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Université libre de Bruxelles

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Administrative staff

+32 2 650 21 11


Yvon Englert

Pierre Gurdjian

Number of students
24,236 (2012)

Motto in English
Conquering darkness with knowledge

Independent/Partly state funded

Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium

Scientia vincere tenebras (Conquering darkness with knowledge)

Notable alumni
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université catholique de Louvain, University of Liège, Saint‑Louis University - Brussels, University of Mons


The universit libre de bruxelles presents that s not enough

The Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) (French for Free University of Brussels, though rarely translated) is a French-speaking private research university in Brussels, Belgium. A major research center open to Europe and the world, it has about 24,200 students, 32% of whom come from abroad, and an equally cosmopolitan staff.



Brussels has two universities whose names mean Free University of Brussels in English: the French-speaking Université libre de Bruxelles and the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Neither uses the English translation, since it is ambiguous.


When the Belgian State was formed in 1830 by nine breakaway provinces from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it had three state universities, in Ghent, Liège and Leuven, but no university in the new capital, Brussels. Since the government was reluctant to fund another state university, a group of Freemasons and intellectuals led by Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen and Auguste Baron planned to create a private university, which was permitted under the Belgian Constitution. After the Catholic Church sponsored the foundation of the Catholic University of Mechlin in 1834, the Université libre de Belgique (Free University of Belgium) opened on 20 November 1834. In 1836 it changed its name to Université libre de Bruxelles.

As part of its commitment to academic freedom, ULB closed down in 1941 rather than collaborate with the Nazi occupation of Belgium.

Since 1935 some courses have been taught in both French and Dutch. Beginning in 1963 all faculties offered courses in both languages. In October 1969, shortly after the language dispute at the Catholic University of Leuven, the French and Dutch entities of the ULB separated into two distinct universities. With the act of 28 May 1970, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université libre de Bruxelles officially became two separate legal, administrative and scientific entities.

The school's football team won the bronze medal at the 1900 Summer Olympics.

November 20, called 'St V' for Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen, is a holiday for students of both the Université libre de Bruxelles and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.


The ULB comprises three main campuses: the Campus de la Plaine with faculties such as the faculty of pharmacy in Ixelles, the Campus du Solbosch, the main and largest campus of the university, on the territories of Brussels and Ixelles municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region, and the Campus Erasme (faculty of medicine) in Anderlecht beside the Erasmus Hospital. The university also has buildings and activities in Charleroi on the Aéropole Science Park and in Parentville, Treignes and Nivelles.

Faculties, schools and institutes

  • Interfacultary School of Bio-Engineering
  • School of Public Health
  • High Institute of Physical Education and Kinesiotherapy
  • Institute of Work Sciences
  • Institute of Statistics and Operational Research
  • Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nobel prizes

  • Henri La Fontaine (1854-1943)
  • Jules Bordet (1870-1961)
  • Albert Claude (1898-1983)
  • Ilya Prigogine (1917-2003)
  • François Englert (1932)
  • References

    Université libre de Bruxelles Wikipedia

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