VUB rector Caroline Pauwels to run for re-election

Summary

The rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, credited for connecting the university to other Brussels institutions, will run for a second term

Research-driven

Caroline Pauwels has announced that she will run for re-election as the rector of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Pauwels has been the Dutch-language university’s rector since 2016.

“This position is reinforced by the success of the previous rectorate,” said Pauwels, “and can only succeed if the entire community – with all of their various visions – wants to make it happen. In my first term, we were very focused on making connections to the outside world, and we were extremely successful in exporting our research and education to the community.”

Pauwels, whose first term is up at the end of the 2019-20 academic year, has overseen many new collaborations with Brussels’ French-speaking university ULB, opened discussions on making VUB more multilingual, introduced a quota system for women professors, joined the Compassionate Cities campaign and broke ground on a new Learning & Innovation Center, together with ULB.

A research-driven approach will motivate our young people to be inquisitive throughout their lives

- Caroline Pauwels

“I also want to position VUB more as a research institute,” she said. “We need to accomplish this always keeping the Sustainable Development Goals in mind.”

And she wants to increase the university’s collaboration with European counterparts. “We are part of the Eutopia network,” she said. “This step towards internationalisation will allow our educational programmes to stand out as research-driven, which will motivate our young people to be inquisitive and to continue learning throughout their lives.”

Pauwels is in treatment for stomach and oesophageal cancer, which she announced last summer.

VUB academics can announce their candidacy for rector until 29 February. The elections take place in April. Full-time academic personnel and staff, as well as students and UZ Brussel hospital workers are invited to vote.

Rectorates begin with the new academic year and last four years. A rector can run for re-election once.

Photo ©Els De Nil/VUB