VUB class of 2023 graduate on Grote Markt in Brussels

VUB class of 2023 graduate on Grote Markt in Brussels

Graduation ceremonies in association with ULB, Haute École Francisco Ferrer, Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels and City of Brussels

Monday 9 October 2023 – Today sees the start of the graduation ceremonies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel on the Grote Markt in Brussels, a special place symbolising the connection between the university, its students and the city. VUB will say farewell to 2,000 master’s students in front of their families and friends. They will be lauded for their efforts and their graduation, the culmination of their university careers, from the balcony of Brussels City Hall. After the ceremony, students will continue their celebrations on the Kunstberg.

For three days, the Grote Markt will be dominated by the VUB graduation ceremonies. In turn, each of the nine faculties, the Multidisciplinary Institute for Teacher Training (MILO) and BRUFACE will wave their students off to loud applause.

At each ceremony, several prominent speakers will address the graduates, including the dean of the faculty, the rector, VUB alumni and Brussels mayor Philippe Close. They will inspire students, even after graduation, to make a lasting commitment to a better world by choosing socially relevant careers. Proclamation of the graduates and a number of prizes will follow.

After the celebration, the class of 2023 will retire to Plein Publiek BXL, a unique location on the Kunstberg in Brussels, where they and their guests will raise a glass to their degree.

“Receiving your diploma on the Grote Markt is a joyous occasion with a lot of symbolism,” said Philippe Close, mayor of the City of Brussels. “We are happy that we can offer this experience to students from VUB, ULB, the Haute École Francisco Ferrer and now this year the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels, in the presence of their loved ones. We started this new tradition four years ago and it has now become an integral part of the Brussels student experience.”
“As an urban engaged university, connection with the city is of the utmost importance,” said VUB rector Jan Danckaert. “We are therefore extremely happy that we can strengthen that connection and again proclaim our graduates on the capital’s Grote Markt. On the one hand, we can show our students how proud we are of them as their alma mater. Obtaining a degree is the culmination of a period of personal growth and intellectual development, and that deserves applause. On the other hand, we want to encourage our graduating master’s students to become ambassadors for our university and for Brussels, and inspire them to make their mark on society and contribute to a better world.”

After the VUB ceremonies, there will be ceremonies for the students of ULB, the Haute École Francisco Ferrer and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels. The graduation festivities of the four institutions will last a week, from 9 to 15 October.

Programme of the VUB graduation ceremonies




Social Sciences

Monday 9 Oct – 10.00-12.00

Laora Mastari

Applied Economics, Commercial Engineering, Business & Technology, International Business

Monday 9 Oct – 12.00-14.00

Anouk Lagae

Business Administration & Business Management

Monday 9 Oct – 14.00-16.00

Olivier Vanden Eynde 

Literature & Philosophy

Monday 9 Oct – 16.00-18.00

Jurgen Masure

Law & Criminology

Monday 9 Oct – 18.00-20.00

Michèle Coninsx 

Brussels School of Governance

Monday 9 Oct – 20.00-21.00

Maarten Toelen

Multidisciplinary Institute for Teacher Training (MILO)

Tuesday 10 Oct – 10.30-12.00

Katrien Roebben

Sciences & Bioengineering

Tuesday 10 Oct – 12.00-14.00

Patricia Verheyden

Physical Education & Physiotherapy

Tuesday 10 Oct – 14.00-16.00

Dirk Van Tichelt

Psychology & Educational Sciences

Tuesday 10 Oct – 16.00-18.00

Jana Peeters

Medicine & Pharmacy

Tuesday 10 Oct – 18.00-20.00

Khadija Rhioui


Wednesday 11 Oct – 9.00-11.00

Tom Ghenne

BRUFACE training

Wednesday 11 Oct – 11.00-13.30

Steven Schneide

New costume for Manneken-Pis

For the occasion, Manneken-Pis’ wardrobe will be expanded with a specially designed gown that he will wear throughout the week. During proclamations, the costume will feature a logo indicating which institution is taking its turn.

Programme of presentation of new costume on Monday 9 October

  • 11.00 – Reception in Militia Hall of City Hall
  • 11.05 – Welcome by Marc Guebel, president of the Order of the Friends of Manneken-Pis
  • 11.10 – Speech by mayor of the City of Brussels Philippe Close
  • 11.15 – Speech by Pieter Ballon, vice-rector for Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and delegates from ULB and other institutions
  • 11.20 – Unveiling of new costume
  • 11.25 – Signing of visitors book
  • 11.30 – Drink offered by the City
  • 11.45 – Departure for Manneken-Pis
  • 12.00 – Unveiling of costume to the public

Nomination for VisitBrusselsAwards 2023

The VUB graduation ceremonies (2022 edition) have been nominated for the VisitBrusselsAwards 2023 in the category BrusselsOnStage. This contest rewards cultural and tourism initiatives in Brussels that bring the capital national and international acclaim. The award ceremony takes place on Thursday 19 October.

More information

Would you like more information, or to attend the VUB graduations?

Nathalie Vlaemynck
Nathalie Vlaemynck TIJDELIJK AFWEZIG - Woordvoerder en algemeen perscontact
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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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