The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) was founded in 1425, 1834, or 1968, depending on your point of view. The original university was closed by the French in 1797, but a new State University was established under Dutch rule during 1816–1835. After Belgium became independent, the Catholic University of Leuven took over. Campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s demanding equals rights for Flemish Belgians led to a 1968 split of the university into the French-language Université catholique de Louvain and the Dutch-language KU Leuven.
KU Leuven states that “From its Christian view of the world and the human, KU Leuven endeavours to be a place for open discussion of social, philosophical and ethical issues and a critical centre of reflection in and for the Catholic community. KU Leuven offers its students an academic education based on high-level research, with the aim of preparing them to assume their social responsibilities. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It is strongly inter- and multidisciplinary in focus and strives for international excellence. To this end, KU Leuven works together actively with its research partners at home and abroad.”
The university certainly achieves its high-tech goals, being ranked 28th in the world on the Times Higher Education list of engineering institutions. It is home to the Punch Powertrain Solar Team (www.solarteam.be):
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