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KU Leuven

Dutch, Belgium


Arts & Humanities, Business and Social Sciences, Language & Cultural, Medicine & Health, Engineering, Science & Technology

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History, Affiliations and Rankings 

The Catholic University of Leuven or Louvain was founded in 1834 in Mechelen as the Catholic University of Belgium, and moved its seat to the town of Leuven in 1835, changing its name to Catholic University of Leuven. In 1968, the Catholic University of Leuven parted from the Dutch-speaking Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, based in Leuven, and the French-language Université catholique de Louvain, which moved to Louvain-la-Neuve in Wallonia, 20 KM southeast of Brussels. Since the 15th century, Leuven, as it is now called, has been a major factor in the development of Catholic theology. It is considered to be the oldest Catholic university in existence.

KU Leuven has ranked in the major ranking tables among the top 100 universities in the world. In the Times Higher Education rankings for 2021, it is ranked 42nd, 70th in the QS World University Rankings, and 87th in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities. The university is affiliated with CESAER, Coimbra Group (GC), European Aeronautics Science Network, European University Association, Venice International University among others. 

Infrastructure, Campuses and Courses

The main campus of KU Leuven is located in Leuven, with school faculties, libraries, institutes, residential halls, the university hospital UZ Leuven, and other facilities scattered around the city and just outside its ring road in the Heverlee district. Pangaea, the city's intercultural gathering place, is located in the heart of the city. Heverlee is home to the University Sports Centre, which includes the Univ-Fit gym. In addition, the institution owns the UNESCO World Heritage Site Groot Begijnhof, a historic beguinage in the city's south, and it serves as one of the university's many residence halls. On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, the university will host an online open day to tell students about their English-language programmes. They will enable students to learn more about the international programmes, admissions, housing, and more at Europe's most innovative university. In addition, it has its satellite campuses in 11 Belgian cities Kortrijk, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Geel, Ostend, Aalst, Diepeenbeek, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, and in Belgium’s capital city Brussels where it provides degree programmes. 

Accomplishments and Alumni 

When it comes to the commercialization of research and innovation, KU Leuven is a leader. The KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD) technology transfer office was one of the earliest in Europe. Patenting, licencing, partnering with industry, and forming spin-off firms are all part of LRD's long and successful history. KU Leuven is the only non-American university among the top five most innovative universities in the world, according to Reuters (2017). A large number of publications, citations, industry collaborations, and patent applications are some of the key reasons for this good standing. The university was also home to some well-known notable alumni such as Leon Bekaert (Economics, Businessman), Peter Carmeliet (Physician and Medical Scientist), Koen Lamberts (President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Sheffield), Rudi Pauwels (Pharmacologist, Co-founder of Tibotec and Virco) among others. 

Student Diversity and Visiting Companies

The Université Catholique de Louvain educates an estimated 27,261 students from 127 nations in all academic institutions at its various institutions. In 2006, it was ranked 76th in world-class universities established by the Times Higher Education supplement (24th in Europe).

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