About weKONEKT.brussels

With weKONEKT.brussels, the universities take their responsibility for the city and community, and contribute to the development of a free, connected, resilient and inclusive urban community. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) offer their students opportunities to develop into independent and engaged individuals, critical global citizens and social leaders of the future. Hereby using Brussels as a lecture hall and a workplace, connecting the students with Brussels stakeholders and the professional field. They strengthen the Brussels community by organizing education and research on, with, in and for Brussels and by putting the scientific expertise and knowledge of our students, teachers and researchers at the service of the city.

The different actors, organisations and institutions in Brussels have a lot to offer each other. For a scientist or artist, the big city is a dream lab, an ideal learning place for students, and a particularly interesting test bed for companies. Institutions of higher education are a major added value for the city. They are an important source of employment, they guarantee the continuous influx of young and new talent, they have scientific expertise that is crucial for the innovation and transformation of city and society.

“By bringing together the next generation of citizens, groundbreaking researchers in various fields and a significant proportion of Brussels employees, our universities can and want to play a key role in the further development of the Brussels-Capital Region.” – Caroline Pauwels, rector VUB & Yvon Englert, rector ULB

The universities function as key players in the social and economic development of Brussels. In the 2019 VUB-ULB Memorandum the VUB and ULB take on some key issues to strengthen the role of both universities. With this they focus on 4 topics

  • Research and innovation
  • Schooling, education and student life
  • Universities in the city network
  • On the road to sustainability 

 

Study with Brussels

Our Brussels City Campus at BOZAR is our hub within the city center. The central location of BOZAR forms the headquarters of this Brussels City Campus for the two universities. The universities can come here for regular lessons, debates and symposia – all in close collaboration with the BOZAR teams. So the university, the city and the Centre for Fine Arts are literally and figuratively moving closer together.

In the next three years (2018-2021) VUB wants to develop an educational program based with a prominent focus on Community Based Learning. Community Based Learning is experience oriented education that connects the academic side with community engagement. Quality education as cathalist community engagement, sense of responsability and personal growth. In short, education in line with the humane, community and educational vision of the VUB. For more information, visit the website of UNIVER.CITY

Arts & Science

Arts and science both stem from critical thinking. They both want to understand the world as it is, but also wants to shape the world. Artists and scientists go through a similar process but from a radically different frame of reference. The arts & science aspect of weKONEKT.brussels wants to bridge the gap between the different disciplines. VUB and ULB wants to collaborate more intensively with the internationally esteemed art scène in Brussels.

We, KVS and VUB, two institutions in Brussels that carry research, education, theatre and culture in the broadest sense of the word at the heart of our mission, want to take on the most active role in this. It is necessary for academics and artists to loudly, firmly and passionately, intervene in the public debate. (…) Today, more than ever, we believe, this is the social role that a university and a theatre must play.” – Michael De Cock, Artistic Director KVS

What those collaborations will look like? That’s an open-ended question. Will it shake up the current mental framework of participants? Absolutely! Participants are not just students and/or academics. Arts & science wants to share the results of the collaboration between artists and scientists with a broad and diverse audience.

Mindblowers     Crosstalks     Difference Day     BANG! (PILAR)     STAL     …

Connected Research

The Science Outreach Office brings science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Erasmushogeschool Brussel to the general public. Their work is suited within a science outreach task, assigned by the government to all university associations.

De Wetenschapswinkel offers support to non-profit organizations through scientific research conducted by students in the context of a (final) project. The students answer the research question in collaboration with the organization and under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

The POINcaré think tank is a collaboration of a variety of researchers. What connects and drives them is that they are inspired by the values of our university, have an eye for what is at stake in society today. Multidisciplinary teams look for solutions to social challenges based on the humanistic values of the VUB: the principles of freedom, equality, and connectedness. Meanwhile, Poincaré gave shape to two projects. The first, based on the humane city. The second, on the social consequences of robotization called Homo Roboticus.

weKONEKT.week

From 1 until 5 April 2019 VUB, ULB and EhB collectively went off campus with over 6000 students, academics and staff. The program includes 150 (teaching) activities. Students from all faculties got (guest)lectures about current and future challenges. More than 90 companies, cultural institutions, government institutions, hospitals, courts, sports clubs, museums, public welfare centers, non-profit organizations, media and international institutions have joined forces to make the movement possible. The weKONEKT.week is a short and powerful initiative to underline that weKONEKT.brussels is a personal and a collective journey. Check out the entire weKONEKT.week 2019 schedule.

Brussels as a learning centre is somewhat unique. It is the centre of the action. Students here are in the policy-making hub with access to NATO, to the EU, to the think tank community, to all the international media. Students here will have a leg in the future career they want to pursue.” – Jamie Shea, Vesalius College

weKONEKT.brussels is made possible thanks to the support of the Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie (Onderwijs en Vorming).

Team

Lynn Tytgat – Coordinator weKONEKT.brussels
Linde Moriau  – Project Coordinator UNIVER.CITY
Luc Deschouwer – Brussels City Campus manager
Hélène Fréché – Operations Officer ULB|VUB
Elke Teck – Operations Officer ULB|VUB

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