VUB ready to start new academic year in code green and on campus

VUB ready to start new academic year in code green and on campus

Focus on inclusive and innovative education

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is preparing to start the new academic year in code green on campus, in anticipation of a decision by the government. Students will have the choice to follow lessons on capus or online. In addition, VUB is putting into practice its mission as an “urban engaged university” through its focus on more inclusive, socially engaged and committed education. In doing so, the university puts its social role in the spotlight. This takes place in an environment in which future-proof multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary education and blended education are central.

Vice-rector for Education and Student Policy Jan Danckaert: “In the coming academic year, we will carefully integrate in-person and online learning experiences: this is called blended learning. In doing so, we will of course make use of the knowledge and skills we have built up through the ‘brutal digital’ leap we have made in the past year. For the first time, we can now depart from the question of how we can digitally enhance and support ‘classic’ face-to-face education and make it more activating. We can now think about the most important reasons to see students on a campus, in an auditorium, in a lab or a practice room. Answers, therefore, to the question of ‘where’ our education will take place. But the blend is not only online versus physical, but also synchronous vs asynchronous, on campus versus other locations, and steering of the learning process versus student autonomy.”

The VUB identity as an urban engaged university is primarily expressed in its anchoring and interaction with Brussels, in both its online and offline activities (WeKonekt.brussels and CERL: Community Engaged Research and Learning). Face-to-face teaching forms not only contribute to achieving the learning goals, they also play an important role in the university’s socialising, networking and inclusive objectives. At a university such as VUB, a student doesn’t come just to study: they also evolve into a young adult who is prepared to take on a role in society.

With its project The World Needs You, VUB provides a range of projects, communities, events, lessons and lectures in line with the sustainability objectives of the United Nations: People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity, Partnership.

“Our capital city offers students and lecturers concrete opportunities to set up innovative learning and research strategies. But this urban jungle sometimes requires a different approach. Lecturers transfer their content-related expertise as effectively as possible, but they also play a coaching role. In this way, students are taught the necessary skills and attitudes that can help them take responsibility in a rapidly changing urban and global society,” says Danckaert. 

 

Curricula under the microscope and inclusive campuses

In addition, the curricula are being reviewed with a focus on anti-racism, decolonisation and diversity in the classroom and in the curriculum. For example, many programmes integrate critical reflections on colonisation and racism. In addition, VUB is focusing on inclusive campuses: accessible working and learning environments where everyone is treated with respect. If someone does feel their dignity has been violated, they can report it via a hotline.

Furthermore, VUB wants to support students from underrepresented groups in their journey to the academic world and into work. To do this, we are working with an increasingly diverse group of student associations as well as external partners.

 

International experience without travel

In addition, new forms of mobility will become possible. Students will be able to gain international experiences without either party – the lecturer or the students – necessarily having to travel. With our five European partner universities in the EUTOPIA network, we’ve ensured that while travel is no longer a necessary condition of studying, it can still have added value. Through this network, we’ve set up “connected learning communities” that develop learning activities across the various international campuses. Eighteen of these are already active.

 

Safety measures

In consultation with various Brussels partners, VUB is taking initiatives to promote vaccination coverage. With the Common Community Commission (GGC), VUB will set up vaccination points on its campuses between 13 September and 15 October and encourages staff, students, residents and visitors to get vaccinated on site. We are ventilating all rooms and monitoring this with the further roll-out of CO2 meters. Face masks remain compulsory during teaching activities. With all these measures, we guarantee that our campuses remain safe places to study and stay.

 

Contact

Jan Danckaert, vice-rector for Education and Student Policy

jan.danckaert@vub.be

0486 48 80 62

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Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Woordvoerder en persrelaties Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Woordvoerder en persrelaties Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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.

www.vub.be/dewereldheeftjenodig

 


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