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Chronicle of a strange year in eleven images

Empty campuses and classrooms. Students and teachers who almost only have contact through the computer screen. An academic opening that is being cut short. Exams and graduation ceremonies in and at external locations. Exactly one year ago, we all went into lockdown and our university - in the words of our rector - went brutally digital. For the occasion, we bring you a visual overview of a VUB year that will undoubtedly occupy a special place in the annals of the university. 


Beautiful but strange: an empty campus at the beginning of an academic year.

Suddenly, it's all hands on deck to cope with corona: VUB students dive into the Fablab to design, together with Audi, respirators from existing materials. 

The world needs you: these student-volunteers from the Faculty of Medicine & Pharmacy didn't wait for the official launch of the VUB's new motto to answer the call. Together with many of their fellow students, they helped to cope with the influx of corona patients at the UZ Brussel. Applause! 

Mouth masks and gel: we got used to them faster than we wanted. But hey, check out  that cool design of our masks! 

OK, we have to stay at home. But sitting still? Not if our students from the Faculty of Physical Education & Physiotherapy are concerned. They help us to stay fit with an online corona fitness workout. 

Was it one opening of the academic year, or were there several? Bruzz broadcasted live the event that took place in six places, and everyone could follow the show on facebook.

The St V celebration took place on 20 November under the motto 'with distance, but not apart'. The flower tributes did take place in a limited circle, but much of the event could be joined virtually on Facebook. 

"How did your exams go?" "Like the hall: grandiose". Pictured: written exam in a room at the Royal Museum of Art & History.

Graduation ceremony at The Grand Place of Brussels, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Or how a global disaster ushers in a new tradition. Other universities are for once not green but blue with envy. And rightly so. 

On Saturday 9 May 2020, Pilar is transformed into a TV studio for the Great Corona Debate, organised by the Medical World. Politicians and top experts debate in a live broadcast on VRT NWS and HLN.be on the problems, solutions and plan of approach of the pandemic. 

Phew, 2020 is coming to an end. To thank students and staff for their perseverance and to ecourage them, the VUB sends them end-of-year cards and a gift box. A present that is warmly welcomed!