The city of Brussels is the capital of a federal state which has three different administrative regions based on language and it has been at the heart of Europe since 1957. It naturally follows that the city should have a university in keeping with its standing. The ULB, with its 21,000 students, 27% of them coming from abroad, and its very cosmopolitan body of staff, is an intrinsically international institution open to both Europe and the whole world.
It was at the origin of the creation of a network of major universities from different European capitals – UNICA – and it is involved in international programmes for research, development and mobility.
The ULB is a multicultural institution that has 7 faculties and a range of schools and institutes. At the same time, it is a comprehensive university providing academic tuition in all disciplines and study cycles.
The ULB meets its social, societal and scientific commitments through combining broad access to higher education with excellent quality research and through its role in furthering economic development in the regions where it is located (Brussels and Wallonia). The ULB also has a teaching hospital – the Hôpital Erasme, a specialized institute for studying cancer – the Institut Bordet, and an extensive hospital network.
For about a decade now, the university has been actively involved in maximising research potential both in Brussels and Charleroi, where it has set up a biotechnology pole around its renowned Institute for Biology and Molecular Medicine (IBMM) & Institute of Medical Immunology (IMI).
Founded on the principle of free-thinking analysis which advocates independent reasoning and the rejection of dogma in all its forms, the ULB has remained true to its original ideals – an institution free from any form of control which is committed to defend democratic humanist values.
The University has a reputation of excellence in both basic and applied research in the biomedical field. It has other strong points: physics, economics and political science, European studies, international law, history, the French language, philosophy and, more recently, subjects such as artificial intelligence.
The ULB has been committed to a research structuring and valuation process for several years. This has included creating doctoral schools, defining the researcher's status and revaluing their career, increasing researcher stability through contracts, a policy to promote interdisciplinarity and the creation of a patent and investment fund.