Caroline Pauwels receives honorary doctorate from ULB

Caroline Pauwels receives honorary doctorate from ULB

VUB rector praised for her deep social commitment

This Wednesday, 8 July, VUB rector Caroline Pauwels will be awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by ULB. The awarding of this honorary doctorate will take place during the official closing of the academic year at VUB’s francophone sister university.  

ULB is awarding the honorary doctorate to Pauwels because she strongly embodies the university’s values and standards, and because of her continuous efforts on numerous social themes: multilingual education in Brussels, the defence of freedom of expression with the creation of Difference Day and freedom of research with her fight against the imprisonment of Iranian visiting professor Ahmadreza Djalali. In addition, she has been honoured for the collaborations she has entered into in recent years with numerous European universities for the EUTOPIA project, and the strengthened relationship with ULB.

“I am particularly honoured to receive this honorary doctorate from my esteemed fellow rector Yvon Englert,” she says. “It is a great recognition for the efforts we have made with the whole of VUB in recent years to contribute to a better society as a university through education and research. During my next term, becoming radically humanistic, digital, democratic, diversified and sustainable, together with strong partnerships, remains the most important starting point.”

Note for the press:

Caroline Pauwels will receive the honorary doctorate during the closing ceremony of the academic year 2019-2020 on Wednesday 8 July at 16.30 on the ULB campus (Aula Janson, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 48, 1050 Brussels). You are of course very welcome to attend this event. If you will be joining us, please notify Sicco Wittermans, VUB press relations ( and 02/629 21 37), in advance. Due to the coronavirus security measures, the number of places is limited.

The award ceremony can also be followed via livestream:

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Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson and press officer Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson and press officer Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.


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