Jan Danckaert succeeds Caroline Pauwels

Jan Danckaert succeeds Caroline Pauwels

Rector ad-interim of Vrije Universiteit Brussel until start of 2022-23 academic year

Vice-rector for Education and Student Policy Jan Danckaert has been confirmed as rector ad interim of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He takes over from rector Caroline Pauwels, who was last week obliged to step down through illness. With vice-rectors Karina Vanderkerken (Research Policy), Romain Meeusen (Internationalisation) and Hugo Thienpont (Innovation and Valorisation), Jan Danckaert will continue to roll out Caroline Pauwels’ policy plan and priorities. At the same time, elections for a new rector will be organised, with the term of office to begin at the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

Jan Danckaert (°1964) is a professor of physics and part of VUB’s Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences faculty. Since 2016 he has been part of Caroline Pauwels’ team of vice-rectors. During his mandate as vice-rector for Education and Student Policy, he has focused on “blended learning”, the integration of face-to-face and online teaching. He also made VUB the first Flemish university to pass the new institution-wide review with positive results. In its assessment report, the committee praised the university’s culture and the way students are able to participate in its management.

In the coming months, he will focus on the operations of EUTOPIA European University, the alliance of 10 universities in Europe, as well as the further growth of VUB as a reference in the field of research and development, the university’s resolute approach to and prevention of undesirable transgressive behaviour, and the welfare of staff and students.

Prof Danckaert: “It is with mixed feelings that I am taking over the duties of Caroline Pauwels as rector ad interim. We deeply regret her departure due to illness, but we will continue to implement the policy priorities that were so close to her heart with passion and dedication. I would like to thank the Board of Directors and, in particular, my fellow vice-rectors for the trust they have placed in me. As a team, we will continue to realise Caroline’s vision of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel as an urban engaged university.”

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Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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