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Prof. dr. Romain Meeusen, Vice-Rector Internationalisation

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.

 - Professor Romain Meeusen, Vice-Rector Internationalisation

International Relations Office


Pleinlaan 2,1050 Brussels Belgium - Visitors: Pleinlaan 5 - T: +32(0)26148101 - E: international.relations@vub.be Open: Mon/Tue/Fri:9:00-12:30 & 13:30-16:30 Wed/Thur:9:00-12:30

Why study in Brussels and at the VUB ?

Listen to what some of our international students have to say on why they choose Brussels and the VUB for their studies. Here's an overview of all available courses in English: www.vub.ac.be/en/programmes

The VUB is one of Europe's top universities!

The VUB is 188 in the QS World University Rankings

VUB is one of Europe's most innovative universities, appearing in 59th position in Reuters' top 100 European list of most innovative universities. 

Check out the listing for the U-Multirank

Brussels is 48th in QS Best Student Cities ranking. 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

MEET US, FIND US, CHAT TO US!

You can email us at international.relations@vub.ac.be to set up a skype call 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. 

The Latest News from International

Honorary doctorate for José Ramón Saborido Loidi: On 15 May 2019 the five Flemish universities each awarded one honorary doctorate to a person who has had impact in the field of academic development cooperation. The honorary doctorate of the VUB went to Professor José Ramón Saborido Loidi from Cuba.

The Monsoon School: In February, 18 students from the 2nd year Master of Oceans and Lakesspent 12 days in Zanzibar to participate in the Monsoon School, a project funded by Vliruos. We talked with Professor Nico Koedam about the Monsoon School to find out more.

The Science Behind Chocolate: With variations in sweetness and bitterness depending on the variety, chocolate is highly popular in the form of bars, as coating or filling or as a (hot or cold) drink. You’d be forgiven to think that with its wide availability globally, its development and production into consumable goodness is easy-peasy. However, looking at the science of how chocolate starts its life, a different story unfolds.

Large VUB delegation visits Bolivia to further research cooperation, as well as staff and student mobility. The trip comes after an agreement was signed between VUB and the Comité Ejecutivo de la Universidad Boliviana (CEUB) last year.

The LEAD2 Project Launched! Capacity Building in Higher Education project supported by the Erasmus+ programme runs from January 2019-January 2022

VUB strenghtens ties with the Université Internationale de Rabat in Morocco:  From Monday 11 till Thursday 14 February two colleagues from the VUB International Relations office will be spending time at the Université Internationale de Rabat (UIR) in Morocco. It’s part of an Erasmus+ staff mobility project.

Sign For My Future - VUB joins the Belgian climate coalition's call, Sign for my future, for a strong climate policy. Rector Caroline Pauwels is ambassador of the campaign and calls on all Belgian residents - and VUB-people in particular - to collect as many signatures as possible. With this call, and by organising a climate lesson-marathon for young people and a bootcamp for professionals, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel puts climate high on its agenda. Sign the petition if you live in Belgium!

Researchers from VUB and NASA's JPL studied global-scale dispersal and connectivity of mangroves: Their findings, which have been published recently in PNAS, provide a baseline to improve understanding of observed mangrove species distributions and, in combination with climate data, the expected range shifts under climate change. 

VUB Launches new European University Alliance 'EUTOPIA' with 5 partners: VUB joins forces with five other European universities for structural international collaboration on education and research.

Discover what the International Relations office got up to in 2018 by checking out our 2018 Highlights in Pictures booklet

VUB International Relations Office launches call for internationalisation activities organised by VUB Students: The objective is to provide funding for students to organise events related to internationalisation. This means events which,

=> enhance the international spirit of the VUB
=> contribute to the concept of an international campus
=> build capacity on international and intercultural skills within the VUB community
=> contribute to the mix of international and local students.

Albinism in Tanzania: fighting ingrained beliefs and reducing stigma - A one-day conference on 25 October looking at stigma, stigma reduction strategies & fostering future collaborations

VUB hosted ESN Citizens' Dialogue event with EU Commissioner Navracsics, and other high-level representatives from the EU Institutions. Critical thinking vital in fostering active citizenship among Europe's youth

WisePocket app, a spin-off of the VUB and the Universidad de Oriente, Cuba win Digital for Development (D4D) Prize. The award was for most promising innovative idea in the category iStartup.

VUB hosts Latin American visitors for a working week on internationalisation - 14 RIESAL Network members will also join VUB's Latin America Day.

More than 40 full degree 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…

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. As a non-profit programme only the material is charged (80 EUR per school year). 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 the website page for more information on the classes and to register.  More information on the project and to fund it is available on the VUB Foundation webpages. 

VUB's Arabic Language Classes project in Brussels - a video

Arabic is a world language. To provide them with a secular learning platform, the VUB in collaboration with UCOS and de Scholengroep, set up these courses to give youngsters in Brussels the opportunity to learn Arabic in a well-founded and qualitative manner.

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.

CARIBU is an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 (EMA2) partnership programme which aims to increase academic mobility, research and capacity-building opportunities between 8 EU universities and 12 countries from the African, Caribbean & Pacific region. The project creates a forum for mutual scientific cooperation, learning enhancement and exchange of best practices. All partners strive to meet the needs of the countries involved, including the support to disadvantaged regions, with special attention given to equal opportunities and gender balance.

CARIBU

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.

SPEACH

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. 

EUCA InVEst

WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2018

Wednesday 20 June 2018 is World Refugee Day. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has a long history of welcoming refugees and encourages those with an academic background or academic ambition to make use of the various opportunities offered on campus. In 2015 the Student Welcome Refugee Programme was set up at the university to provide support to those wishing to pursue their studies. in 2018 VUB also launched the InCAMPUS programme with additional support for some 20 refugee students.

  • One of our refugee students is Abbas. He made a video on behalf of the UNHCR showing a day in his life at the VUB, how he is learning French and acts as an interpreter. His video has gone viral - have a look yourself!
  • Back in March, VUB was the 1st Belgian university to join the UNHCR's coalition #withrefugees: read all about it here and check out the video we made with some of our students and staff.
  • If you want to find out more about the Student Welcome Refugee Programme and InCAMPUS, check out the website.
  • There is even an InCAMPUS animation movie (very short!) to explain more about the programme. 

#WEAREVUB #WithRefugees #WorldRefugeeDay

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 Industrial Managers for Europe

Top Industrial Managers for Europe (T.I.M.E.) is a network of fifty-three engineering schools, faculties and technical universities. The oldest European network of engineering schools in its field, the T.I.M.E. Association promotes graduate student exchanges and double degrees throughout Europe and the world to enable students to achieve a broader, high-level scientific engineering education with in-depth intercultural experience.

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.

Meet the International Relations office team

For general enquiries: international.relations@vub.be

 

Romain Meeusen, Vice-Rector International Relations

Jacqueline Couder, Director International Relations office

Welcome & Information Desk & Secretariat

Ingrid Bauwens

Carine Steenwinckels

Steven Verhulst

Rita Vynck

Social Services, Finance, Data management & international scholarships

Patrick Boeckstijns, Social services

Hilde De Haseleer, Data management & international scholarships

Vincent Spiessens, Finance

University Development Cooperation

Arlind Cara

Adriana Moreno Cely

Sanne Clynhens

Francoise De Cupere

Martine Gheysen

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

Marie Aurousseau

Emilie Flambeaux

Laura Gruyaert

Ann-Sophie Vanderschueren

Sander Verhoef

International marketing, recruitment & communications

Daisy Bocchi, International marketing & recruitment

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

Welcome Refugee Programme & InCAMPUS

Email: refugee@vub.ac.be

Email: incampus@vub.ac.be

Khaola Al Rifai

Tahaney Kattash

Brussels Diplomatic Academy

Email: bda@vub.be

URL: www.brusselsdiplomaticacademy.eu 

Delia Barbu

Gunter Gaublomme

Cailin Mackenzie

Arabic Language Classes Project

Email: arabic.class@vub.be

Sami Azar

Mujadhed Ibrahim Hattab

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

Confucius Institute at VUB

Email: vub-ci@vub.ac.be

Maarten Gernay

Eugenia Marchetti

Xinning Song

Chang Zhu