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Vrije Universiteit Brussel and her honorary rector Silvain Loccufier have received the Award for Humanism 2017. The award is presented every two years to a person or organisation that embodies an “authentic and endured humanistic commitment.”


Vrije Universiteit Brussel is lauded as an institution of education and research that has contributed significantly to emancipatory thinking, religious equality and the diffusion of humanistic principles.

Rector Caroline Pauwels received the award enthusiastically. She describes her vision on VUB as radically humanistic, radically urban and embedded in the twenty-first century. “We are truly honoured to receive this award as a humanistic knowledge institution. We have always strived to translate our humanistic values into both our education and our research. And we will continue to do so.”


Professor Silvain Loccufier has been one of the great champions and advocates of that thinking and is accoladed by the jury for his unresting commitment and activistic vigor.


No monetary reward is connected to the award. The winners receive a statue by the hand of artist Paul Baeteman.


On June 21st 2017, the International day of Humanism, the Humanistisch-Vrijzinnige Vereniging (HVV) presented its Award for Humanism for the 15th time. Previous winners include Karel baron Poma (2009), prof. dr. Etienne Vermeersch (2011), prof. dr. Marleen Temmerman (2013), en prof. dr. Wim Distelmans (2015).