During the corona period, VUB surpassed itself. There was the unprecedented commitment of the entire medical and care staff of UZ Brussel, and the involvement of academic and administrative staff to continue classes digitally during the lockdown. VUB researchers from very different faculties contributed research and scientific work in the fight against corona. Concerned about the well-being of the students, VUB organised a huge phone-in campaign during the last lockdown, in which master’s students in psychology called their fellow students to inquire about their mental health needs and to offer help where necessary. In addition, the university set up a large well-being survey and a digital buddy programme to keep student well-being in its sights.
For all these efforts, as a caring employer, VUB wanted to thank and celebrate its community of employees and their families with a grand staff party in Pairi Daiza.
“The academic year 2021-2022 is all about REthink, REuse, REjoice. Rethinking the world to make it better, to ensure a sustainable future together, but also: to be happy again because we can get back together without too many restrictions. We are experiencing that moment of joy today. In doing so, we are also resuming the festivities around the 50th anniversary of VUB that were planned before the pandemic and which couldn’t take place. After the academic opening, we are together again today and are already looking forward to presenting the honorary doctorates and the Sint-Verhaegen celebration,” says VUB rector Caroline Pauwels.
VUB personnel director Raf Devos was happy with the large attendance at this unique moment: “VUB is the largest Dutch-speaking private employer in Brussels. And we are showing that today with almost 5,000 participants in the biggest staff party since the foundation of the university. It is great to experience this ‘warm’ day with the entire VUB community without worries or pressure.”