Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, KUL (Belgium)

Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a center of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium’s largest university and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. As a leading European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of international Master’s programmes, all supported by high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research.
Since its founding, KU Leuven has been based in the city that shares its name. Leuven is a pleasant, safe and bustling student town, where centuries-rich history meets cutting-edge science. The university also offers degree programmes at campuses in 11 Belgian cities, including Brussels, Ghent, and Antwerp.

KU Leuven offers its students an academic education based on high-level research, with the aim of preparing students to assume their social responsibilities. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It is strongly inter- and multidisciplinary in focus and strives for international excellence. To this end, KU Leuven works together actively with its research partners at home and abroad. KU Leuven encourages personal initiative and critical reflection in a culture of idea exchange, cooperation, solidarity, and academic freedom. It pursues a proactive diversity policy for its students and staff. KU Leuven aims to actively participate in public and cultural debate and in the advancement of a knowledge-based society. It puts its expertise to the service of society, with particular consideration for its most vulnerable members. To realize this manifold mission, KU Leuven has only one form of ‘capital’ at its disposal: talented and dedicated people. Excluding University Hospitals Leuven (the network of KU Leuven university hospitals), KU Leuven employs 11,769 people: 3,606 Administrative and Technical Staff 1,181 Junior Academic Staff (AAP/OP), 1,561 Senior Academic Staff (ZAP), 385 Teaching Staff (OP3) 4,957 Other Academic Staff (BAP/COZ).

KU Leuven will be hosting over 56,000 students in the academic year 2017-2018. KU Leuven has Erasmus contracts with over 400 European universities and international contracts all over the world: the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, France, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Morocco, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia. In ten years’ time, the number of international students more than doubled, to about 8,000 students. KU Leuven holds over 50 international projects in development cooperation and educational interuniversity cooperation.

Activities and experience of the partner organisation

KU Leuven is highly experienced in coordinating, designing and delivering training/education and it has Erasmus contracts with over 400 European universities and international contracts all over the world. KU Leuven holds over 50 international projects in development cooperation and educational interuniversity cooperation. The central administration for international agreement and tech-transfer will provide professional advice on both contract and financial issues.
KU Leuven is home to a vibrant community of international scholars spread out over its various campuses. 15% of the university’s 55,000 students are international, representing 150 countries. KU Leuven’s Doctoral Schools provide internationally oriented Ph.D. tracks for more than 5,000 doctoral students. KU Leuven works with a select number of high-quality partner institutions worldwide and stimulates purposeful international mobility and intensive research cooperation. The keyword for incoming mobility is hospitality and a whole range of programs and activities is organized to integrate the local and international student and research communities on all its campuses. KU Leuven has a center which focuses on integrating our international students. Pangaea aims to create a home-away-from-home feeling for international students in Leuven and to help them with their social integration in the Leuven university community.
In the spirit of hospitality and intercultural understanding, Pangaea stimulates contacts and interaction between local and international students and offers a platform for all students to practice intercultural skills, languages and more through different activities and project

The Faculty of Engineering Science is one of the largest faculties at the KU Leuven and 32% of our students are international. The integration of these students and staff is important and as a Faculty, we organize welcome and social activities. VTK (Vlaams Technische Kring) is working with us and organizes social activities especially oriented towards the international community. They even have a magazine Aeroplane. As a Faculty, we welcome our students and offer info sessions on administrative issues as well as guiding them through their academic careers. Throughout the year we work together with the ombudspersons on helping students with the departments concerning their studies. The Faculty is also working on training programs for its staff members. SWEET² is a program that focuses on teaching and is training the teaching assistants in guiding students throughout their curriculum. It consists of several modules and international students could be one of them.

Key Persons

Professor Jos Vander Sloten is the Vice-Dean Internationalisation of the Faculty of Engineering Science. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and is a full-time professor at the Faculty of Engineering Science. For years in a row, he received the best teacher award at the Faculty of Engineering Science. He is a member of the Board of Internationalisation of the KU Leuven and was diversity promotor of the Faculty of Engineering Science. He was both program director of Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, KU Leuven and Chair of the Division of Biomechanics and Engineering Design, KU Leuven. He is Chairman and founder, Leuven Medical Technology Centre.

Ms. Isabelle Benoit has a degree in anthropology and social work. She specialized in identity building and intercultural communication. Currently, she is a staff member Internationalisation at the Faculty of Engineering Science and working on integration projects (both study as social) within the Faculty. She is also a member of both the Academic Board and of the Board of Internationalisation of the KU Leuven. She is very active in the international community of the KU Leuven and is still a member of Pangaea, the international student association of the KU Leuven. She was also co-founder of ALAS, the Latin American Association of the KU Leuven.

Ms. Inge Van Hemelrijck and Ms. Elsje Londers studied Bio-engineering and have more than 10 years of experience as a staff member educational development of the faculty. As a staff member, there are responsible for innovation, quality assurance, curriculum development, and professionalization.