Resources > Institute for European Studies of the ULB
15 May 2011

Institute for European Studies of the ULB

The Université libre de Bruxelles has 13 faculties, schools and specialized institutes that cover all the disciplines, closely combining academic input and research. It offers almost 40 undergraduate programmes and 235 graduate programmes. It also partners 20 Doctoral schools, with almost 1,600 PhD in progress.

Some of the University's Master programmes focus on transdisciplinarity, whilst others place more emphasis on international relations through European Masters degrees, or on multilingualism. The University have also been working in close collaboration with the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Brussels Flemish-speaking university) for a number of years. In the field of health, in addition to the Erasme teaching hospital, the University works closely with an extensive network of hospitals around Belgium.

One of the University's main aims is to give its students a solid foundation in critical thinking as well as a taste for research, while at the same time catering to the needs of new publics. Executive education programmes and courses with specially adapted hours for working professionals are offered alongside more traditional programmes and courses involving cutting-edge research.

Across the whole Université libre de Bruxelles, over 4000 professors, scientists, PhD students, and lab technicians are at work in every field from science and technology to life sciences and healthcare, and humanities and social sciences. Research forms the foundations of teaching at the ULB: the knowledge imparted to the students comes from the most recent research, and our students are trained in critical thinking and research from the first year of their undergraduate degree all the way through to their PhD.

The University distinguishes itself in a humanist approach to knowledge, through free, impartial research, and, in the words of Marie Curie, through its participation in fundamental research programmes. The university is proud to have won an array of awards that stand testament to its excellence, especially the four Nobel Prizes for science, 24 Francqui Prizes (out of 82), the highest honour in the sciences in Belgium, and 20 European Research Council grants.

The ULB also plays a major role in economic, social, and cultural development: at ULB, research forms a continuum from fundamental research to applied research and research directed by industrial and social necessity.

The university participates in cooperative European programmes and is a key player in the regional development of Brussels and Wallonia. ULB is incredibly active in finding business applications for the results of its research, with a specialist Technology Transfer Office (TTO) forming part of its Research Department. The TTO manages a portfolio of 94 patent families, 29 active spin-offs, three incubators, and investment fund, and a biotechnology business park: Biopark Charleroi Brussels South.

The excellence of the research carried out by the ULB is rooted in the freedom provided to its scientists, and its international involvement. The ULB values freedom highly, and believes fully in the initiative of its scientists, preferring a "bottom-up" approach while avoiding dispensing decrees from above on which strategy to adopt or which fields of research should be avoided.

Located at the heart of Europe, ULB has always been an outward looking university, both in terms of recruiting its professors and scientists (15% of professors, 50% of post-doctoral scientists, 45% of PhD students), and its involvement in international research networks.