VUB students graduate on Grote Markt in Brussels

VUB students 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

Friday 6 October 2023 – From 9 to 15 October, graduates of the class of 2023 at four educational institutions will be given a special graduation experience, when they celebrate the end of their university journey on Brussels’ Grote Markt. The City of Brussels, in cooperation with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Haute École Francisco Ferrer (HEFF) and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels, is organising the ceremonies for their students. ​

The City of Brussels, VUB and ULB are doing so for the fourth consecutive year and HEFF for the second time, while for the Royal Academy, this is a first. For seven days, the Grote Markt and its surroundings will be dominated by the ceremonies. During this special occasion, students, accompanied by their loved ones, will be honoured by their rectors and directors from the balcony of City Hall.

“Receiving your diploma on the Grote Markt is very symbolic, and the City of Brussels is delighted to invite students and their families to enjoy this experience,” said Philippe Close, mayor of the City of Brussels. “We started this new tradition four years ago and it has now become an integral part of the Brussels student experience. Alongside students from ULB, VUB and the Haute École Francisco Ferrer, this year we also welcome the .” 
“The City of Brussels is pleased that the graduation ceremony of students of the Haute École Fransisco Ferrer, and since this year those of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels, will again take place at the Grand Place,” said Faouzia Hariche, alderman for French-speaking Public Education of the City of Brussels, Youth and Human Resources. “HEFF, a leading educational institution, provides training in sectors that are essential to the city, its schools and hospitals and the region in general. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels trains the talented artists of tomorrow. What a pleasure for us to be able to laud our students for their exceptional achievements in such an exceptional place.”

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.

“It is great to bring together our graduating students, in the company of their families and friends, at the beautiful Grote Markt in Brussels,” said ULB rector Annemie Schaus. “It is a powerful symbol that rewards the efforts and occasional sacrifices made by our students during their years of study. I would like to congratulate them warmly and thank the City of Brussels for welcoming us to this special environment for the fourth year.”
“The VUB is a city-connected university – an urban engaged university – and we are therefore extremely pleased to be able to proclaim our graduates once again on the Grote Markt in Brussels,” said VUB rector Jan Danckaert. “On the one hand, we can show them how proud of them we are as their alma mater. After all, 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 them to become ambassadors of our university and of Brussels, and inspire them to make their mark on society and contribute to a better world.”
VUB-Class of 22:Psychology and Educational Sciences(By Thierry Geenen)
VUB-Class of 22:Psychology and Educational Sciences(By Thierry Geenen)


Journalists have free access to the event on the Grote Markt. The stage opposite the City Hall balcony is accessible for recordings (maximum five people at one time).


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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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