University of Louvain
  • Type of University : Public
  • StudyQA ranking: 1408 pts.
  • Offered programms: 1 Master
  • No. Students: 29711
  • No. Staff: 5815
  • Study mode: 1 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: French, English
  • Phone:
  • +32010472111
  • Fax:
  • +32010472999

Photos of university

About university

The Université catholique de Louvain is Belgium's largest French-speaking university. It is located inLouvain-la-Neuve, which was expressly built to house the university. UCL has satellite campuses in Brussels, Charleroi, Mons andTournai.

The University of Leuven was founded at the centre of the historic town of Leuven (or Louvain) in 1425, making it the first university in Belgium and the Low Countries. After being closed in 1797 during the Napoleonic period, the Catholic University of Leuven was "re-founded" in 1834, and is frequently, but controversially, identified as a continuation of the older institution.AB In 1968 the Catholic University of Leuven split into the Dutch-language Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which stayed in Leuven, and the French-language Université catholique de Louvain, which moved to Louvain-la-Neuve in Wallonia, 20 km southeast of Brussels. Since the 15th century, Leuven, as it is still often called, has been a major contributor to the development of Catholic theology. It is considered the oldest Catholic university still in existence.

  • Louvain School of Management

    Located close to the capital of Europe, LSM offers world-class courses and highly specialized options based on advanced research. LSM is part of one of the oldest universities in Europe, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary and multicultural experiences. The LSM is ranked 1st Business School in Belgium, Master in Business Engineering (Financial Times 2011, 2013.) The school’s constant improvements to achieve even higher quality are acknowledged internationally (by our Equis accreditation).

    LSM has an extended international network and is the only Belgian partner of the CEMS and PIM networks. By tradition and by choice LSM’s mission is to put human values at the heart of decisions. 


The Catholic University of Leuven, based in Leuven ("Louvain" in French), 30 km east of Brussels, provided lectures in French from its refounding in 1835, and in Dutch from 1930. In 1968, the Dutch-language section became the independent Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which remained in Leuven, while the French-speaking university was moved to a greenfield campus and town, Louvain-la-Neuve, 20 km south-east of Brussels, in a part of the country where French is the official language. This separation also entailed dividing existing library holdings between the two new universities.

With the democratization of university education already stretching existing structures, plans to expand the French-speaking part of the university at a campus in Brussels or Wallonia were quietly discussed from the early 1960s, but it was not anticipated that the French-speaking section would become an entirely independent university and lose all of its buildings and infrastructure in Leuven. The first stone of the new campus at Louvain-la-Neuve was laid in 1971, and the transfer of faculties to the new site was completed in 1979.


In 1425, Dukes of Brabant created the University of Louvain[1] (Université de Louvain) and has been deleted under Joseph II and under the French Republic.

In 1817, the University of the State of Louvain (Université de l’Etat de Louvain) was founded and closed the 15th August 1835.

In 1834, bishops of Belgium created the Belgium Catholic University (Université Catholique de Belgique) also known under the name Catholic University of Malines (Université Catholique de Malines).

In 1835, near after the suppression of the University of the State of Louvain (Université de l’Etat de Louvain), the Belgium Catholic University (Université Catholique de Belgique) set up to Louvain. The advantage of the city of Louvain was its reputation of old university residence.

The law voted the 27th September 1835 stated that there would be only one university funded by the State of Belgium in Louvain. By consequence, the Catholic University of Malines (Université catholique de Malines) moved to Louvain, took the advantage of the reputation of the city and adopted a new name: Catholic University of Louvain (Université Catholique de Louvain).

In a catholic winning back spirit established by the pope Grégoire XVI, the promoter and first rector Monseigneur de Ram wanted to create a shield which will repulse religion’s enemies and block every doctrines weakening the catholic society bases.

In 1845: foundation of the Pharmacy school

1865: Creation of the engineering schools

In 1884: The “Université catholique de Louvain” celebrated solemnly its fiftieth birthday

In 1968, as a result of the linguistic issues, the University is divided in two different universities: one French speaking which will be built in the province of Brabant Wallon and one Dutch which stayed in the same infrastructure.

In 1970, these two universities are established by law: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Université Catholique de Louvain.

In 1971, laying of the first foundation stone in Louvain-la-Neuve. New city reserved for the French speaking infrastructure.


The Université catholique de Louvain educates around 27,261 students from 127 nationalities in all areas of studies at its different campuses. It has educated a large part of Belgium's elite and is still considered, with its Dutch-speaking sister, as a centre of excellence in many fields. In 2006, it was ranked 76th in the world universities ranking established by the Times Higher Education supplement (24th in Europe).

In the 2011 QS World University Rankings the Université Catholique de Louvain was ranked 125th overall in the world, moving up one place from its position of joint 126th in the 2009 THE–QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings).

Student life

The cost of living in Belgium is around 550 - 650 euros per month. This amount includes accommodation, food, utilities and transportation.


University services


Cercles are Student Societies or Fraternities based around each faculty. The Cercles, along with the Régionales (which are based around their respective regions of origin) coordinate and manage most of the students' animation and nightlife. Most Cercles run small bars to fund their activities, and also jointly operate a larger nightclub, "La Casa".

Cercles and Régionales are run exclusively by member students known as the Committee. These members are elected every year, usually by voting from all members (active or otherwise) wishing to participate, although some Cercles restrict the number of possible voters in some cases.

Aside from promoting student folklore and coordinating student animation, Cercles also offer academic aid to students in their respective faculties and organize more cultural activities, such as visits to museums and/or other cities, conferences, and low-cost trips for students (for example skiing in the Alps during the Winter Break).

Every Cercle and Régionale has its own customs and traditions, but some are practiced by all :

The Baptême (French: baptism) is a hazing ceremony used by most to induct new members, who then participate in a number of trials and activities involving eggs and other foodstuff, paint, demeaning chants etc. Baptized members (les Baptisés) are among the most common type of members, and some Cercles and Régionales try to only accept new members this way, although "it is in no way an obligation to be baptized in order to be a part of the Cercle or to frequent them".

The calotte is a Belgian student cap worn by students attending Catholic universities. They are emblems of student folklore dating back to the late 19th century. Nowadays, most calottes are passed by way of a ceremony known as the coronae. How they are passed and what must be known or done to deserve it depends on the Cercle or Régionale. One thing that is universally known, is that there is a lot of singing involved.

Cercles are notorious for their generally high output of alcohol (especially beer) and low level of cleanliness. Students tend to wear old clothes that they don't mind damaging or dirtying as a consequence, and the overall ambiance is more akin to a rave or a frat-party than a nightclub or sports bar.


Student accommodation in Belgium comes in the form of a "kot", a term having Belgian Dutch origin. A "kot" can be translated as den or hut. The French way to form the plural of "kot" is "kots" (in Dutch, the plural of "kot" is "koten"). In the bilingual region of Brussels, where there are both Dutch- and French-speaking universities and their students, it is common that "for rent" signs are in French only, with the French plural of "kot".


Main article: Theme-based shared flat (kot-à-projet)

Unique to UCL a Kot-à-projet (kap) is a kot whose inhabitants have similar interests and who organise activities for the general student population, they are similar to Fraternity and sorority houses, but smaller in size with only the committee living in the kot. Being small several Kots can be situated in the same, university owned, apartment building. One of them is "le kap contes", a kot promoting the art of storytelling. Another is called "Kap Délices" which suggests lots of activities as theme buffets, cooking lessons, material renting and a lot of other things related to cooking.

Student Union

The AGL (General Assembly of Louvain students) is the UCL's Students' union. The body comprises an executive Committee, and a legislative Council. The Committee consists of ex-officio members: President, Vice-Presidents for Education & Welfare, VP for the Medicine faculty (Situated in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert), General Secretary, Activities Officer, Communications Officer, Operations Officer, Foreign student's Officer, Cultural Officer, Editor-in-Chief & Deputy Editor-in-Chief as well as the president of the Council.


Quinzaine a University produced newsletter, La Savate produced by the AGL and the monthly l'étincelle by the Kot-à-projet KAP Etincelle. Cercles also produce publications.


University of Louvain on map :

Study programs at University of Louvain :
University of Louvain logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • International students: $ 1.87k / 1 Year
  • Ranking:
  • 2220 StudyQA
  • Duration:
  • 2 years