Women must make up one in two new profs at KU Leuven


KU Leuven is the first Flemish university to respond with a plan required by two Flemish ministers to increase the number of women on their academic staffs

One-third female within 10 years

Half of all new academic staff at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) has to be a woman. The university has implemented the new hiring policy to rectify the gender inequality in its staff. KU Leuven is the first Flemish university to present its gender action plan, a measure required by innovation minister Ingrid Lieten and education minister Pascal Smet.

Currently, more than half of all Master’s graduates at KU Leuven are women but only 13% of professors are women. “In about 10 years, at least 30% of all academic staff should be female,” said vice-rector Katlijn Malfliet, author of the plan.

“But quality remains the priority,” added rector Rik Torfs. “If a man is the best candidate, we will give him the job. But I am sure there are enough qualified women.” 

Special commissions will search for potential candidates both within and from outside the university community, including abroad. The university is striving to make the administrative bodies deciding on promotions and appointments a minimum of 30% female.

Leuven university's new gender action plan requires one in two new professors to be woman.

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University of Leuven

Established almost six centuries ago, the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) is one of the oldest universities in the Low Countries. International rankings consistently place it among the best universities in Europe.
Papal founding - It was founded as a Catholic university by Pope Martin V in 1425.
Bright minds - Over the centuries, it attracted famous scholars like Justus Lipsius, Andreas Vesalius, Desiderius Erasmus and Gerard Mercator.
Micro and nano - KU Leuven is home to the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (imec), a world-class research centre in micro- and nanoelectronics.
11 544

staff members in 2013

40 069

students in 2014-2015 academic year


million euros in annual research budget