Université catholique de Louvain / UCL

Founded in 1834

The Catholic University of Louvain welcomes more than 30,000 students in seven locations in Brussels and Wallonia. Its main campus is in the pedestrianised city of Louvain-la-Neuve. Our university offers courses in all disciplines, from bachelor’s degree to doctoral degree level, as well as many lifelong learning programmes. It is also a pioneer in the creation of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and the first French-speaking university in Europe to offer online courses on the edX platform (16 courses available in 2016).

With a Nobel Prize, 21 Prix Francqui (the ‘Belgian Nobel’) and many other honours, UCL offers an education fuelled by solid research. The university’s drive to innovate is clear: €222 million in annual research investment, 225 projects funded by European framework programmes (as of 2016) and close relationships with the commercial world, particularly with the 259 companies in the university’s three science parks. Meanwhile, UCL’s research development efforts are currently responsible for 61 active spin-offs.

Since its creation, UCL has not only been open to the world; it has reached out to the world and invited it in: 25% of its teaching staff, 40% of its research staff and 20% of its student body is international. This openness is also reflected in its many exchange partnerships with universities worldwide, active participation in international networks and long-held tradition of cooperation with developing countries.

Placing 149th in the 2016 QS ranking of the world’s universities, UCL is ranked first among Belgian francophone universities. It is also one of Europe’s most well established universities, having been founded in 1425. Erasmus, Gerardus Mercator and Andreas Vesalius are among the greats to have graced its halls; it’s where Georges Lemaître formulated his Big Bang theory and Christian de Duve conducted research that won him the 1974 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

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  • NOHA Fall School in Humanitarian Action

    The Fall School aims at training professionals dealing with projects in humanitarian action (HA) in order to give them a critical overview of HA in a multidisciplinary perspective and the relevant information for the evaluation of projects. New challenges in HA will also be examined.
    More information.
  • Advanced Master in International Humanitarian Aid

    The Advanced Master develops an in-depth knowledge of the context in which humanitarian action is taking place today on the basis of an interdisciplinary approach and an understanding of the conceptual and operational issues involved.
    More information.
  • MOOC on International Humanitarian Law

    This is an advanced level course, which provides an in-depth knowledge about the rules and structures of the law of armed conflict. Entirely online, it is possible to follow it whenever wanted.
    More information.

Useful info

  • Studying at UCL

    UCL is a multisite university! Louvain-la-Neuve, Brussels Woluwe, Mons, Tournai, Brussels Saint-Gilles, Namur and Charleroi – seven locations where the university expands the limits of education and knowledge, tirelessly pursues fundamental and applied research, establishes links with the socio-economic world, and welcomes students from Belgium and abroad as the architects of tomorrow’s world.
  • Accommodation

    At UCL, the Accommodation Office is at your disposal to help you:
    - a personalised file management, an on-line monitoring of your request, a priority welcome for the new students, term of contract adapted on the duration of your study
    - information, links, different ways to get an accommodation on the UCL campuses or surroundings.
    Our University offers a wide range of student accommodation, with some 5,725 housings, on our several campuses: Bruxelles-Woluwé, Louvain-la-Neuve, Mons, Tournai, Bruxelles-Saint-Gilles: room in a shared flat, studio and/or flat.
    - several kinds of housing, furnished rooms, with an affordable rent for students, PhD students/researchers/searcher workers, living single or in couple, and families.-disability adapted accommodation
    - housing dedicated to students with a specific profile (high-level athletes combining elite sport and studies)
    - theme houses for the students who want to participate in “clubs and societies” covering a wide variety of interests
    - accommodation mixing students from different citizenships.
  • Living costs

    The annual cost of books, course materials and office supplies varies, depending on course choice and year, between €400 and €700. In addition, first-year bachelor’s degree students should anticipate additional set-up costs of approximately €100 (lab coat, testing equipment, etc.), plus the cost of purchasing a computer, which on average is €600. A student’s subsequent years of study entail specific internship and dissertation costs.
    To calculate a complete budget, students must consider the cost of food and other necessary items that are not specific to studying. Food costs for a student living in UCL housing are slightly higher than those for a student living in the family home. Generally, students take breakfast in their student or other on- or near-site housing, at the family home, at a café, etc. Lunch can be taken at University Restaurants, which offer several complete meal options, including a vegetarian menu, at very reasonable prices. There are also many private restaurant options in town, as well as supermarkets and take-out and delivery options. Generally, students should budget a minimum of €50 per week (not including the weekend) for food.
    UCL offers housing at competitive prices. Monthly rent for basic student housing (excluding electricity) varies between €240 and €340, and requires a security deposit. First-year bachelor’s degree students have priority for UCL housing. Students of more modest means can apply for rent reduction (of €55 or €75/month) in accordance with certain academic and economic criteria. New students must apply to the Student Support Service (Service d’aide aux étudiants) no later than 1 July. Property agencies and private owners also offer housing, whose prices vary greatly.
  • Other

    • Libraries: 
    The libraries of the Université catholique de Louvain are open to everyone, student and non-student alike. Print and digital holdings, databases and a multitude of research tools are at your disposal. Our libraries are also work spaces, as well as places for learning how to efficiently use our services.
    • International:
    Since its founding in 1425, UCL has both reached out to the world and invited it in. Through student exchanges, hosting international professors and researchers, interuniversity partnerships, participation in European and global networks, and a long tradition of cooperation in international development, UCL has exerted influence throughout the world for nearly 600 years. More information: https://uclouvain.be/en/study/international-bachelor-master-doctorate.html


  • Prof Catherine Gourbin NOHA Director, NOHA General Secretary
  • Ms Maureen Walschot NOHA Coordinator
  • Ms Myriam Chevigne Administration
  • Prof Catherine Gourbin NOHA Director, NOHA General Secretary
  • Prof Amine Aït-Chaalal NOHA General Assembly Representative, NOHA Lecturer
  • Prof Michel Liegeois NOHA Lecturer
  • Prof Raphaël Van Steenberghe NOHA Lecturer
  • Jan Weuts Humanitarian Advisor


Université catholique de Louvain / UCL

Unité de science politique et de relations internationales
1/5 Place Montesquieu
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
+32 10 47 41 57

Last updated: 7 November 2017

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