Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
|Latin: Universitas Catholica Lovaniensis|
|Motto||Sedes Sapientiae (Latin)|
|Motto in English||Seat of Wisdom
or Seat of Knowledge
|Established||1425, 1834, 1970 |
|Type||Independent/Free catholic university|
|Endowment||€ 950 million|
|Chairman||Herman baron Daems|
|Chancellor||Mgr. André-Joseph Léonard|
|Campus||Main (urban) campus in Leuven and satellite campuses in Aalst, Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Diepenbeek, Geel, Ghent, Kortrijk, Ostend and Sint-Katelijne-Waver|
|Colors||Blue and white|
|Data as of 2013[update]|
The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Dutch for Catholic University of Leuven, but usually not translated into English) (Dutch pronunciation: [katoˈlikə univɛrsiˈtɛit ˈløːvə(n)], listen (help·info)), also known as KU Leuven or University of Leuven, is a Dutch-speaking university in Leuven, Flanders, Belgium.
It is located in the centre of the historic town of Leuven, home to the university since 1425. In 1968 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 considered the oldest Catholic university still in existence.
With 55,211 students in 2013–2014, the KU Leuven is the largest university in Belgium and the Low Countries. In addition to its primary campus in Leuven, it has satellite campuses in Kortrijk ('KULAK'), Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Geel, Diepenbeek, Aalst, Sint-Katelijne-Waver and in Belgium's capital Brussels. The university now also offers several programs in English.
Ranking as 61st globally according to Times Higher Education, in 2013, 81st according to QS World University Rankings and 96th according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities the KU Leuven is consistently considered to be within the top 100 universities of the world and in contention with Ghent University as the best Belgian university.
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 2014 QS World University Ranking position is 81st. KU Leuven Law School currently ranks 25th in the world.
In the 2013-2014 Academic Year, 55,211 students were attending classes at the 15 faculties of the KU Leuven, 9,930 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 2013, the university has been led by Rik Torfs who replaced former rector Mark Waer. 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. Despite its Catholic origin, the university welcomes students from different faith communities.
In Flanders, the KU Leuven has a Catholic origin, 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 (1834–1968).
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 company 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).
The table below provides an overview of the courses offered by the faculties of the University of Leuven in English. For the Dutch programs go to KU Leuven - opleidingen. There are 4 English bachelor programs and many different Master programs in English.
|Bachelor's degrees||Master's degrees||Advanced Master's degrees|
|Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences|
|Faculty of Bioscience Engineering|
|Faculteit of Economics & Business|
|Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences|
|Faculty of Medicine|
|Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies|
|Faculty of Engineering Science|
(Only as a Master-after-Master)
|Faculty of Engineering Technology (Leuven, Aalst, Diepenbeek, Geel, Gent, Oostende of Sint-Katelijne-Waver)|
|Faculty of Arts|
|Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences|
|Faculty of Law|
|Faculty of Social Sciences|
|Faculty of Science|
|Faculty of Canon Law|
|Institute of Philosophy|
- For the history of the university library prior to 1970, see Catholic University of Leuven (1834–1968).
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.
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|
|2||Roger Dillemans (nl)||1985||1995||Law|
|3||André Oosterlinck (nl)||1995||2005||Engineering|
|4||Marc Vervenne||2005||2009||Theology||Mark Waer|
|6||Rik Torfs||2013||Canon Law|
- For pre-1970 alumni see Catholic University of Leuven (1834–1968)#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 and Minister for Finance
- Jo Cornu, engineer, since 2013 CEO of the National Railway Company of Belgium.
- Joan Daemen (b. 1965), cryptographer, one of the designers of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
- Julien De Wilde (b. 1967), civil engineer, businessman
- Noël Devisch(b. 1943 ), agriculture
- Gabriel Fehervari, (b. 1970) law, businessman
- Willy Geysen, law, head of the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIR)
- Luce Irigaray (b. 1930) philosopher
- Dr. A. Q. Khan (b. 1935), Founder of Pakistan's Nuclear Program.
- Georges Meekers (b. 1965), Belgian-born wine writer and educator
- Martin Moors, philosopher
- Chantal Mouffe, (b. 1943), philosopher
- 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
- Marc Van Ranst (b. 1965), physician, virologist
- Herman Van Rompuy (b. 1947), Belgian statesman. Appointed President of the European Council in November 2009.
- Jef Valkeniers, doctor and politician
- Frans Vanistendael, law
- Catherine Verfaillie, (b. 1957) physician, stem cell scientist
- Koen Vervaeke (b. 1959), history, diplomat
Notable recipients of honorary doctorates at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven include:
- Timothy Garton Ash (2011), British historian and Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford
- Abhijit Banerjee (2014), Indian economist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (1996)
- Roberto Benigni (2007), Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director of film, theatre and television.
- John Braithwaite (2008), Australian criminologist (application of the idea of restorative justice to business regulation and peacebuilding
- Manuel Castells (2004), Professor of Sociology, Open University of Catalonia, University of Southern California
- Leon O. Chua (2013), professor in the electrical engineering and computer sciences department at the University of California, Berkeley
- Carla Del Ponte (2002), former Chief prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals
- Jared Diamond (2008), professor of Geography and Physiology, UCLA
- Jacques Derrida (1989), French philosopher
- John Kenneth Galbraith (1972), Canadian economist
- Nadine Gordimer (1980), South African author, Booker Prize 1974, Nobel Prize in Literature 1991
- Alan Greenspan (1997), economist, former chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve
- Eugène Ionesco (1977), Romanian and French playwright
- Helmut Kohl (1996), former Chancellor of Germany
- Christine Lagarde (2012), Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Mario Vargas Llosa (2003), Peruvian writer
- Michael Marmot (2014), British epidemiologist, University College London
- Martha Nussbaum (1997), American philosopher, University of Chicago
- Dirk Obbink, Lecturer in Papyrology and Greek Literature at Oxford University and the head of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project.
- Roger Penrose (2005), professor in Mathematical Physics, University of Oxford
- Navi Pillay (2012), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Thomas S. Popkewitz (2004), professor of curriculum theory, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education
- Mary Robinson (2000), former President of Ireland
- Jacques Rogge (2012), President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- Oscar Arnulfo Romero (1980), archbishop of San Salvador (El Salvador), human rights activist
- Helmut Schmidt (1983), former Chancellor of Germany
- Nate Silver (2013), American author and statistician
- Fiona Stanley (2014), Australian epidemiologist
- Rowan Williams (2011), Archbishop of Canterbury
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.
- Hogeschool-Universiteit 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.
In 2014, the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven as the world's 96th best university, while the Times Higher Education ranked KU Leuven 61st best university and QS World University Rankings ranked KU Leuven 81st overall in the world.
|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||77 (QS 5) | 61 (THE 3)||29 (QS 2 | 17 (THE 4||71-80 (THE )|
|2014||81 (QS 4) | 61 (THE ) | 96 (ARWU )||30 (QS 1 | 13 (THE )||71-80 (THE )|
In the academic year of 2012-2013, the university held Erasmus contracts with 434 European establishments. It also had 22 central bilateral agreements in 8 countries: U.S.A, China, South Africa, Japan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Vietnam, Poland and the Netherlands. The vast majority of international EU students came from the Netherlands, the non-EU ones - from China. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is up to 50 projects, specializing in development of international relations. Facts and figures about KU Leuven. 
- 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 Old University of Leuven#History. This pretension 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". Kuleuven.be. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
- "International programmes". Kuleuven.be. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
- "Top 400 - The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-2014".
- "QS Top Universities Ranking 2014-2015".
- "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014".
- 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. 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Top 400 – The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013–2014". The Times Higher Education. 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "QS World University Rankings (2014/15)". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- "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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.|
- Official website
- (Dutch) KU Leuven: History of KU Leuven / KU Leuven, zes eeuwen geschiedenis
- International Ranking of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2008)