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MEET A FEW OF YOUR FUTURE COLLEAGUES

How do over 3.500 VUB-people contribute each day to our future? How do they put our values of freedom, critical thinking, diversity, and equal opportunities into practice? And what does the VUB mean to them personally? We'd rather let them tell you about it in their own words.

Karen Celis - research professor


ON GENDER AND DIVERSITY AT THE VUB.

Read this testimonial

Pieter-Jan Pauweleyn - PhD


ON HOW JOB FREEDOM GOES HAND-IN-HAND WITH TAKING RESPONSIBILITY.

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Rica Ciriaco - HR advisor


ON HOW THE VUB AIMS TO STIMULATE ITS EMPLOYEES’ PERSONAL GROWTH WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION FOR WELL-BEING.

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Luc Deliens - professor


ON HOW, AT THE VUB, YOU CAN FREELY CONDUCT GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH, EVEN ON SENSITIVE ETHICAL ISSUES.

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Heleen van Schooneveld - student recruitment


ON HOW, WITH THE RIGHT DRIVE AND MINDSET, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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Aushim Koumar - PhD


ON HOW THE VUB OFFERS ITS STUDENTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP A PROFESSIONAL CAREER.

Read this testimonial

ARCHITECTURE IN A GREEN SETTING: DISCOVER ALL OUR CAMPUSES

Our faculties and departments are divided over 4 campuses.

1. Brussels Health Campus

Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090 Brussels - The home base of the faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy. Adjacent to the UZ Brussel and in the proximity of the Laarbeekbos, it baths in has plenty oftheis bathed in greenery.

How to get there?

2. Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus

Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene Our largest campus, in Elsene, is home to faculties such as social sciences and exact sciences. It’s also where you'll find the rector's office, the social services and the socio-cultural infrastructure.

How to get there?

3. Brussels Technology Campus

Nijverheidskaai 170, 1070 Anderlecht - Anderlecht is home to our faculty of industrial sciences.

How to get there?

4. Brussels Photonics Campus

Vollezelestraat 46, 1755 Gooik - Gooik is the site of our innovation centre for photonics, with platforms for micro-object design and a technology hall for advanced prototyping.

How to get there?

By tram, bike or perhaps by train?


WE ARE COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY, WHICH IS WHY WE OFFER OUR EMPLOYEES A BICYCLE ALLOWANCE OR A TRAIN, TRAM OR BUSS PASS.

Discover our other benefits

WOULD YOU, TOO, LIKE TO WORK AT ONE OF OUR CAMPUSES?

You're bound to feel at home here.

Take a look at our job vacancies

We all have our individual DNA, but we’re all a family

Are you a strong personality? Not afraid to voice a controversial opinion now and then? Or are you more the low-key type who unfailingly gets things done? We’ll welcome you with open arms. We applaud diversity, but our Enlightenment values remain written in stone.

History

The VUB grew out of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), founded in 1834. In 1970, we officially separated from the French-speaking ULB, but we continue to collaborate closely as sister universities in many areas.

Read more about our history.

The Enlightenment and our core values

Freedom, equality, solidarity

he VUB stands, first and foremost, for freedom, in terms of research, as well as expression. Everyone is free to be themselves and to express it, too, with respect for others, of course.

Equality encompasses parity (men/women, sexual orientation, origin, creed, language…) as well as equal opportunities. We therefore strive to ensure equal access to the VUB –as a student or a colleague –for people from all social groups.

Furthermore, with solidarity, we emphasise that we are firmly rooted in society and that we join forces with each other, with other organisations and companies – including internationally – in order to build a better world.

This is how our rector Caroline Pauwels sees our values in practice.

Are freedom, equality and solidarity important for you, too?


BECOME A COLLEAGUE AND EXPERIENCE THESE VALUES IN PRACTICE.

Go to open job vacancies
"The VUB is an academic pioneer in gender and diversity, with attention for people within the university and beyond." - Onderzoeksprofessor Karen Celis

Equality, but also diversity

In practice

In order to put our ambition into practice, we take many initiatives. These range from special diversity programmes (such as our gender action plan) to relatively simple measures to lower our threshold as an employer (such as, where possible, flexible employment terms).

Unity in diversity

Within the VUB, diversity is more than just a buzzword. We actively take the lead in working towards a diverse and tolerant society – and we apply these principles first and foremost to ourselves.

We consider differences in cultures, religions, backgrounds and beliefs to be an enrichment for our organisation. We therefore guarantee equal opportunities, without making any distinction based on gender, social or ethnic origin, creed, sexual orientation, age or disability. Moreover, as a Brussels university and the largest Flemish employer in Brussels, with many ongoing international collaborations, it is our duty to reflect the society around us.

If you become an employee at the VUB, you'll receive multiple benefits

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VUB AS UNIVERSITAS FOR THE 21ST century

How rector Caroline Pauwels intends - together with you and all other VUB people - to prepare our university for the future? Read about our mission and vision. 

"The VUB is specialised in assuming the role of pioneer. It tackles challenges that are not yet widely studied and opens them up for dialogue. " - Assistant Professor Esli Struys

Our mission

The VUB is a university based in the capital of Europe. It aims to inspire its students, researchers and staff and to educate them to become open-minded citizens of the world. Freedom, equality and social solidarity are the building blocks of our project as a university.

The VUB stimulates self-reflection, an investigative, critical attitude and an open, creative approach to scientific and societal issues. Respect and empathy are at the core of our interaction with others and with the world. Founded on the principle of free inquiry, both our research and education are fundamentally groundbreaking and pioneering. We build bridges between ethics, theory, practical research and field work. We stimulate entrepreneurship, engagement and a sense of responsibility.

We want to contribute to an inclusive society. The VUB cherishes its freethinking and humanist roots. We act in accordance with the motto 'scientia vincere tenebras' - overcoming darkness through science - and the conviction that all of us can make a difference: ‘it's up to each one of us’.

Our vision

We live at a time in which every organisation urgently needs to prepare for a world that could be radically transformed before we know it. Every organisation needs to consider how to remain relevant. That is also the process that we are currently embarking upon at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel: what changes do we need to initiate in the next three years in order to avoid finding ourselves obsolete 10 to 15 years from now. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is opting to pursue a path that is radically humanist, radically urban and radically 21st-century, which means: sustainable, diverse, digital and reflective

 

“An innovative approach, original thinking, getting your hands dirty: these are the values that you learn at the VUB.”


Professor Ilse Smolders

Warm, open, connected and learning are the 4 keywords for what we hope to achieve in the next 3 years.

To become the go-to place for work and study.

1. WARM

Strategic objectives:

  • we will increase the well-being of staff and students. We will build a diverse and open community of students and researchers
  • we will make a priority of applying a policy that is effective, reflective and adaptable
  • we will develop our campuses into supportive, inspiring places in which to study and work 
Optimising proactive research and innovation for the future.

2. OPEN

Strategic objectives:

  • we will continue to develop a research environment that is international, interdisciplinary and excellent
  • we will reinforce our social and industrial networks to generate maximum benefit from our knowledge
Connected, through partnerships, with the city, society and the world.

3. CONNECTED

Strategic objectives:

  • we will stimulate participatory and community-based education and research
  • we will reinforce our role as an international and socially connected organisation
Proactively optimising education and innovation for the future.

4. LEARNING

Strategic objectives:

  • we will develop a range of study programmes that prepare students for future societal and scientific challenges
  • we will innovate in our education via modern forms of education and technologies

ARE YOU, TOO, INSPIRED BY OUR MISSION AND VISION?

Apply for one of our job openings and help to make our university future proof.

Start your carreer at the VUB

An internal investigation into our identity as an employer

Is the VUB in practice the employer that it aims at being in theory? That was the key question that we asked ourselves in early 2018. Therefore, we launched an internal survey regarding the VUB’s employer brand. The goal: to bring our identity into focus and develop our image accordingly. 

What do our 3,494 employees think of the VUB as an employer?

We passed the test with flying colours, but there is still room for improvement

These are the main lessons we draw from the survey:

How can the VUB optimally fulfil its role in society? The answer stands or falls with the 3.494 employees who help shape our mission every single day. How our colleagues experience working at the VUB is an important yardstick for making adjustments to our organisation and living up to our mission. That's why, in April 2018, we mounted a large-scale survey of all VUB employees to find out why they chose the VUB as employer.

In total, no fewer than 1.241 VUB colleagues fully completed the online questionnaire. There was not only a good distribution in terms of age, gender and seniority, but it was a representative sample of the various functions within the VUB. A solid basis on which to build further. 

The strengths? Freedom, flexibility, self-fulfilment and solidarity.

What is working well?

Een stevige 7,2 op 10: die gemiddelde score krijgt de VUB van onze collega’s. Om dat cijfer met de nodige diepgang te ontleden, analyseerden we niet minder dan 4.375 unieke (en geanonimiseerde!) uitspraken van VUB-medewerkers over onze universiteit.

“Onze relatief hoge sentimentscore heeft de VUB vooral te danken aan de vrijheid die onze medewerkers ervaren in hun job”, verduidelijkt rector Caroline Pauwels. “Werken bij de VUB staat gelijk aan zelfverrijking en ontplooiing. Uit de resultaten blijkt dat onze universiteit een plek is waar een open geest en flexibiliteit centraal staan, met veel leerrijke ontmoetingen tussen collega’s. Bovendien hebben onze waarden en normen een breed draagvlak.” 

Verder blijkt het gevoel van samenhorigheid hoog te liggen. En dat zowel tussen collega’s onderling als tussen medewerkers en de VUB als organisatie.

Where is there room for improvement?

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, of course. “The survey brought to light a number of points for improvement”, explains Raf Devos, People & Organisation Director. “Our employees feel closely involved, and devote a lot of time and energy to their work. There’s no shortage of commitment. The downside is that many people experience the administrative burden as a straitjacket and report that the VUB processes are not always transparent. The heavy workload and lack of clarity about personal opportunities for advancement within the VUB are other major areas for attention. How could we build a better organisation that supports this highly-valued freedom: that is the question that the administration must answer. A passion for science is what drives our professors. Which means that we need to minimise the passion killers: pointless rules, needless documents, endless loops of approvals, …

Processes for improvement are underway

“Many colleagues experience the internal communication as insufficient. We have received this signal loud and clear. MarCom will tackle this in the coming academic year, according to Ann Van Driessche, Director of Marketing, Communication and Events. “There’s a good reason why openness and critical thinking are fundamental pillars of the VUB. After all, the soul of the ‘VUB’ brand is in the sum total of all our colleagues. We could certainly stand to further emphasise these typical VUB values.”

In summary, the VUB is appreciated as an employer, but there is room for improving the well-being in the workplace. “In order to thoroughly address this, an in-depth well-being survey will soon be conducted, overseen by professor Elke Van Hoof”, concludes Caroline Pauwels. “The results it generates will form the basis for an overall well-being plan and a targeted annual action plan.” To be continued!

BECOME OUR COLLEAGUE AND TELL US WHAT YOU CONSIDER TO BE IMPORTANT

Take a look at our vacancies