VUB rector Caroline Pauwels is Brusselaar of the Year


The rector of the Dutch-speaking Brussels university has ‘stuck her neck out’ for the city, says organisation

Bringing the uni closer to the city

Caroline Pauwels, the rector of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has been named Brusseles van’t joêr, or Brusselaar of the Year. The title is bestowed annually by be.brusseleir, which works to promote the Brussels dialect.

The Flemish rector was chosen, said Geert Dehaes of be.brusseleir, because of her work to get students and staff of the university – many of whom commute from outside – more involved in the city. She has also led the university in working more closely with businesses and organisations located in Brussels.

“She was very much in the public eye this year,” said Dehaes, “and she stuck her neck out for this city. She also brought the university closer to the people.”

The musician Mars Moriau, meanwhile, was chosen as Brusseleir vè et Leive, or Brusselaar for Life. As part of the group Emballage Kado, he writes and performs songs in the Brussels dialect.

Photo: Caroline Pauwels and Mars Moriau at the be.brusseleir ceremony
©Courtesy be.brusseleir

Free University of Brussels (VUB)

The VUB was established as a spin-off of the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles in the 1960s. It’s an internationally oriented and liberal institution, and the only Dutch-speaking university in the capital.
Work - The VUB is the largest Dutch-speaking employer of the Brussels-Capital Region.
St V - Every year, students honour university founder Pierre Theodore Verhaegen in a festive, booze-filled “St V” march through the city.
Campus - The VUB is the only Dutch-speaking university with a small, American-style green campus.

Master’s programmes offered


million euros in research budget in 2010

12 000

students in 2011-2012 academic year