VUB continues to grow: Sharp increase in English-language enrolments

VUB continues to grow: Sharp increase in English-language enrolments

Wednesday 4 October 2023 – The number of enrolments at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has grown by 8% compared to last year, with an increase of 11% among first-time students. This is the 10th consecutive year of growth for the university. The undergraduate courses with the strongest growth are Business Economics, Social Sciences, Linguistics and Literary Studies, Medicine and Biology.

The growth in English-language undergraduate courses is particularly notable. Business Economics and Social Sciences both saw a 20% increase in enrolments, while Linguistics and Literary Studies enters its second year with twice as many students. The total number of new students for these courses is 657, two-thirds of whom come from outside Belgium.

That’s good news, according to VUB rector Jan Danckaert:

“Ever since its inception, VUB’s location in the capital of Europe has made it an international university, with around 25% of students being international. Our international appeal is an added value to the university community, for both Belgian and international students. We believe bringing students together across borders helps to fight the polarisation that we see every day. They experience the local nuances of each other’s viewpoints, and are encouraged to work together in a respectful way, without prejudice or fanaticism.”

Medicine and Biology are also on the rise, with both courses seeing student numbers double. The Dutch-language undergraduate programmes Biomedical Sciences, Law, Criminological Sciences, Commercial Engineering and Applied Economics, Kinesitherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences and Psychology also remain popular.


On Thursday 5 October, the 14th VUB Kick-Off event takes place on the campus in Etterbeek. Support services, student associations and a host of Brussels organisations will show students what they have to offer.

Thanks to DJ Stecks and Jan Jozef, the lawns of the Etterbeek campus will be transformed into a festival site between 12.00 and 20.00. Production house cirQ will provide entertainment on the stage in the green auditorium, and students can descend the wall of building E on ropes. National and international student associations will sell food and drinks at student-friendly prices, and there will be goodies and giveaways including a free Basic Fit gym subscription.

There’s no better way to get to know VUB and Brussels as a student city than by sharing a drink with old and new friends during the VUB Kick-Off,” says Danckaert. “In these troubled and uncertain times, students need support and connection more than ever. With our information booths, they can learn about the activities and support they can get from the various VUB services, student associations and Brussels organisations. And with all kinds of fun activities and delicious food and drink, they’ll get to meet new people.”

You’re invited to drop by during the VUB Kick-Off on Thursday 5 October between 12.00 and 21.00 on the Etterbeek campus. If you wish to speak to students, we recommend coming between 12.00 and 15.00, as many will be taking their lunch break then. If you’d like to attend, please contact spokesperson Nathalie Vlaemynck.

Nathalie Vlaemynck
Nathalie Vlaemynck TIJDELIJK AFWEZIG - Woordvoerder en algemeen perscontact
About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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.

The World Needs You

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.


Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel