logo
Prof. dr. Romain Meeusen, Vice-Rector Internationalisation picture: @Jean Cosyn

International Relations at the VUB

Ranked as one of the world’s top comprehensive universities with a history spanning 180 years, the VUB combines award-winning research and accredited English and Dutch-taught study programmes (Bachelors, Masters and PhDs) with high impact on social, economic and cultural innovation.

At the VUB, students and professors work closely together. We coach our students to become open-minded world citizens, with a strong commitment towards sustainable humanistic societal values. Our graduates are well prepared for professional careers in an increasingly multilingual and international environment. An independent research attitude, as well as a multidisciplinary, international and intercultural environment are key features in the VUB’s ambition to be an open, international university platform. Our expertise and strategic position at the heart of Europe makes us an ideal partner for excellent research and education with a wide outlook on Europe and the world.

Go Abroad Fair Goes DIGITAL

Where will you go next?

COVID-19 impact

FAQs
Pleinlaan 2 (visitors: 5), 1050 Brussels, Belgium.
+32 (0)26148101- international.relations@vub.be

our offices are closed.
Contact us by phone/email

Take a quick online tour of our main campus!

Thinking about studying with us in Brussels? You are studying with us, but not managed to see our main campus yet? Here's a quick fast-paced tour of our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus.

The VUB is one of Europe's top universities!

The VUB is among the top 17% of universities worldwide, according to the 2021 QS World University Rankings - VUB scores particularly well in terms of teaching quality and international attractiveness for teaching staff. Brussels is 43rd in QS Best Student Cities ranking from 2019. When asked to name the best thing about studying in Brussels, one student commented: “The diversity of people and the many internship and job opportunities.” - read on to the full story.VUB is one of Europe's most innovative universities, appearing in 59th position in Reuters' top 100 European list of most innovative universities. Also, check out the listing for the U-Multirank

 

MEET US, FIND US, CHAT TO US!

You can contact us for more information or to set up a TEAMS meeting with one of our recruiters to answer any questions you have. Just email us the topics you want to discuss and we'll set up a time for a chat. 

You can meet us at somem virtual fairs taking place soon:

18 March 2021Croatia & Slovenia - virtually at the World Education Fair

8 April 2021Romania & Moldova - virtually at the Romanian International University Fair

14 April 2021Greece - virtually at the International University Fair 

We can help you with any questions you may have about studying at the VUB. Don't hesitate to book an info session; we're here to help you find the best programme to meet your needs and interests!

>>BOOK YOUR ONLINE INFO SESSION WITH US NOW<<

Latest News from International

Multilingualism in Brussels and at VUB: fostering language diversity - we speak to Professor Wim Vandenbussche about the diversity and multilingualism being embraced across Brussels and how this is reflected at VUB. 

©UNHCR

VUB is coordinator of the UNISTAR project, which has European Commission Erasmus+ framework programme-funding. The project brings together VUB with Vilnius University (Lithuania), Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Universidad Alcala (Spain), and the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht (the Netherlands), and works in partnership with the UNHCR. The project team is developing a university staff training programme on how to work better with refugee students. 

On 9 February 2021, the VUB Institute for European Studies and Vesalius College announced their alliance in the formation of the Brussels School of Governance. Karel De Gucht, the school's new president, explains what distinguishes the Brussels School of Governance from its competitors. 

The VUB's student magazine, De Moeial, interviews 6 international students to find out how they were experiencing their studies at VUB during the pandemic. Have a look at what Cabirou (Cameroon), Jes (US), Michelle (El Salvador) say in article #1, and what Sophie (US), Jakob (DE, UK, BE), and Ottone say in article #2. 

VUB welcomed 100 international students and interns for the 2nd semester! On 5 February they were given an online welcome information session with info on administration in Brussels and at VUB, but also specific info on their exchange. They are joining VUB from 22 different countries. 

 

VUB alumnus and physicist Bob Coecke has been appointed chief scientist of the renowned company Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC), a global leader in quantum software and algorithms. Coecke is a pioneer in the field of categorical quantum mechanics and quantum computing.

The VUB International Relations office launched its yearly photo book, with highlights of 2020. Despite most of the year happening remotely, working from home, and with online events/meetings, we've managed to fill up our photo book. Have a look! 

Recipient of the first VUB University Development Cooperation Career Award is Professor Edilbert Van Driessche. On 3 December 2020, the International Relations office organised the launch of the University Development Cooperation (UDC) Career Award. The general objective of the UDC Career Award is to acknowledge VUB professors and their contribution to university development cooperation. The call for nominations was opened in July and the selection made in November, with the award-giving ceremony taking place during the VUB’s Ethics Week.

David's experience at VUB: "It surpassed my wildest expectations": We first met David De Vocht in 2019, when he’d just started his master’s programme in Photonics. We chatted in de run up to the BEST competition which is held every year across Europe. Time has passed, and David has meanwhile graduated from VUB but he’s stayed in academic circles. He started his PhD at TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands, which will keep him occupied over the next four years.

Check out all our study programmes taught in English!

Check out our academic offer

EXCHANGE: Enrich your student life and study in Brussels!

Incoming Students

EXCHANGE: Expand your horizons & study abroad!

Go Abroad Students

International Student Platform

The ISP is an advisory committee to the Student Council of the VUB. The International Student Platform represents the interests of international students who come from 129 countries around the world. This student structure takes on any issue the VUB's international students may face. The ISP, which consists of a group of 12 international students,  plays an active part in the decision-making process at the VUB.

Projects

VUB coordinates or is a partner in several international projects.

Some projects below…

©UNHCR

UNISTAR

VUB is coordinator of the UNISTAR project, which has European Commission Erasmus+ framework programme-funding. The project brings together VUB with Vilnius University (Lithuania), Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Universidad Alcala (Spain), and the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht (the Netherlands), and works in partnership with the UNHCR. The project team is developing a university staff training programme on how to work better with refugee students. This article on VUB Today gives more information on the initial testing phase taking place in 2021. 

UNIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION (UDC)

Everyone knows about the "classical" development cooperation, but did you know that VUB is involved in several research and teaching activities with universities in the Global South? Each year, VUB professors work together with their colleagues from countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia to tackle global issues and perform excellent research. At the same time, student mobility (North–South or South-North) is geared towards the exchange of knowledge and experience. As such, the whole VUB community and their partners are  each strengthening their capacity and building sustainable relationships. The University Development Cooperation unit is part of the VUB International Relations office. 

More information on our vision, projects and publications can be found on our dedicated page.

ALEF PROJECT

In 2016 VUB started a project on Arabic language courses for children between 6-15 years old. It is the first secular Arabic language course in Belgium with academic supervision. The curriculum is checked by specialists and PhD experts in Arabic language. It is a non-profit programme where each lesson contains extra learning activities next to the regular teaching, such as games, Arabic songs etc. Students will receive a certificate of attendance by VUB. A video was made (in English) to showcase the classes and the reason why the VUB is coordinating this project.

Check out ALEF Project website for more information.

LEAD2

The LEAD2 project a Capacity Building in Higher Education project supported by the Erasmus+ programme. The aims of the LEAD2 project are to: Strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions in governance and academic leadership; Enhance the knowledge and capacities of academic leaders and potential academic leaders on university governance and leadership; Implement innovative and targeted blended training (MOOC, workshops & peer learning) for academic leaders; Deepen the understanding of university governance and academic leadership through comparative studies; Create an online Knowledge Base,  Referencing Tool & Networks; Establish an EU-China Center on University Leadership. The project is coordinated by VUB . 

EMCWUB

Enhancing Mental Health, Counseling, and Wellbeing Support for University Students in Bhutan (EMCWUB) is a Capacity Building in Higher Education project supported by the Erasmus+ programme. The project aims to establish a counselling service centre at all the colleges in the Royal University of Bhutan in order to create an enabling and inclusive environment for students’ development. These counselling centers will embody the hybrid of western counselling principles, and the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness. The project is coordinated by the Royal University of Bhutan and VUB is one of the three European partner institutions.

SPEACH

The main goal of the Sport Physical Education And Coaching in Health (SPEACH) Project is to increase awareness and behavioural change in sports professionals and European citizens towards an active and healthy lifestyle.

EUCA InVEst

The overall objective of EUCA INVEST is to strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship and creativity within Higher Education in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Higher education institutions should become actively interested parties for socio-economic development by strengthening the collaboration between the "corporate mindset" of the University and the "academic involvement" of the industry. 

Partners & Network

Global challenges require going beyond the borders of individual institutions. The VUB therefore supports international relationships emerging from bottom-up initiatives from within the academic community, but also builds institutional partnerships with leading like-minded partners. Our relationship with each partner is unique, but fits into the three levels of the VUB’s mission: research, education and societal impact creation.

Education: individual or group student mobility; staff mobility and international guest lecturers; joint curriculum development; double or joint diploma programmes; summer schools.

Research: collaborative research projects; joint PhDs; international joint research groups.

Societal impact: societal outreach; knowledge and technology transfer; incubator facilities; interregional development.

Strategic partners with whom the VUB has exceptionally strong alliances at these three levels, with an ongoing commitment for expanding the collaboration to several disciplines and faculties, are considered Privileged International Partners (PIP). Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, China, is the VUB’s first PIP.

Check out the map showing European mobility intensive partnerships.

EUTOPIA - European University

EUTOPIA is a challenge-led, student-centred, place-based inclusive alliance of entrepreneurial, change focused universities. The EUTOPIA alliance brings together 6 universities in Europe and unites over: 
165,000 students - 30,000 members of staff - 90,000 international alumni. With research centres in 760 areas, EUTOPIA’s expertise spans multiple areas, highlighting the network’s breadth of knowledge.

European Networks - UNICA

UNICA is an institutional network of 46 universities from 35 capital cities in Europe, combining over 150,000 staff and 1,800,000 students.

European Networks - EUA

The European University Association (EUA) is the representative organisation of universities and national rectors’ conferences in 47 European countries. EUA plays a crucial role in the Bologna Process and in influencing EU policies on higher education, research and innovation. Thanks to its interaction with a range of other European and international organisations EUA ensures that the independent voice of European universities is heard, wherever decisions are being taken that will impact on their activities.

European Networks - IMISCOE

International Migration, Integration & Social Cohesion (IMISCOE) is Europe's largest network for migration and diversity research institutes. BIRMM-VUB was accepted as an institutional member of the network in early July 2018. Our expertise on migration and diversity will contribute to IMISCOE's success. VUB's location in the capital of Europe, which is the second most diverse city in the world, constitutes an outstanding location for IMISCOE's activities and visiting researchers.

European Networks - EIASM

The European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) is an international network for management research and teaching that includes more than 50,000 management scientists from all over the world. EIASM's mission is to enhance high quality in research and doctoral studies in management and related disciplines.

Global Networks - Scholars at Risk

Scholars at Risk works with its global network of higher education institutions around the world to arrange temporary research and teaching positions for threatened scholars.

Global Networks - Top International Managers in Engineering

Top International Managers in Engineering (T.I.M.E.) is a network of leading technical universities and engineering schools founded in 1989. The members have a strong international dimension in their research, teaching and industrial relations, and are all committed to international cooperation and student exchanges and recognition of studies abroad. The association consists of 57 members in 21 countries.

Global Networks - Universities Against the Death Penalty

Membership of the Universities Against the Death Penalty Network implies the conscientious application of member universities’ moral and intellectual weight and voice. It is a statement of support for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. Network members lend their name to the struggle.

KNOWLEDGE HUBS

See below a selection of knowledge hubs active at VUB

CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

The heart of Europe can without any doubt be considered as one of the most creative places on Earth. Painters, video artists, fashion designers, musicians, choreographers, film directors, … living and working in Belgium and its capital Brussels, are among the most respected masters in their specific domain, worldwide.

Our experiences of the last years - particularly in the Far East - in tight collaboration with Belgian and Flemish artists made it clear that this creative potential can serve as an excellent instrument for the promotion of Belgium and its regions as a place in the world that is driven by a unique form of innovation and creativity. A project methodology applying a special grass-roots approach was developed. The preparation of each project starts with the development of a human network in each city, connecting local artists, curators, universities and business people. This methodology, which must be understood as intertwining cultural and academic diplomacy, comes with the surprising effect that the opening of an exhibition becomes at the same time the celebration of a first constructive phase of a relationship. All events are fine-tuned to local interests, putting talented contemporary artists, belonging to different cultures, in the spotlight while combining artistic creation with academic reflection centred around thematically challenging and appealing themes.  There is always an educational aspect linked to the events, involving students in the arts.

Contact Information and opening hours

The international relations office welcome desk for students and visitors is currently closed for any in-person meetings due to COVID-19 restrictrions.

We remain available for general questions on email international.relations@vub.be or telephone +32(0)2 614 8101. For specific questions on,

Who is who

Meet the team:

Vice-Rector & Director

 

Romain Meeusen, Vice-Rector International Relations

Jacqueline Couder, Director International Relations office

Welcome & Information Desk & Secretariat

Ingrid Bauwens

Carine Steenwinckels

John Vandewijer

Steven Verhulst

Rita Vynck

L:egal & Social Services, Finance, Data management & international scholarships

Bo Van Haecke, Legal & social services

Hilde De Haseleer, Data management & international scholarships

Vincent Spiessens, Finance

University Development Cooperation

Adriana Moreno Cely

Francoise De Cupere

Yann De Troyer

Martine Gheysen

Olivia Lebbe

Jannes Motmans

EU Cell

Email incoming exchange students: exchange.incoming@vub.ac.be

Email outgoing exchange students: exchange.outgoing@vub.ac.be 

Email: erasmusprojects@vub.be

Khaola Al Rifai

Eugenia Marchetti

Eric Valck

Ann-Sophie Vanderschueren

Sander Verhoef

International marketing, recruitment & communications

Daisy Bocchi, International marketing & recruitment

Maarten Gernay

Kim Hardie, International communications

Diana Kentsch, International data governance

Xiaohong Tong, International marketing & recruitment + VUB China Network

Up-front Financing, International MoUs & State Missions

Annabel Van Damme

Student Refugee Programme

Email: refugee@vub.ac.be

Khaola Al Rifai

Tahaney Kattash

Brussels Diplomatic Academy

Email: bda@vub.be

URL: www.brusselsdiplomaticacademy.eu 

Delia Barbu

Gunter Gaublomme

Len Ishmael

Cailin Mackenzie

 

Arabic Language Classes Project

Email: arabic.class@vub.be

Hala Aboud

Sami Azar

+ Teachers: Rita Khayat, Roula Murjane, Rola Ibrahim, Nemah Morjanah, and Abdulmuhimn Othman.