Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
|Latin: Universitas Catholica Lovaniensis|
|Motto||Sedes Sapientiae (Latin)|
|Motto in English||"Seat of Wisdom", or "Seat of Knowledge"|
|Type||Independent/Free catholic university|
|Endowment||€ 950 million|
|Rector||Mark Waer (2009–2013)|
Data as of 2013[update]
It is located in the centre of the historic town of Leuven, home to the university since 1425. The Catholic University of Leuven, considered Belgium's oldest university, split into the Dutch-language Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the French-language Université catholique de Louvain, which moved to Louvain-la-Neuve in Wallonia. Since the fifteenth century, Louvain, as it is still often called, has been a major contributor to the development of Catholic theology. It is still considered the oldest Catholic university still in existence.
With 41,255 students in 2012–2013, the KU Leuven is the largest university in Belgium and the Low Countries. The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven also has a campus at Kortrijk, formerly known as Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Afdeling Kortrijk (KULAK). The university now also offers several programs in English.
General description 
The KU Leuven is a strongly research-oriented university. Among its many accolades is to be reckoned among the top universities of Europe. In the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) university ranking, the KU Leuven was ranked 58th in the world and 13th in Europe, making it the highest ranked university from the low countries (The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) in either category. Its current 2012 QS World University Ranking position is 82nd. KU Leuven Law School currently ranks 25th in the world.
In the 2012-2013 Academic Year, 41,255 students were attending classes at the 15 faculties of the KU Leuven, 6,724 of whom were foreign students, many of whom were able to follow courses offered in English. Most courses, however, are taught in Dutch. The KU Leuven is a member of the Coimbra Group (a network of leading European universities) as well as of the LERU Group (League of European Research Universities). Since August 2009, the university has been led by Mark Waer who replaced former rector Marc Vervenne. The Belgian archbishop, André-Joseph Léonard is the current Grand Chancellor and a member of the university board.
The KU Leuven is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus, under her traditional attribute as 'Seat of Wisdom', and organizes an annual celebration on 2 February in her honour. On that day, the university also awards its honorary doctorates. The seal used by the university shows the medieval statue of the Sedes Sapientiae, Leuven, in a vesica piscis shape.
The KU Leuven also support a university college, named the KHLeuven (which is short for Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven, meaning Catholic College Leuven). This is considered to be one of the biggest university colleges, if not the biggest in the Benelux. It offers a lot of different courses, and is completely supported by the KU Leuven (online learning platform, ...).
In Flanders, the KU Leuven is Catholic, whereas the University of Ghent and the University of Antwerp are officially neutral on issues of religious/philosophical orientation, and the Free University of Brussels is Freethinking.
- For the history of the pre-1970 university see Catholic University of Leuven#History.
In 1968, tensions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities led to the splitting of the bilingual Catholic University of Leuven into two "sister" universities, with the Dutch-language university becoming a fully functioning independent institution in Leuven in 1970, and the Université Catholique de Louvain departing to a newly built greenfield campus site in the French-speaking part of Belgium. Pieter De Somer became the first rector of the KU Leuven.
In 1972, the KU Leuven set up a separate entity, "Leuven Research & Development" (LRD), to support industrial and commercial applications of university research. It has led to numerous spin-offs, such as the technology companies Option and Metris, and manages tens of millions of euros in investments and venture capital.
On 11 July 2002, the KU Leuven became the dominant institution in the "KU Leuven Association" (see below).
- For the history of the university library prior to 1970, see Catholic University of Leuven#Library.
When the university was split, those books that could not be divided otherwise (e.g. according to the wishes of the benefactors who donated them) were divided as follows: those with an odd-numbered shelfmark stayed in Leuven, while the even-numbered ones moved to Louvain-la-Neuve. This gave rise to the widespread myth that every other volume was separated - splitting up runs of journals and volumes of encyclopedias - but since such series each had a single shelfmark this was never in fact the case. The Central Library alone now owns about 1,300,000 works.
University Hospital 
UZ Leuven (Universitair ziekenhuis Leuven) is the teaching hospital associated with the KU Leuven. Its most well known and largest campus is Gasthuisberg (literally 'guest house hill') and also houses the majority of auditoria of the faculty of medicine and the faculty of Pharmaceutical sciences.
|#||Name||Began office||Ended office||Studies||Vice-rector|
|1||Pieter De Somer||1968||1985||Medicine|
|4||Marc Vervenne||2005||2009||Theology||Mark Waer|
|6||Rik Torfs (rector-elect)||2013||Canon Law|
Notable alumni 
- For pre-1970 alumni see Catholic University of Leuven#Notable alumni.
- Leon Bekaert (b. 1958), economics, businessman
- Paul Bulcke (b. 1954), economics, businessman, CEO of Nestlé
- Jan Callewaert, economics, founder of Option N.V.
- Mathew Chandrankunnel (b. 1958), professor of philosophy of science at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram
- Mathias Cormann (b. 1970), Belgian-born Australian Senator
- Jo Cornu, engineer
- Joan Daemen (b. 1965), cryptographer, one of the designers of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
- Noël Devisch(b. 1943 ), agriculture
- Julien De Wilde (b. 1967), civil engineer, businessman
- Gabriel Fehervari, (b. 1970) law, businessman
- Georges Meekers (b. 1965), Belgian-born wine writer and educator
- Willy Geysen, law, head of the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIR)
- Dr. A. Q. Khan (b. 1935), Founder of Pakistan's Nuclear Program.
- Rudi Pauwels, pharmacologist, (b. 1960) co-founder of Tibotec and Virco
- Vincent Rijmen (b. 1970), cryptographer, one of the designers of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
- Fulton J. Sheen (b. 1895), Roman Catholic Bishop, open cause for canonization (currently "Venerable")
- Guðmundur Steingrímsson (b. 1972), Icelandic politician
- Francine Swiggers, economics, businesswoman
- Frans Vanistendael, law
- Marc Van Ranst (b. 1965), physician, virologist
- Herman Van Rompuy (b. 1947), Belgian statesman. Appointed President of the European Council in November 2009.
- Catherine Verfaillie, (b. 1957) physician, stem cell scientist
- Koen Vervaeke (b. 1959), history, diplomat
- Martin Moors, philosopher
Honorary doctorates 
Notable recipients of honorary doctorates at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven include:
- John Kenneth Galbraith (1972), Canadian economist
- Eugène Ionesco (1977), Romanian and French playwright
- Oscar Arnulfo Romero (1980), archbishop of San Salvador (El Salvador), human rights activist
- Nadine Gordimer (1980), South African author, Booker Prize 1974, Nobel Prize in Literature 1991
- Helmut Schmidt (1983), former Chancellor of Germany
- Jacques Derrida (1989), French philosopher
- Helmut Kohl (1996), former Chancellor of Germany
- Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (1996)
- Alan Greenspan (1997), economist, former chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve
- Martha Nussbaum (1997), American philosopher, University of Chicago
- Mary Robinson (2000), former President of Ireland
- Carla Del Ponte (2002), former Chief prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals
- Mario Vargas Llosa (2003), Peruvian writer
- Manuel Castells (2004), Professor of Sociology, Open University of Catalonia, University of Southern California
- Thomas S. Popkewitz (2004), professor of curriculum theory, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education
- Roger Penrose (2005), professor in Mathematical Physics, University of Oxford
- Roberto Benigni (2007), Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director of film, theatre and television.
- Jared Diamond (2008), professor of Geography and Physiology, UCLA
- Dirk Obbink, Lecturer in Papyrology and Greek Literature at Oxford University and the head of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project.
- John Braithwaite (2008), Australian criminologist (application of the idea of restorative justice to business regulation and peacebuilding
- Timothy Garton Ash (2011), British historian and Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford
- Rowan Williams (2011), Archbishop of Canterbury.
- Navi Pillay (2012), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Jacques Rogge (2012), President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- Christine Lagarde (2012), Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Leon O. Chua (2013), professor in the electrical engineering and computer sciences department at the University of California, Berkeley
- Fiona Stanley (2013), Australian epidemiologist
The university is a member of the Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology (VIB). The Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) is a spin-off company of the university.
The students of the university are gathered together in the student's society LOKO. They have representatives in most meetings at the university, including the Board of Directors.
- Europese Hogeschool Brussel
- Groep T
- Hogeschool voor Kunsten en Architectuur
- Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst
- Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge-Oostende (KHBO)
- Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen
- Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven
- Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg (KHLim)
- Lessius Mechelen
- Katholieke Hogeschool Sint-Lieven (KaHo Sint-Lieven)
- Katholieke Hogeschool Zuid-West-Vlaanderen (KATHO)
- Lessius Hogeschool
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Electronic learning environment: TOLEDO 
Toledo, which started in September 2001, was gradually developed into the central electronic learning environment at the Association KU Leuven.
The word is an acronym for "TOetsen en LEren Doeltreffend Ondersteunen" (English: effectively supporting testing and learning). It is the collective name for a number of commercial software programs and tools, such as Blackboard. The project offers the Question Mark Perception assignment software to all institution members and has implemented the Ariadne KPS to reuse digital learning objects inside the Blackboard environment.
International acclaim 
|Year||World university ranking||European university ranking||World reputation ranking|
|2006||96 ( 1)||38 ( 4)|
|2007||61 ( 35)||17 ( 21)|
|2008||72 ( 11)||23 ( 6)|
|2009||65 ( 7)||21 ( 2)|
|2010||86 (QS 21) | 119 (THE)||35 (QS 14) | 37 (THE)|
|2011||68 (QS 18) | 67 (THE 52)||24 (QS 11) | 17 (THE 20)||81-90 (THE)|
|2012||82 (QS 14) | 58 (THE 9)||31 (QS 7) | 13 (THE 4)||81-90 (THE )|
|2013||71-80 (THE )|
See also 
- Academic libraries in Leuven
- Arenberg Research-Park
- Haasrode Research-Park
- List of universities in Belgium
- Science and technology in Flanders
- University Foundation
- Strictly speaking, the Old University of Leuven is the oldest, and the Catholic University of Leuven is identified as a continuation of it although they are legally separate. See Catholic University of Leuven#History. This pretention is not legally accepted. We remind here this ruling of the Cour de Cassation of Belgium of 26 November 1846: "The Catholic University of Leuven can not be regarded as continuing the old University of Leuven", in, Table générale alphabétique et chronologique de la Pasicrisie Belge contenant la jurisprudence du Royaume de 1814 à 1850, Brussels, 1855, p. 585, column 1, alinea 2. See also: Bulletin Usuel des Lois et Arrêtés, 1861, p.166
- According to the university's style guidelines, the name of the university should not be translated in publications. See  (Dutch)
- University's 'corporate' name and mission statement finalised
- International programmes
- "Top 400 - The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-2012".
- "QS World University Rankings 2011 Results".
- The Vrije Universiteit Brussel explicitly subscribes to a principle of Freethought enunciated by Henri Poincaré
- Associations Members. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
- "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "Top 400 – The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012–2013". The Times Higher Education. 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "Top European universities". The Times Higher Education. 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- Official website of the KU Leuven
- (Dutch) KU Leuven: History of KU Leuven / KU Leuven, zes eeuwen geschiedenis
- International Ranking of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2008)