Dear (future) student,

When the coronavirus crisis hit VUB, we made an abrupt switch to digital operations. Now that the safety measures have been eased, the university is reviving and so it’s time to explain our plans for the coming academic year.

Our approach for the coming year is based on the following principles:

  • we guarantee the quality of education
  • we are committed to interaction with students
  • we focus on blended learning: a mix of on-campus and online education
  • we guarantee the Brussels experience and the student experience
  • we organise international mobility
  • we are an inclusive university and are attentive to disadvantaged groups

In the coming months, corona will continue to control society around the world. Of course, we are closely monitoring the situation, listening to our experts and respecting the measures imposed by the government. We do this out of solidarity, to respect everybody’s safety and health.

We can't wait to meet you on our campuses and in class!


Continue reading below 

As much education as possible on campus

Interaction with students is central

To do so we are focusing on blended learning, with a mix of digital and campus education. We will organise as much education as possible on campus. Because distancing measures mean we have fewer classrooms available, we are offering some course units digitally. 

For campus education, interactive education forms take priority (seminars, lectures where physical interaction is important…). Lectures will as a rule be held digitally, but may take place on campus or at external locations according to priority and the achievement of learning outcomes.

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

  • Generation students and transition students, so they have a first ‘on campus’ experience
  • International students, so they can get to know Brussels and VUB
  • Disadvantaged students and working students

Rotation system

Student groups form ‘learning communities’ where interactivity is important; they may take lectures in fixed ‘bubbles’. A rotation system guarantees that all students, even in large groups, have a full campus and contact experience. On campus or at certain external locations, lessons will be given to limited groups that swap each week, while the other group follows the lesson online. We will create external capacity via collaborations with cultural houses, businesses and others.

Timetables available from 14 September

Timetables for the first semester will be available on 14 September. We will welcome all students digitally or physically during orientation week. Keep an eye on the website for further details.


Internationalisation continues to play an important role at our university, with mobility opportunities where the measures allow.

International students no longer have to present a visa or health insurance before their registration is accepted by VUB. A visa is necessary to travel to Belgium, however.

Most of our international programmes guarantee international students who are unable to come to Belgium by the start of the academic year that they will be able to follow most teaching activities online.  Please contact international.relations@vub.be for more details.

VUB is and remains an inclusive university, with  a focus on disadvantaged groups who are harder hit by this crisis.

Travelling to and from the VUB

Update 6/7/2020

Belgium opened its borders to people travelling within the European Union, including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. This means students from these countries can travel to the VUB. Whether Belgian students can travel to the above-mentioned countries depends on the country in question. Check the Foreign Affairs website of the country of your chosen destination for more information and travel advice.

Belgium did not open its borders to people travelling from non-EU countries. The VUB follows this advice. The measure is provisionally in force until 20 August. This means students from outside the EU cannot travel to the VUB until 20 August.

For the academic year 20-21, the VUB will not allow study exchanges with non-EU countries. In the first semester, VUB students can only go on a study exchange to a country within the European Union, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. For study exchanges with universities in other countries, we are currently looking for an alternative within the EU.

More than studying

While student life will look very different, we are doing all we can to make the year as pleasant as possible. It is important that students feel connected with each other. In the coming weeks, we will explore how free time and student life on campus can take shape. We are doing this in line with government regulations about youth work, sport and culture, and in consultation with student representatives.

If there is a new wave of infections, there is a chance that the government will require you to choose a fixed place of residence. When someone living in a student room is infected, we will follow a protocol whereby the whole unit is placed in quarantine.

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