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Calling all professors, students and alumni, staff, supporters and friends of VUB: all are invited to take part in a survey about the university’s identity this month. This is the start of a major exercise that will result in a new visual identity and clarify VUB’s position in the world. The project culminates in May, 24th, at the first VUB Congress.


Why is it so important for VUB to reflect on its identity now? In recent years, the university has undergone serious expansion. As well as an increase in the number of students to almost 15,000 – a 50% rise in eight years – there is also significantly more research, more social impact, more internationalisation, more fundraising, and major expansion by the campuses and the university hospital. We could go on.


With all this change, the question has become pressing: who are we? What is the identity of Vrije Universiteit Brussel? This is crucial, given the social role we want to play in Brussels, in Flanders and in the world.


In his new year address, rector Paul De Knop put it like this: “Are we the same university we were almost fifty years ago, when we became autonomous? It is vital that we know who we are and what we stand for, both for ourselves and for the outside world.”


Any decision on a new identity needs to be based on as many opinions and insights from as many stakeholders as possible. Those with an interest are encouraged to have their say by responding to the survey, the biggest VUB has ever carried out.


VUB’s identity is central to the first VUB Congress, to be held on 24 May, in the week of the university’s anniversary. This is when the new logo and house style will be unveiled. Those present will also have the chance to meet the new rector, who will be elected during this period and will take the reins from Paul De Knop at the start of the 2016/17 academic year.


WeAreVUB: 2016 is dedicated to the university’s identity.