The Faculty of Arts and Philosophy joined the VUB fellowship programme in 2015. To a faculty which has reflection and criticism as its core activities the fellowship programme offers excellent opportunities for bringing the world to the classroom and for taking up a role as critical discussant in today’s societal debates.  

The fellows’ own career paths prove how a background in Arts and Philosophy can be both an inspiration and a support when taking up intellectual, cultural or media key positions on a national and international level. The Faculty of Arts and Philosophy fellows may serve as role models for our students and help them broaden their horizons beyond their academic education. As ambassadors to the Faculty of Arts, they contribute to our education and research programmes and facilitate our collaboration with organizations outside the university.

University Fellowship Coordinator
Martina Temmerman



Building bridges between the academic, the economic and the governmental levels is key to the further development of an open, innovative and future-driven society. Exchanging experiences, getting to know each other with an open mind and no boundaries, discovering new shared paths to follow... all this can enrich our joint efforts to the benefit of all our fellow world citizens.

  • Composer and conductor

I see the Fellowship as a permanent dialogue between enterprising, playful, creative and critical-thinking people. It’s an exciting confrontation at the crossroads where old and new thoughts complement, challenge and reinforce one another.

  • Executive Director Oxfam-Solidariteit

I see a university as a critical haven. I expect academia to focus on turning our young people into world citizens, always one step ahead of the society of tomorrow and the day after. They should be a place that doesn’t shy away from radical criticism, offers innovative ideas and encourages social engagement.


Writers are unique thinkers, not tied to the interests of others. The university wants to be a similarly independent space for free thinkers. A rapprochement of both groups of free thinkers, with ‘free’ in the sense of ‘independent, radical, innovative’, can increase engagement and commitment to use this free thinking in a targeted and meaningful way.

  • Writer

For me, this is a special way of putting students into contact with the real world. Normally it takes a long time before students make contact with the tough world outside the university, but in this way you bring representatives of that tough world into the university. As far as literature is concerned, I’ll do my best to make this contact possible.

  • General Representative of Flanders in the UK

VUB is a truly unique institution in the heart of Europe, with a heart for the world. Its diversity, scientific project and ethical approach are more relevant than ever in a world that’s becoming more violent and intolerant, and in which respect for the human being and human rights is dwindling.

  • Project leader Cultuurpool Citroën

It’s always important that universities do not stay in their ‘tower of Babel’. This special relationship with society is fundamental if we are to advance shared thinking on the future of our societies.

  • Leadership Executive Coach at INSEAD

As my Fellowship is for the Arts department of the university, I hope I can contribute by embodying different career possibilities in one lifetime. Openness to change, other cultures, team work, and learnability are becoming tomorrow’s biggest assets, together with Emotional Intelligence. I hope to embody these values, which I also believe to be anchored in VUB’s societal mission.

  • Journalist - VTM Nieuws

As a journalist, I have a profound knowledge of the functioning of the media. Media literacy is a skill of ever increasing importance in our society, for all its members but especially also for university students and staff. I am willing to put my experience at the disposal of the university community.

  • Member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts

All universities today, apart from making and teaching pure science, technology, and the humanities, have a responsibility to constantly and wisely widen their scope. In this view, VUB has taken a great initiative in building yet another bridge between academia and society at large. VUB Fellows can, in more than one way, contribute to a better interaction between scientists, artists, and decision makers – but also between ordinary citizens and committed intellectuals.

  • Hoogleraar Cultuurpsychologie en Geesterlijke Begeleidingswetenschappen Universiteit voor Humanistiek

As former vice-chancellor of the University of Humanistic Studies, I collaborated with humanist organizations both in Belgium and the Netherlands, committed to meaningful life in a humane society. By building bridges to these organizations, the VUB's commitment to work for a better society through academic research and education can be strengthened.

  • Professor Emeritus at Ghent University

Academia is part of society. Research and the transfer of knowledge should be free of political constraints, but should also give feedback to society itself. Recent developments of ‘corporate science’ are a mistake. Short-term economic interests should never uncritically dictate the course of scientific research planning, career opportunities, etc.

  • Artistic direction of Kaaitheater, Brussels

During my fellowship, I hope to bring together artists and academics to contemplate and take a position on a society that has become increasingly difficult to understand. If nowadays opinions seem to be superseding reflection, one of the core tasks of both an art institution and a university is to slow and deepen a fast moving world. Therefore, the VUB fellowship is an important structural initiative: it encourages and channels oppurtunities from both sides.

  • Director-general of Europalia

  • Director-general of BOZAR


  • Associate Professor of History - Pennsylvania State University - Department of History

Historical arguments tend to be used and abused; it is historians’ privilege and duty to enter that conversation. This is a civic task, for which there is a demand from civil society. All the more so as enlightened values – rationality, civil dialogue, choice – remain, sadly, embattled.

  • Foreign Correspondent at VRT

In their daily work, journalists can be a natural bridge between academia and society, by trying to explain in simple words the highly valuable but often complicated content of scientific work. Through my Fellowship, I hope to broaden this task, by offering my experience in ‘exploring society’ to VUB students and collaborators.