Founded in 1425, K.U.Leuven is a Flemish University of Catholic signature with an international orientation. It has the legal statute of private institution.
As a university, it is an academic institution where research that opens up new horizons and knowledge transfer are both essential and complementary.
As a university, it distinguishes itself from other research centres by its autonomous statement of problems, by the disinterested character of its fundamental research, by its focus on education, and by the fact that its walls encompass almost all academic disciplines.
As a university, it distinguishes itself from other educational institutions by its teaching, which is based on and nourished by its own research, and by its interdisciplinary approach.
It defines its tasks and priorities autonomously, and the members of its academic staff enjoy academic freedom in the exercise of their duties.
In the acquisition of knowledge, K.U.Leuven is guided only by the requirements of research methodology and deontology.
In a number of fields, the university aspires to a place among the centres of excellence in Europe and in the world.
It transfers knowledge through high-quality interdisciplinary teaching. Its programmes integrate professional training into a broad ethical, cultural, and social context of education. Rather than passing on mere factual knowledge, it promotes the skills of identifying, formulating, and solving problems. It creates the necessary conditions for a stimulating educational experience. Special attention is paid to the steady evaluation of its teaching to enhance the student's capacity for independent study, to provide intensive individual guidance and an adequate evaluation system, to ensure high didactic qualities of the teaching staff, and to stimulate the use of new teaching methods and technologies.
K.U.Leuven's first and second cycle undergraduate programmes contribute to as broad a participation as possible of young people in a qualitatively outstanding university education, which takes place in an intellectually stimulating, socially supportive, and student-centred environment. At the same time, K.U.Leuven continuously directs itself towards new target groups.
In addition, it pays special attention to the training of young researchers, mainly within the context of their doctoral studies. It also offers postgraduate programmes in a number of fields, aimed at the broadening and deepening of knowledge.
Besides education and research, K.U.Leuven has still other important tasks of service to society. In a spirit of critical service, it puts its knowledge at the disposal of government, of organizations, and of industry. Its concern for public health is realized in the university hospitals, with special care and with respect for human dignity. On the basis of its research, it ensures the permanent education of its graduates in their professional life.
As a Catholic university, K.U.Leuven is a critical centre of thought within the Catholic community, and as such it is deeply concerned with the relationship between science and faith, and with the dialogue between church and world.
On the basis of its Christian view of man and society, K.U.Leuven reflects on the axiological, ethical, and religious problems emerging from developments in science and technology, and from changes in social and cultural life. This reflection takes place in a free and open climate, and in collaboration with kindred universities. Special attention is paid to the personal dignity of human beings, to the protection of the weak, and to justice and peace. K.U.Leuven also creates a spiritual climate which favours the full human and religious development of the members of the university community.
As a Flemish university, K.U.Leuven stimulates the participation of the Flemish people in the technological and cultural progress of the world. Together with other Dutch-speaking universities, it contributes to the development of their common culture.
As an internationally oriented university, K.U.Leuven is heir to a centuries-old tradition of hospitality to international guests. Thanks to intense interuniversity collaboration and to the exchange of students and faculty members, its development and transfer of knowledge actively contribute to the enrichment of culture and science in Europe and throughout the world.
In its unique atmosphere, both at the campuses in Leuven and in Kortrijk, K.U.Leuven is committed to the accomplishment of this task, together with its alumni and with the regional and national community.