Top universities of Europe
The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is located in the centre of the historic town of Leuven, home to the university since 1425. In 1968 the Catholic University of Leuven, considered Belgium's oldest university, split into the Dutch-language Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the French-language Université catholique de Louvain, which moved to Louvain-la-Neuve in Wallonia. Since the fifteenth century, Louvain, as it is still often called, has been a major contributor to the development of Catholic theology. It is considered the oldest Catholic university still in existence.
With 41, 255 students in 2012–2013, the KU Leuven is the largest university in Belgium and the Low Countries. In addition to its primary campus in Leuven, it has satellite campuses in Kortrijk ('KULAK'), Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Geel, Diepenbeek, Aalst, Sint-Katelijne-Waver and in Belgium's capital Brussels. The university now also offers several programs in English.
The KU Leuven is a strongly research-oriented university. Among its many accolades is to be reckoned among the top universities of Europe. In the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) university ranking, the KU Leuven was ranked 58th in the world and 13th in Europe, making it the highest ranked university from the low countries (The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) in either category. Its current 2012 QS World University Ranking position is 82nd. KU Leuven Law School currently ranks 25th in the world.
In the 2012-2013 Academic Year, 41, 255 students were attending classes at the 15 faculties of the KU Leuven, 6, 724 of whom were foreign students, many of whom were able to follow courses offered in English. Most courses, however, are taught in Dutch. The KU Leuven is a member of the Coimbra Group (a network of leading European universities) as well as of the LERU Group (League of European Research Universities). Since August 2013, the university has been led by Rik Torfs who replaced former rector Mark Waer. The Belgian archbishop, André-Joseph Léonard is the current Grand Chancellor and a member of the university board.