With weKONEKT.brussels, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) contribute to the development of a free, connected, resilient and committed urban community. As urban engaged universities, they are connected to their region and they take up their role as an active “placemaker”, both at a local and international level.
The universities offer students opportunities to develop into independent and engaged individuals, critical global citizens and social leaders of the future. Brussels becomes a class room and workplace. Together they connect the students with the 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.
Higher education institutions are a major added value to the city. They are an important source of employment, they guarantee a continuous influx of young and new talent, they have scientific expertise that is crucial for the innovation and transformation of city and society.
The different actors, organizations and institutions in Brussels have a lot to offer each other. For a scientist or artist, the big city is a dream laboratory, an ideal learning place for students and a particularly interesting test bed for companies.
“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
More information on the specific cooperation between ULB and VUB can be found here.
Study with Brussels
Our Brussels City Campus has several hubs in Brussels. The university community organizes regular classes, debates and symposia. The base is the centrally located space at BOZAR. The room has a capacity of 99 people and is available free of charge all year round. Through the Brussels City Campus both universities create new synergies with a variety of partners. Take a look at our partners or book the Brussels City Campus via the registration form.
UNIVER.CITY explores possibilities with Community Engaged Research and Learning (CERL). The active cooperation between the city and university is central. Academic and extra-academic actors are brought together to explore social challenges and contribute to sustainable societal progress. The starting point is the notion of the ‘networked curriculum’: education and research at the interface of disciplines and sectors, nurtured by active interaction between theory and practice, the university and wider society, online and on-site learning, breeding ground for both lifelong and broad personal education and development, local and global impact. For more information, visit the UNIVER.CITY website.
“During off campus activities, students discover the urban space. It is more than teaching on location. The challenge lies with the teacher who, with the partner and students, seeks synergies between learning content and (urban) ‘reality’. Students discover the common denominator between theory and practice” – Free De Backer, VUB Professor
Arts & Science
Art and science both stem from critical thinking. They both want to understand the world as it is, but also 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 aims to bridge the gap between the different disciplines. VUB and ULB want to work more closely with the internationally esteemed art scene 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 look like? That’s an open-ended question. Will it shake up the current mental framework of participants? Absolutely! Participants are more than students and/or academics. Arts & science wants to share the results of the collaboration between artists and scientists with a broad and diverse audience.
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.
The Brussels Centre for Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary research centre at the VUB that brings together researchers from various disciplines. The Centre develops and supports transdisciplinary research projects in the domain of urban studies and stimulates networking between international and local networks.
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.
The week before spring break, the VUB, ULB and EhB collectively go off campus with their students, academics and employees. Students from all faculties enjoy (guest) lectures about current and future challenges. More than 100 companies, cultural institutions, government agencies, hospitals, courts, sports associations, museums, public wellness 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. View the programme from previous years here.
Lynn Tytgat – Coördinator weKONEKT.brussels | Rectoraat
Linde Moriau – Projectcoördinator UNIVER.CITY
Hélène Fréché – Operations Officer ULB|VUB
Lara Loi – Assistent weKONEKT.brussels & Brussels City Campus Officer
Britt Casteels – Assistent weKONEKT.brussels & Brussels City Campus Officer
Ian Komac – Communicatie & EUTOPIA