VUB rector undergoing treatment for stomach cancer


Caroline Pauwels, the rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, has been diagnosed with stomach and esophageal cancer

Vice-rectors step in

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has announced that its rector, Caroline Pauwels, has been diagnosed with stomach and esophageal cancer. She is undergoing treatment, and vice-rectors will assist her in carrying out her job in the interim.

“The rector asks that her privacy and that of her family be respected during this difficult time,” said the university in a statement. Pauwels (pictured) has been VUB’s rector since 2016, the second woman to be elected to the post at the Dutch-speaking university and the third female rector in Belgium.

One of Pauwels’ priorities has been to create a closer relationship between the university and the public, with the goal of helping the capital solve its social, economic and ecological challenges. She has not only broached the subject of the university becoming multi-lingual, she has led its involvement in the new Usquare development, which is bringing together start-ups and socio-cultural initiatives in Brussels’ former police barracks.

Photo courtesy VUB