Top 10 Universities in Belgium

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When it comes to intellectual excellence, Belgium, despite its modest size, punches well above its weight: Many Belgian institutions maintain high ... read more...

  1. The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)B is a Catholic research institution in Leuven, Belgium. It offers courses in computer science, engineering, natural sciences, theology, humanities, medicine, law, canon law, business, and social sciences, as well as research and services.

    It includes satellite campuses in Kortrijk, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Geel, Diepenbeek, Aalst, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, and Belgium's capital Brussels, in addition to its main campus in Leuven. KU Leuven is Belgium's and the Low Countries' largest university. More than 58,000 students were enrolled in 2017–18. Although various programs, particularly graduate degrees, are offered in English, the predominant language of instruction is Dutch.

    Major rating tables consistently place KU Leuven 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 as well as among the Best Universities in Belgium.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 70
    • THE Ranking 2022: 42
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 87

    Established: 1425
    Location: Leuven, Belgium

  2. Ghent University is a Belgian public research university in Ghent. The institution was formed in 1817 by Dutch King William I, when the province was absorbed into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands following the fall of the First French Empire. Along with Ghent University, he built two more universities in the southern provinces in the same year: University of Liège and State University of Leuven.

    Following the 1830 Belgian revolution, the newly constituted Belgian state took over administration of Ghent University. In 1930, UGent became Belgium's first Dutch-language university. Previously, the standard academic language at the Université de Gand was French (and, even previously, Latin).It received considerable autonomy in 1991 and changed its name from State University of Ghent (Dutch: Rijksuniversiteit Gent, abbreviated as RUG) to its current name.

    Ghent, located in Flanders, is one of Belgium's largest universities, with 44,000 students and 9,000 employees. The Ghent Institution Library (containing the famed Boekentoren) and the Ghent University Hospital, one of Belgium's largest hospitals, are both supported by the university. It is one of the most well-funded projects of the Flemish Research Council.

    is a research-intensive and socially conscious university that consistently ranks among the world's top 100 universities.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 141
    • THE Ranking 2022: 96
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 71

    Established: 1817
    Location:Ghent, Belgium
  3. Belgium's largest French-speaking institution is the Université catholique de Louvain. It has campuses at Louvain-la-Neuve, which was built specifically for the university, as well as Brussels, Charleroi, Mons, Tournai, and Namur. Following a merger with Saint-Louis University in Brussels in September 2018, the university has used the trademark UCLouvain instead of the initials UCL. The original University of Louvain (Universitas Lovaniensis) was founded in 1425 in the ancient town of Leuven (or Louvain) and was abolished by legislation in 1797, making it Belgium's and the Low Countries' first university. In Europe, this university was the epicenter of Baianism, Jansenism, and Febronianism.

    The State University of Louvain was established in 1817 and was abolished by statute in 1835. In 1834, a new catholic university, the Catholic University of Mechlin, was created in Mechlin and relocated to Leuven in 1835. It is usually, but controversially, regarded as a continuation of the earlier institution. AB The Catholic University of Leuven split in 1968, with the Dutch-language Katholieke Universiteit Leuven remaining in Leuven and the French-language Université catholique de Louvain relocating to Louvain-la-Neuve, Wallonia, 30 kilometers southeast of Brussels.

    Leuven/Louvain, as it is currently known, has been an important contributor to the development of Catholic theology from the 15th century. The University of Louvain is frequently placed among the world's top 50 philosophy schools and top 20 theology and religious studies schools.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 207
    • THE Ranking 2022: 201
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 101

    Location: Louvain-la-Neuve, with campuses in Brussels
  4. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a research university in Brussels, Belgium, that is both Dutch and English-speaking. Brussels Humanities, Science and Engineering Campus (in Elsene), Brussels Health Campus (in Jette), Brussels Technology Campus (in Anderlecht), and Brussels Photonics Campus (in Anderlecht) are the four campuses (in Gooik).

    The Free University of Brussels, founded in 1834 by Flemish-Brussels jurist Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen, was divided in 1970, resulting in the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He aspired to build a university free of the influence of the state and the church, where academic independence would be the norm. This is still represented in the university's motto, Scientia vincere tenebras, or Science conquering darkness, and its more contemporary tagline, Redelijk eigenzinnig, or Reasonably opinionated (in Dutch). As a result, the university is pluralistic — it is diverse.

    As a result, the university is pluralistic – it is open to all students on an equal footing, regardless of their ideological, political, cultural, or social background – and it is managed through democratic structures, which means that all members – from students to faculty – are involved in decision-making.

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
    is divided into eight faculties that carry out the university's three main missions: education, research, and community service. Natural sciences, classics, life sciences, social sciences, humanities, and engineering are among the branches of expertise covered by the faculties. Around 8,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students attend the university, which offers bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees. It is also a research-intensive institution, earning it a ranking of 189th among universities worldwide. Its research papers are on average more cited than articles by any other Flemish university.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 221
    • THE Ranking 2022: 251
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 201

    Established: 1834
    Address: Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
  5. The Institution of Antwerp is a significant Belgian university in Antwerp, Belgium. UA is the official abbreviation, while UAntwerpen has become more popular recently. The University of Antwerp has over 20,000 students, making it Flanders' third largest university. The University of Antwerp is known for its strong educational standards, internationally competitive research, and entrepreneurial mindset. It was created in 2003 when three lesser institutions merged.

    According to Times Higher Education, the University of Antwerp is ranked 198th in the world, 223rd in the QS World University Rankings, and between 201 and 300th in the Academic Ranking of World Universities as of 2019.

    The university was placed 22nd in the Times Higher Education Young Universities Rankings (2019) and 18th in the QS University Ranking Top 50 Under 50 (2020) as well as among the Best Universities in Belgium. Drug Discovery and Development, Ecology and Sustainable Development, Port, Transport and Logistics, Imaging, Infectious Diseases, Materials Characterisation, Neurosciences, Socio-economic Policy and Organization, Public Policy and Political Science, and Urban History and Contemporary Urban Policy are among the ten domains where the university's research is among the best in the world.

    The University of Antwerp
    decided in September 2020 to begin the new academic year with more stringent coronavirus safeguards than those advised by the government.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 233
    • THE Ranking 2022: 143
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 201

    Established: 2003
    Location: Antwerp, Antwerp Province, Flanders, Belgium
  6. Hasselt University is a public research university in Hasselt, Belgium, with campuses in Diepenbeek and Hasselt. It has around 6,700 students as well as 1,500 academic, administrative, and technical personnel (2022). The Limburg Universitair Centrum (LUC) was founded in 1971, and the institution changed its name to Hasselt University in 2005.

    In the Times Higher Education list of universities under 50 years old, UHasselt is rated 47th out of 475. The university ranks in the top 2% of higher education institutions in the world, according to the European Commission's U-Multirank.

    Hasselt University
    has a large regional, national, and international network of over 500 partners who collaborate in education, research, and innovation.

    Prof. Bernard Vanheusden took over as Rector of Hasselt University in October 2020. Prof. Wanda Guedens is Vice-Rector for Education, while Prof. Ken Haenen is Vice-Rector for Research. Social Sciences, Materiomics, Nursery and Midwifery, Healthcare Engineering, and Engineering Technology: Computer Science were among the five new programs introduced in 2022.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 471
    • THE Ranking 2022: 351
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 501

    Established: 1971
    Location: Hasselt and Diepenbeek, Belgium
  7. The Université de Liège is a large public university in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium, that is part of the French Community of Belgium. French is the official language of the country. According to Times Higher Education, ULiège is placed 301–350 in the world in 2020, 451st in the QS World University Rankings, and between 201 and 300th in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

    More than 2,000 people, including academics, scientists, and technicians, are active in basic and applied research on a wide range of topics. Professor Pierre Wolper, who succeeded Professor Albert Corhay as rector of ULiège in 2014, is the current rector. Since September 1, 2020, Anne Girin has served as the University's Administrator. Laurent Despy was replaced, and she became the first woman to hold the role.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 480
    • THE Ranking 2022: 351
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 301

    Established: 1817
    Location: Liège; Arlon; Gembloux, Belgium
  8. The University of Mons was created in 2009 when the Engineering Faculty of Mons (FPMs) and the University of Mons-Hainaut merged to form the University of Mons. Because of their high complementarity and shared location in the same city, the institutions were merged according to a geographical logic.

    The two universities agreed to join on July 6, 2007, and the Belgian French Community Parliament recognized it on November 25, 2008. The University of Mons was established on January 1, 2009, from an administrative standpoint. Prof. Calogero Conti, the former rector of Mons' Engineering Faculty, was named the university's first rector.

    The Institution of Mons ranks fourth out of six universities of the French community of Belgium with over 10,000 students.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 651

    Established: 1 January 2009
    Location: Mons, Belgium
  9. Situated in Namur, Belgium, the University of Namur is a Jesuit, Catholic private university in the French Community of Belgium. Both teaching and research are carried out in six Faculties or university level schools in the fields of:

    • Philosophy and Lettres
    • Law
    • Economic, Social, and Management Sciences
    • Computer Sciences
    • Sciences
    • Medicine

    The University of Namur's main campus is located at the heart of the city of Namur, capital of Wallonia. The main university campus encompasses the university building, the six main faculties and the university libraries.

    • THE Ranking 2022: 801

    Established: 1831
    Location: Namur, Belgium
  10. The Université libre de Bruxelles is a research university in Brussels, Belgium, that is French-speaking. The Free University of Brussels, founded in 1834 by Belgian jurist Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen, is one of two institutions that stem from it. The two universities divided along linguistic lines in 1969, with the French-speaking ULB founding in 1969 and the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) forming in 1970.

    It is a significant research center open to Europe and the rest of the world, with about 24,200 students (33 percent of whom are international) and a similarly international workforce. In English, the terms Université libre de Bruxelles and Vrije Universiteit Brussel refer to two universities in Brussels: the French-speaking Université libre de Bruxelles and the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Because the English translation is uncertain, neither uses it.

    At the Free University of Brussels, there are at least 2000 PhD students and over 3600 researchers and lecturers working on cutting-edge research in a variety of scientific subjects.

    These scientists' initiatives cover a wide range of topics in the precise, applied, and human sciences, and ULB researchers have received numerous international honors and recognitions.

    The European Research Council, the Walloon Region, the Brussels Capital Region, the National Fund for Scientific Research, or one of the ULB's dedicated research foundations, the ULB Foundation or the Erasme Funds, all fund research at the ULB.

    • QS Ranking 2022: 207
    • THE Ranking 2022: 201
    • ARWU Ranking 2021: 101

    Established: 1834
    Location: Brussels, Belgium

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