Vlekho or Vlaamse Ekonomische Hogeschool was a small business school in Brussels, Belgium, which was part of the KU Leuven Group. The school was founded in 1968 by professors and assistant-professors from the Catholic University of Leuven, (Dutch: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)). These professors and assistant-professors wanted to use innovative teaching practices that were not commonly used at the time. These practices included using case studies and management games. At that time many professors at top universities lectured without a profound business experience. Since the implementation of the Bachelor and Master classification of academic titles in Europe, the small business school had to associate with a traditional university. In 2007 VLEKHO merged with other Brussels-based Higher Education Institutions to become Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, the only other university in the KU Leuven Group.
History of Vlekho
The Department of Business Economics
The Department of Business Economics dates from 1968, when the Flemish School of Higher Education in Economics (Vlekho) was founded in a combined effort on the part of academics, politicians and businessmen to establish a high-quality training programme in business economics in the heart of Brussels. Vlekho's principal objective was clear from the very outset: it wanted to provide business economists with a solid academic formation and a training that would enable them to successfully hold positions of responsibility in business, government service and the social-profit sector.
Upon graduation students are granted the diploma of 'Licentiate in Business Economics' (Post-Bologna process, Master in Business Economics), a degree equivalent to the traditional four-year university degree in economics. Vlekho's study programme in business economics differs from the traditional university programme, however, by its outspoken business-oriented character and its hands-on approach to education, which besides the communication of knowledge strongly emphasizes the development of business attitudes. Each year some seven hundred students are enrolled in the programme.
Internationally, the Department of Business Economics is an active participant in the European Commission's Socrates Programme. To visiting students it offers a programme in International Business in English, a combination of courses and a three-months' internship in an international company in Brussels. In addition, bilateral co-operation agreements have been made with various universities outside the EU.
The Department of Applied Linguistics
In 1983 the Dutch-language section of the Institut libre Marie Haps, the oldest and most prestigious school of translation and interpreting in Belgium, was transferred to Vlekho where it became the Department of Applied Linguistics. Each year some seven hundred students are enrolled in this programme. The foreign language courses in the Department are taught in the foreign language, the other degree courses are conducted in Dutch. Here, too, students can participate in a large variety of exchange programmes.
The Centre for Graduate Studies
Soon after Vlekho was founded, the need was felt to offer further studies in addition to the four-year degree of 'Licentiate'. The Centre for Graduate Studies offers a programme in basic business economics for young graduates without a formal training in economics. Experienced business people, in turn, are offered an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of company management in advanced courses (Dutch and English). Each year more than six hundred students are enrolled in the courses organized by the Centre.