Connecting Academia and Society - 54 new VUB Fellows

Connecting Academia and Society - 54 new VUB Fellows

Vice-rector Innovation & Valorisation and university fellowship coordinator Hugo Thienpont: “VUB Fellow – a title awarded only to unique personalities”

Over the next three years, 54 Fellows will share their vision, knowledge and expertise with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The 26 Fellows from 2020 and the 28 chosen in 2021 are taking up their roles. These new Fellows are all prominent and visionary individuals from the worlds of business, civil society, culture, and politics and governance.

The full list of VUB Fellows is attached.

The double class of 2020 and 2021 includes some notable names, such as director general of the Directorate General of Penitentiary Institutions Rudy Van De Voorde, lauded space entrepreneur Clement Hiel, Polish-Belgian philosopher and writer Alicja Gescinska, minister of social affairs and public health Frank Vandenbroucke, and editor-in-chief of BRUZZ Kristof Pitteurs.

VUB is very pleased with these Fellows. They will inspire students and researchers to break down the walls between academia and society. Through the encounters and knowledge exchanges created thanks to the Fellowship, innovative ideas can be brought to fruition in education, scientific research or entrepreneurship. The VUB Fellows engage in general policy advice, partnerships, the establishment of chairs, networks, internships or guest lectures and tutorials.

Building bridges between academia and society

VUB rector Caroline Pauwels and vice-rector Innovation & Valorisation Hugo Thienpont, who is the university fellowship coordinator, emphasise the importance of this cross-pollination between science, education and society at VUB. For them, this interdisciplinary approach is necessary to tackle the many problems facing society – climate, inequality, racism, fake news, privacy, cancel culture...

Professor Hugo Thienpont:

“We are counting on the Fellows to improve our interdisciplinary research, education and innovation and competitiveness. Since 2012, VUB Fellow is the highest degree of membership at our alma mater, a title awarded only to unique personalities: people from the top of the business world, visionary policy-makers and socially relevant personalities.”

Next year, in 2022, the VUB Fellowship programme will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its project connecting academia and society.

Contact us
Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

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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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