Université catholique de Louvain
|Catholic University of Louvain|
|Université catholique de Louvain|
Seal of the University of Louvain
|Latin: Universitas Catholica Lovaniensis|
|Motto||Sedes Sapientiae (Latin)|
|Motto in English||Seat of Wisdom, Seat of Knowledge|
|Established||1425, 1834, 1968|
|Location||Louvain-la-Neuve, with satellite campuses in Brussels, Charleroi, Mons and Tournai, Belgium|
|Colors||Blue and White|
Data as of 2011[update]
The Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), is Belgium's largest French-speaking university. It is located in Louvain-la-Neuve, with satellite campuses in Brussels, Charleroi, Mons and Tournai. It split from the Catholic University of Leuven (founded in 1834 in Mechlin under the name of Catholic University of Mechlin), Belgium's oldest university, in 1968, while the Dutch half of the university remained in Leuven under the name Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
The Catholic University of Leuven, based in Leuven ("Louvain" in French), 30 km east of Brussels, provided lectures in French from its refounding in 1835, and in Dutch from 1930. In 1968, the Dutch-language section became the independent Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which remained in Leuven, while the French-speaking university was moved to a greenfield campus and town, Louvain-la-Neuve, 20 km south-east of Brussels, in a part of the country where French is the official language. This separation also entailed dividing existing library holdings between the two new universities.
With the democratization of university education already stretching existing structures, plans to expand the French-speaking part of the university at a campus in Brussels or Wallonia were quietly discussed from the early 1960s, but it was not anticipated that the French-speaking section would become an entirely independent university and lose all of its buildings and infrastructure in Leuven. The first stone of the new campus at Louvain-la-Neuve was laid in 1971, and the transfer of faculties to the new site was completed in 1979.
Faculties and schools 
- Faculty of Theology (theology)
- Faculty of Law and Criminology (law)
- Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences and Communication (economics, sociology, anthropology, political sciences, communication, journalism, demography, development studies)
- Louvain School of Management (management)
- Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Literature (languages and literature, history, history of art, theatre, archeology)
- Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (psychology, education)
- Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (medicine)
- Faculty of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (pharmacology)
- Faculty of Public Health
- Faculty of Motor Sciences (kinesiology, physical education)
- Faculty of Science (biology, chemistry, physics, geography, mathematics, computer science)
- Louvain School of Engineering (engineering), which also uses the name Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain
- Faculty of Architecture, Architectural Engineering and Urban Planning
- Faculty of Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (bio-engineering, agronomy, environmental studies)
While the main campus of Université catholique de Louvain is based in Louvain-la-Neuve, it also comprises a small campus in Brussels, in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, which until recently was called "Louvain-en-Woluwe" (the authorities of the UCL tend to prefer to refer to it as "UCL-Brussels Woluwe" nowadays) for the university's faculty of medicine, a campus in Mons called "UCL-Mons", a minor installation in Charleroi with 133 students (as of 2011) at "UCL-Charleroi", an architectural school in Tournai, "UCL-Tournai", with 540 students (as of 2011), and an architectural school in Brussels, "UCL-Bruxelles Saint Gilles", with 570 students (as of 2011).
According to a 2007 agreement, the Université catholique de Louvain was to absorb three small French-speaking catholic colleges: the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) located in Namur, the Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis (FUSL) located in Brussels and the Catholic university of Mons (FUCaM) located in Mons and Charleroi. The negotiations for a full merger aborted by an insufficient vote by the general assembly of Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) in December 2010. The result was a merger between Université catholique de Louvain and Facultés universitaires catholiques de Mons (FUCaM) in Mons, effective from September 15, 2011. The Mons campus is denoted UCL Mons. The three universities still collaborate in consortium, the "Academie Louvain". Within this group, member universities have coordinated their masters programmes in the fields of economics, management, political sciences and sciences as well as the doctoral programmes in all disciplines.
The Université catholique de Louvain educates around 27,261 students from 127 nationalities in all areas of studies at its different campuses. It has educated a large part of Belgium's elite and is still considered, with its Dutch-speaking sister, as a centre of excellence in many fields. In 2006, it was ranked 76th in the world universities ranking established by the Times Higher Education supplement (24th in Europe).
In the 2011 QS World University Rankings the Université Catholique de Louvain was ranked 125th overall in the world, moving up one place from its position of joint 126th in the 2009 THE–QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings). An overview of the THE-QS Rankings up to 2009:
|2006||76 ( 12)|
|2007||123 ( 47)|
|2008||116 ( 7)|
|2009||126 ( 10)|
|Year||Overall Rank||Clinical Medicine
Student activities 
Cercles are Student Societies or Fraternities based around each faculty. The Cercles, along with the Régionales (which are based around their respective regions of origin) coordinate and manage most of the students' animation and nightlife. Most Cercles run small bars to fund their activities, and also jointly operate a larger nightclub, "La Casa".
Cercles and Régionales are run exclusively by member students known as the Committee. These members are elected every year, usually by voting from all members (active or otherwise) wishing to participate, although some Cercles restrict the number of possible voters in some cases.
Aside from promoting student folklore and coordinating student animation, Cercles also offer academic aid to students in their respective faculties and organize more cultural activities, such as visits to museums and/or other cities, conferences, and low-cost trips for students (for example skiing in the Alps during the Winter Break).
Every Cercle and Régionale has its own customs and traditions, but some are practiced by all :
The Baptême (French: baptism) is a hazing ceremony used by most to induct new members, who then participate in a number of trials and activities involving eggs and other foodstuff, paint, demeaning chants etc. Baptized members (les Baptisés) are among the most common type of members, and some Cercles and Régionales try to only accept new members this way, although it is in no way an obligation to be baptized in order to be a part of the Cercle or to frequent them.
The Calotte is a Belgian student cap worn by students attending catholic universities. They are emblems of student folklore dating back to the late 19th Century. Nowadays, most Calottes are passed by way of a ceremony known as the Coronae. How they are passed and what must be known or done to deserve it depends on the Cercle or Régionale and is generally kept secret. One thing that is universally known, is that there is a lot of singing involved.
Cercles are notorious for their generally high output of alcohol (especially beer) and low level of cleanliness. Students tend to wear old clothes that they don't mind damaging or dirtying as a consequence, and the overall ambiance is more akin to a rave or a frat-party than a nightclub or sports bar.
Student accommodation in Belgium comes in the form of a "kot", a term having Belgian Dutch origin. The French way to form the plural of "kot" is "kots,". A "kot" can be translated as den or hut. (In Dutch, the plural of "kot" is "koten.") In the bilingual region of Brussels, where there are both Dutch- and French-speaking universities and their students, it is common that "for rent" signs are in French only, with the French plural of "kot".
Unique to UCL a Kot-à-projet (kap) is a kot whose inhabitants have similar interests and who organise activities for the general student population, they are similar to Fraternity and sorority houses, but smaller in size with only the committee living in the kot. Being small several Kots can be situated in the same, university owned, apartment building. One of them is "le kap contes", a kot promoting the art of storytelling. Another is called "Kap Délices" which suggests lots of activities as theme buffets, cooking lessons, material renting and a lot of other things related to cooking.
Student Union 
The AGL (General Assembly of Louvain students) is the UCL's Students' union. The body comprises an executive Committee, and a legislative Council. The Committee consists of ex-officio members: President, Vice-Presidents for Education & Welfare, VP for the Medicine faculty (Situated in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert), General Secretary, Activities Officer, Communications Officer, Operations Officer, Foreign student's Officer, Cultural Officer, Editor-in-Chief & Deputy Editor-in-Chief as well as the president of the Council.
Quinzaine a University produced newsletter, La Savate produced by the AGL and the monthly l'étincelle by the Kot-à-projet KAP Etincelle. Cercles also produce publications.
24h Vélo 
The 24 Hour Cycle (24h Vélo) is, nominally, a bicycle endurance road race held in October, organised by CSE Animations (Centre Sportif Etudiant). While there is an elite race with teams of two, Student groups enter novelty themed multi-bike vehicles, in the shape of a Van or Whale for example, for prizes. The quality of these designs range in terms of artistic merit, and ability to stay intact over the duration of the race. A 240 minute race also takes place for teenagers. The event is probably best known for what happens off the track. Concurrent with the race is Belgium’s largest student event, with concerts and stands lasting the full 24hrs.
Notable alumni 
For pre-1968 alumni see Catholic University of Leuven.
- Vitold Belevitch (1921–1999), mathematician
- David Payne (1944 - ), politician
- Páll Skúlason (1945 - ), philosopher and former Rector of the University of Iceland.
- Philippe Van Parijs (1951 - ), philosopher and economist
- Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, (1957 - ) climatology
- Joëlle Milquet (1961 - ), law, politician.
- Rafael Correa (1963 - ), President of Ecuador
- Christian Arnsperger (fr) (1966 - ), economist
- Dyab Abou Jahjah (1971 - ), Lebanese-Belgian political activist
- Princess Mathilde, Duchess of Brabant (1973 - ), wife of Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant and future Queen Consort of Belgium
- Xavier De Cuyper, agricultural engineer.
- Arnoud de Pret de Calesberg, commercial sciences, InBev.
- Carlos Larraín, President of National Renewal (Chile).
- Thierry Braspenning-Balzacq, professor of political sciences and international relations
See also 
- Academic libraries in Leuven
- Académie Louvain
- Belgian Co-ordinated Collections of Micro-organisms (BCCM)
- Catholic University of Mechlin
- Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)
- Collegium Trilingue
- Hoover Chair
- List of universities in Belgium
- Louvain School of Management
- Orchestre Symphonique des Etudiants de Louvain-la-Neuve
- Science and technology in Wallonia
- Science Parks of Wallonia
- State University of Louvain
- University Foundation
- Universities in Louvain
- University of Lovanium
- Several rules of the Belgian Courts, of Cassation and Appeal, forbide the identification of the Catholic University with the Old University: "L'université catholique de Louvain ne peut être considérée comme continuant l'ancienne université de Louvain; et lorsqu'un acte de fondation a désigné pour collateur un professeur de cette ancienne université, il y a lieu d'y pourvoir par le gouvernement", (Table générale alphabétique et chronologique de la Pasicrisie Belge contenant la jurisprudence du Royaume de 1814 à 1850, Bruxelles, 1855, p. 585, colonne 1, alinea 2. Voir également: Bulletin Usuel des Lois et Arrêtés, 1861, p.166.) To see also this rule of the Cour d'Appel of 1844: La Belgique Judiciaire, 28 july 1844 n° 69, p. 1 : "Cour d’Appel de Bruxelles. Deuxième chambre. L'université libre de Louvain ne représente pas légalement l’antique université de cette ville. Attendu que cette université (l’ancienne Université de Louvain), instituée par une bulle papale, de concert avec l'autorité souveraine, formait un corps reconnu dans l'État, ayant différentes attributions, dont plusieurs même lui étaient déléguées par le pouvoir civil; Attendu que ce corps a été supprimé par les lois de la république française; Attendu que l'université existant actuellement à Louvain ne peut être considérée comme continuant celle qui existait en 1457, ces deux établissemens ayant un caractère bien distinct, puisque l'université actuelle, non reconnue comme personne civile, n'est qu'un établissement tout-à-fait privé, résultat de la liberté d'enseignement , en dehors de toute action du pouvoir et sans autorité dans l'État...")
- 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.
- "Bienvenue à l'Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain". Université catholique de Louvain. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "All Universities". CLUSTER. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Academic Ranking of World Universities: National". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "World University Rankings 2012-2013". The Times Higher Education. 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
- "UCL - En quelques chiffres". Uclouvain.be. 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "QS World University Rankings". Topuniversities. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "QS World University Rankings". Top Universities. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Kap Délices | Accueil". Kapdelices.net. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- [dead link]
- Official web site of Université catholique de Louvain (French)
- Louvain School of Management's official website. Louvain School of Management is the affiliated business school of UCL and is part of the CEMS network of leading European business schools.
- The Louvain-la-Neuve Science Park website
- Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) is located in the School of Public Health of the university
- Top Industrial Managers for Europe