Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - General Description

General Description

The KU Leuven is a strongly research-oriented university. Among its many accolades is to be reckoned among the top universities of Europe. In the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) university ranking, the KU Leuven was ranked 58th in the world and 13th in Europe, making it the highest ranked university from the low countries (The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) in either category. Its current 2012 QS World University Ranking position is 82nd.

In Academic Year 2009-2010, 36,923 students were attending classes at the 14 faculties of the KU Leuven, 5,078 of whom were foreign students, many of whom were able to follow courses offered in English. Most courses, however, are taught in Dutch. The KU Leuven is a member of the Coimbra Group (a network of leading European universities) as well as of the LERU Group (League of European Research Universities). Since August 2009, the university has been led by Mark Waer who replaced former rector Marc Vervenne. The Belgian archbishop, André-Joseph Léonard is the current Grand Chancellor and a member of the university board.

The KU Leuven is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus, under her traditional attribute as 'Seat of Wisdom', and organizes an annual celebration on 2 February in her honour. On that day, the university also awards its honorary doctorates. The seal used by the university shows the medieval statue of the Sedes Sapientiae, Leuven, in a vesica piscis shape.

In Flanders, the KU Leuven is Catholic, whereas the University of Ghent and the University of Antwerp are officially neutral on issues of religious/philosophical orientation, and the Free University of Brussels is Freethinking.

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