respect each other’s safety and health.

Our teaching approach for 21-22...

  • Where possible we will organise teaching on campus. Alongside that – during and after corona – we are committed to digital teaching methods. The past year has shown us that online teaching offers lots of advantages. Media and technology take our education to the next level and we’ll continue to focus on them. While in-person teaching will always play an important role, we have embraced blended learning, the combination of on- and offline teaching. We’re looking for the right mix for each course.
  • We guarantee high-quality education.
  • We are committed to the welfare of our students. With the Leave No One Behind project, we offer – where possible – mental, social and financial support.
  • We guarantee both a Brussels experience and a student experience. Because being a student is about more than just studying. The student associations, Pilar culture house and our sports programmes continue, even during the pandemic.

Want to know more? Discover our teaching approach for academic year 2021-2022.

Coronavirus

Our safety measures

Student life in 21-22...

Studying at VUB prepares you for the job market of tomorrow and develops your critical mind. But being a student is about more than just studying. Being a student also means discovering yourself and the world. By living in a dorm, joining a student association, making new friends, discovering Brussels… you name it!

At VUB, you also have the chance to work towards a better world. Choose your P (People, Planet, Peace, Partnership, Prosperity, Poincaré) and get involved in one of our The World Needs You projects. You’ll enrich your university days even more.

Want to know more? Discover how student life at VUB will look in 2021-2022

Do you need help? Our student services are here for you.

You’re never alone at VUB. Our colleagues are here to answer your questions about study choice, studying, dorm life, study finance and more.

Discover what our student services can do for you.

Still have questions about academic year 2021-2022 at VUB?

The menu on this page will take you to education, student life and student services. For education and student life, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions. Check the list and you’ll likely find the answers to your questions.

Do you have other questions about studying at VUB? Contact our colleagues at the Student Info Point via info@vub.be or call 02 629 20 10. 

As a student, you’re never alone at VUB

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Prospective student?

Are you a prospective student facing the choice of what to study? And do you have questions about this choice and/or studying at VUB? There are various ways you can find out more:

  1. Book an online information session. How does a particular programme approach distance learning? What are the exams like? Does living in a dorm make sense in these times? Courses and student services organise online information sessions at various times. Each session starts with a general explanation, then you can ask your questions directly to our professors, assistants and other colleagues. Find a time that fits your diary and ask away!
  2. Register for an On Campus Info Day on 22 and 23 May or 5 September. At an info day, you can experience the campus and the unique VUB atmosphere for yourself thanks to campus tours, dorm visits, info sessions, personal conversations with professors and assistants and much more. It’s the best way to decide if VUB is right for you, and to ask all your questions about the coming academic year.
  3. Get advice from Study Guidance. Maybe you still have a few questions or concerns about your study choice. Or you might want to know what challenges you really face in the transition from secondary education in times of corona. Be sure to contact Study Guidance. They’ll give you free advice to help you choose your course and will be happy to listen to your concerns.
  4. Chat with a current VUB student. Is studying in Brussels fun? What is there to do on the VUB campus? Do you get enough guidance while studying? As a prospective student, you might have some questions that you’d prefer to ask a fellow student. Why not do it via chat? Your question will be answered as quickly and as honestly as possible!

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TEACHING APPROACH FOR 21-22?

How many classes will I take at home? Will I have any classes on campus at all? And what about exams? It’s only natural that you want to know how your classes will look in 21-22. Our rule of thumb is that we’ll organise teaching on campus wherever possible. And alongside that, both during and after the pandemic, we’re fully committed to digital teaching methods.

During corona

Where possible, we will have teaching on campus. We follow the safety standards that apply at any point. Is the virus circulation low? Then we can increase activities on campus. Is the number of infections increasing? Then we listen closely to the health regulations put in place by the government.

Interactive teaching methods (tutorials, lectures where physical interaction is important) have priority for on-campus education.

Lectures generally take place digitally but, depending on the priority and achievement of learning objectives, they may take place on campus or at external locations.

The following students will receive extra attention, depending on their learning objectives:

  • New students in the first year and bridging students, so they gain a first on-campus experience
  • International students, so they get to know Brussels and VUB up close
  • Disadvantaged groups and working students

Because social distancing measures mean we have fewer classrooms available, we are committed to blended learning: a combination of online and contact teaching. We offer some course modules digitally. In the online section, students go through the teaching material at their own pace. There are then small interactive group classes, with space for more in-depth discussions and exercises.

How does teaching look during the pandemic? The following list answers some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

            

Every student will have some contact teaching. That is certain. However, we can’t yet predict the exact amount and the proportion of in-person and digital teaching. Much depends on the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign in the fight against the coronavirus.

From mid-September your timetable will indicate which classes are happening online and which on campus.

As usual, you will have classes on our campuses in Etterbeek and Jette this year. To allow us to have as much contact teaching as possible, we also have classes taking place in central Brussels. So you might see Jozef II, the Flemish Parliament, Flagey, Cinematek, Bozar, KVS or CIVA on your timetable.

Take a look at the Brussels City Campus website for more information about the external locations and how to get there.

Tutorials and practicals can still take place on campus. However, it’s possible that for some courses, some classes may be replaced by digital alternatives. You will always be able to see on your timetable whether you need to attend online or on campus.

As always, attendance is compulsory for certain tutorials and practical classes. These activities may contribute to your final grade.

As always, attendance is compulsory for certain tutorials and practical classes. These activities may contribute to your final grade.

If you live in a red zone and therefore can’t be present for these classes, your absence will be considered as permitted. You should contact your faculty if this occurs.

You can see which group you are in and when your classes are on the Canvas digital teaching platform.

The size of the group depends on the course and the classroom. We are currently assuming that the capacity of our classrooms will be halved. The capacity may increase or decrease depending on how the situation evolves.

To guarantee safety, all students belong to a fixed bubble. It is therefore very unlikely you will be able to change group during the semester.

You can always ask questions, even in an online class. When and how this is done will depend on your lecturer and on whether the lesson is live or recorded. In certain classes you will be able to ask your question immediately, in others you can email the lecturer afterwards or during a question session.

Important: Don’t hesitate to contact your lecturer if there is anything that isn’t completely clear!

As a rule, lecturers will record livestreamed classes and make them available for students.

There are areas on campus where you can watch your online classes or study during free periods. We’ll publish more information about the location of these study spaces soon.

There is of course a difference between taking classes online and in real life. Be sure to check out the tips & tricks from Study Guidance on how best to approach digital learning.

Are you having difficulties or do you have questions about studying? Don’t hesitate to contact Study Guidance!

Coronavirus

Our safety measures

Want to know your faculty’s approach?

(Link will soon be available, when we know more)

A strong teaching story, even digitally

                

After corona

We are convinced of our digital future. The past year has taught us that online teaching offers lots of advantages. The technology and media of the world we live in help us to increase the quality of our teaching. The combination of in-person and online teaching allows more variation. And it offers students advantages too, because they can consult the teaching material online and work through it at their own pace, at the time that best suits them.

We don’t want to throw away these advantages. That’s why we’re happy to adapt our education story to the latest demands and continue to focus on digital teaching. As well as in-person teaching, of course… because meeting you on campus remains important. We are looking for the best mix of on- and offline teaching for each course.

Student welfare is central

It’s not easy being a student right now. Because lessons are taking place almost entirely at a distance, you miss out on physical contact with fellow students and professors, and the daily routine is perhaps not obvious. Revising, relaxing and keeping fit are all different to normal. These are experiences that can affect your mood and your chance of success.

That’s why student welfare is the highest priority for us in the coming academic year. With the Leave No One Behind project, we’re supporting our students and offering them help with:

  • Welfare – Are you finding it hard to manage? Do you need to talk? Are you feeling lonely? Depending on your needs, there are various people and initiatives that can help. You can go to Study Guidance for free professional help, dorm coach Jelle is always there for a good chat, as a new student you can count on a VUBuddy to show you the way…
  • Social: Student life in 2021-2022 will perhaps look a bit different to in other years. So we’re always looking for new activities that will help you connect with fellow students. We have an online VUB Escape Room, you can follow free pilates and mindfulness lessons, Pilar culture house hosts regular live music sessions…
  • Finance: Every student at VUB should be able to study without worrying about money. Are you in a difficult financial situation? See which financial services you qualify for.
  • Study places: Studying and following lessons at home isn’t easy for everyone. Do you struggle to find a quiet place to study at home? Is your family situation difficult? Do you have classes on campus followed by an online class? We offer extra study places on campus, so everyone can study in comfort. Reservation is required.

As a student, you’re never alone at VUB. Discover all the initiatives in the Leave No One Behind project.

Brussels as a campus

We are focusing as much as possible on contact teaching. That’s why we’re further expanding our classrooms in central Brussels for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Alongside the existing campuses in Etterbeek, Jette, Usquare, Gooik, Anderlecht, Diest and Leuven, we can welcome you in seven more locations. So you might soon be taking classes in Jozef II, the Flemish Parliament, Flagey, Cinematek, KVS, Bozar or CIVA. Read all about these new locations here.

High-quality teaching

VUB is in the top 17% of the world’s universities in the QS World University ranking. VUB comes in at 200 in the general ranking, making it the fourth-best Belgian institution. Of all Belgian universities in the QS ranking, VUB scores best for quality of teaching. How do we closely monitor the quality of each programme? Using a quality cycle. You can read more about it here.

Studying abroad: some guidelines

At the VUB, you can choose to study abroad for some time through the Erasmus program. Every program has exchange possibilities with different universities in Europe and the world! Curious about the destinations? You can find them here.

Keep in mind that also in academic year 2021-2022, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have a strong influence on your international mobility as a student. Because, also for the travel policy, we have to fully comply with the coronavirus measures imposed by the experts and our government.

What will that travel policy look like? The list below gives you the most important guidelines that will enter into force on 1 July 2021.

EEA-REGION:

  • GREEN: You can travel.
  • ORANGE: You can travel.
  • RED/GREY: You can travel.

OUTSIDE EEA (including territories situated overseas isolated from the motherland and constitutionally belonging to an EEA country): 

  • ON COUNTRY LIST (GREEN): You can travel.
  • NOT ON COUNTRY LIST (RED): Travel is in principle excluded. You can send a motivated request to the Vice-Rector Internationalisation.

The criteria linked to the color codes are valid on the day of the planned departure, not at the time of any bookings. The travel policy may be modified at any time as a result of the evolution of the pandemic. It is therefore advisable to take out cancellation insurance when booking tickets and accommodation. When a country or region is colored red during the stay, an early return is not necessary.

More info on the application of the color codes of EEA-destinations? Click here. FPS Foreign Affairs warns that non-essential travel outside EEA-region is not advisable. The country list for non-EEA destinations can be found here.

Do you want to travel to a non-EEA country that is not on the country list? And is it a necessary trip (because if you cancel or postpone your studies, for example)? Then you can submit an exception request to the Vice-Rector Internationalisation one month prior to departure. For example:

  • foreign internships for which no alternative can be found in Belgium/EEA-region
  • necessary research in the framework of a master's thesis for which there is no alternative in Belgium/EEA-region
  • built-in mobility in the framework of double or joint degrees

ATTENTION: If you do not comply with a travel ban and/or the order to return to Belgium, you are considered not legally registered for the course units that are the subject of the relevant outgoing mobility and/or the international placement. Consequently, you lose any right to participate in the educational and assessment activities abroad. Achieved examination results are considered non-existent. (Education and examination regulations Art. 92bis)
ATTENTION: Every outgoing mobility MUST be registered correctly and in advance. You do this via SOP Mobility Online.
ATTENTION: If an application has received a negative decision, this is final.

The digital corona certificate will allow you to travel freely within the EU, as well as to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (i.e., EEA-region). Are you in possession of a digital corona certificate? Then you may travel freely across the EEA-Member States. The document in question will be available in all Member States from July 1 and can be obtained from testing centers, health authorities or via an e-health portal. To apply for a certificate, you must either be fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old, or have a recovery certificate.

Are you returning from a green or orange zone in the EEA-region? If so, you do not have to undergo a PCR test or go into quarantine. Please note that the color of a zone can change during your stay. If you are coming (back) from a red zone, the agreement is that you do not have to go into quarantine with the European corona certificate. If you don't have one, but get tested on arrival on day 1 or 2, you don't have to go into quarantine. This applies to foreign tourists as well as Belgians.

ATTENTION: Anyone coming to Belgium (back) is required to fill out a return travel form (t.t.z., the Passenger Locator Form) 48 hours before arriving in Belgium. This will continue to apply after 1 July. The electronic version can be found here. The PDF version can be downloaded here. More information can be found on the website of the European Commission.

Excursions and group travel within the EEA-region are allowed; travelling to countries and areas outside the EEA-region that are not mentioned on the list of countries on the website https://reopen.europa.eu/en, however, cannot take placeFor these countries and areas a motivated exemption has to be sent to the Vice-Rector Internationalisation by the academic or dean of faculty.

Please check the document (in Dutch only) on safety and health protocols for group travel by bus, coach for international and national travel.

31 bachelor and 78 master’s programmes

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How do you enrol as a student?

You know which programme you want to study. And you want to do it at VUB. Great! We’re happy that we’re almost able to welcome you on our campuses.

The enrolment period for the coming academic year opens on 1 July and ends at the start of October. But online pre-enrolment is already open, and you can do this at any time. A step-by-step guide explains exactly what you need to do. Good luck, and we’ll hopefully see you soon!

Academic calendar 2021-2022

When is reception week? When do classes start? When is the academic opening? And which other dates should VUB students put in their diaries? All this information is listed in the academic calendar. We don’t yet have the 2021-2022 calendar – as soon as it’s ready, you’ll find it here! Until then, make a note of the following dates:

  • 20-25 September: Orientation week* new students campus Etterbeek 
  • Monday 27 September: Start of the first teaching week of the new year
  • Tuesday 28 September: Official academic opening

* On these days you’ll get to know the campus and meet your fellow students. This year, of course, the process will likely look a little different to normal. Bring on student life!

STUDENT LIFE IN 21-22?

Will there be any student life? What about parties? Does it make sense to live in a dorm during these strange times? Student life is going to be a bit different to normal in 2021-2022. How exactly, we can’t predict right now. What we can tell you is that it’s important to VUB that students feel connected to each other. If an activity can take place within the regulations, we’re happy to support it.

Dorm life in 21-22: frequently asked questions

Are you thinking of living in a dorm at VUB? Even in corona times, it’s a good idea. Get ready for a whole new experience and get the most out of your student days. Our dorm coach Jelle keeps dorm life on the right track, organises fun events and ensures a warm and friendly dorm family.

If coronavirus infections flare up again, it’s possible that the government will ask students to choose a permanent residence. If a dorm resident is infected, we follow all the protocols, meaning the whole unit has to quarantine. There too the dorm coach will support all students. So you’re never alone.

We can’t yet predict how often you’ll be able to attend lessons on campus. But being close to lectures isn’t the only reason for living in a dorm. You make friends, learn to live independently and experience student life to the full. A dorm can also be a good place to study, with peace and quiet, your own space and a good internet connection.

 

Though the dorm experience will be a bit different in 2021-2022 compared to normal times, VUB is doing all it can to ensure students have a great time.

If the coronavirus measures allow it, we are organising an on-campus Info Day on 25 April and 5 September. During this Info Day we’ll also have guided dorm visits.

TIP: Bear in mind it’s best to reserve a VUB dorm in good time. You can do it until 1 May. Student Housing ranks all applications that meet the allocation conditions in their priority category according to the date of application.

The deadline for applying for a VUB dorm is 1 May 2021. After this date, if you still want to request a room, you should contact Student Housing.

You can also rent rooms from our partners. Take a look at Brik.be and our website for more information about all student housing in Brussels.

If a student in a dorm is infected, protocols mean the whole unit has to quarantine. In that case, dorm coach Jelle will support all students. You can also join the Facebook group VUB student housing – stay in touch during corona measures to keep in contact with your roommates. So you’re never alone in a dorm.

In a total lockdown, dorm students will be asked to choose a permanent residence. So you can stay in your dorm, but you won’t be able to move to another address.

How do I find a dorm?

3 ways

Dorm life during corona

Latest guidelines and regulations

Being a student in 21-22: frequently asked questions

Being a student is about much more than just studying. VUB will do whatever it takes to ensure students have a unique and unforgettable time here. For the time being, parties of any kind are unfortunately not permitted. But as soon as we can start the corona-proof party, we’ll really let our hair down!

Lots! If the coronavirus regulations allow it, there is so much to experience on and around our campus. 

  • Food and drink: There are lots of food and drink outlets on and close to our campus. On campus, the Resto provides hot meals at student-friendly prices, for example. In the Cafetaria, you’ll find sandwiches, pastries and cake. Discover more options for food and drink here.
  • Sport: There are so many sporting options at VUB. We have a Basic Fit, an athletics track, a swimming pool and multiple sports halls. Lots of sports activities are organised online too, so you can stay fit and healthy in any circumstances. Discover all that we have to offer.
  • Culture: Enjoy the corona-proof cultural programme at Pilar: concerts, talks and exhibitions. Live at Pilar where possible, on the website and via social media streams where necessary. Together, through culture, we create connections. Find out more here.
  • Discover Brussels: Head into town and get your fill of museums, restaurants and cafes, shops, parks, cultural centres and more. Discover more here.

Even in the coming year, you can join one or more student associations. We expect that, depending on the vaccination campaign, we will slowly be returning to normal life. Then, student associations will be able to restart their activities. For the time being, the rule is: where possible, activities take place in person. If that’s not possible, the associations can offer online alternatives such as a digital cantus. Each association also organises its own corona-proof opportunities so you can get to know new people safely.

You can find more information about associations at student.vub.be or in “Being a student is about more than just studying”, which you can watch during reception week.

Again, we can’t predict this, unfortunately. Much depends on how quickly the population is vaccinated and how effective the vaccines are in the fight against coronavirus. As soon as public health measures allow it and we can have fun safely, student parties can take place again.

And until then? Then there are our student associations, who are incredibly creative and do their utmost to get fun activities up and running. Digitally where necessary, in person where possible. And all with the aim of ensuring you have a great time at university.

We hope, of course, that we’ll be able to welcome you on campus in person next year as much as possible. So, as a new student, you’ll soon feel at home at VUB and can make new friends. And as a veteran, you can see your friends again in real life. As a VUB student, you’re never alone.

  • Student welfare is a top priority for VUB in 21-22. With the Leave No One Behind project, we’re committed to social initiatives to tackle loneliness.
  • You can also call on a VUBuddy. An experienced VUB student will introduce you (and other new students) to life on campus and will help you discover all the dos and don’ts of student life.
  • Our dorm coach Jelle keeps dorm life on the right track. The activities he organises are the ideal opportunity to get to know your roommates better and create close bonds.
  • Do you feel like you’re struggling? Don’t hesitate to call 02/629.23.06. The Study Guidance team are there to listen. You can also make an appointment with one of the student psychologists.

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