Katholieke Universiteit Leuven by r9maENR


Science and Engineering Reform

          Guido Langouche
     Marrakech, 12 February 2008
       Tempus Reform Project
K.U.Leuven history

               1425 foundation

               1797 abolition by French authorities

               1835 foundation of present catholic

               1911 start of courses in Dutch

               1970 splitting into 2 sister-universities
                      Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
                      Université Catholique de Louvain
Students and Staff

 Students: 32,500                 Staff: 17,000
   55 % female                      50 % in university hospital
   4,000 international students     1,400 professors (1,000 fte)

 [data February 2007]
Budget and Governance
            Annual Budget (non-hospital)
            Education (ministry)                          250 M€
               (university pays all salaries, is owner of buildings)
            Research (competitive)                        350 M€
                (fraction of income from industry: 100 M€)

            “free university”
             but same funding rules as state universities

            Academic Council decides on
            - appointments, promotions, evaluations
            - study programmes [within legally approved fields]
            - internal budget flow (until 2004)
              (central university  faculty  department)
Study Programmes
               49 bachelor programmes (3 yrs)
                   including 2 in English
               123 master programmes (1 or 2 yrs)
                   including 32 in English, 1 French
               66 specialized programmes
                  (‘master after master’)
                   including 43 in English, 1 Spanish

               Diplomas / year:
               4,000 master degrees
               1,500 postgraduate degrees
                 450 doctoral degrees
            13 faculties            % of students
               Medicine                   16 %
               Law                        13 %
               Arts                       12 %
               Engineering                12 %
               Economics                  12 %
               Psych. & Educ. Sc.         11 %
               Science                     8%

            3 “groups”
               Arts & humanities          50 %
               Science & Engineering      25 %
               Bio-medical sciences       25 %
      Science and Engineering Group

                              Faculty of Sciences
                              2,400 students
                              5 departments

Faculty of Engineering
3,800 students
7 departments

               Faculty of Bio-engineering
              1,400 students
              3 departments
Reform needed in Science and Engineering

“Walls between faculties too high”

- overlapping research fields but lack of collaboration across
    faculty walls
- lack of interdisciplinarity when opening new positions
- lack of study programmes across faculty walls
- students cannot switch between pure & applied sciences
- no master thesis works allowed outside department
- 3 faculty deans do not talk to each other at group level
- budget stream contributes to lack of collaboration:
      central university  faculty  department
        How to introduce reform ?
How to bring down walls between faculties ?

        by giving extra power to faculty deans

                      BUT !

          extra power only if shared power
 2004 reform: Group structure imposed

after intensive discussions approved by academic council

part of decisive power from “academic council” to “group”
   reform of study programmes
   open positions for professors
   internal structure (departments / institutes)
   budget flow: central university  group  department

condition: joint decisions across group needed !
   [small board: vice-rector + 3 deans + 3 representatives]
since 2004 being implemented:
students can move more easily cross faculty lines:
   bachelor in physics master in electrical engineering

new joint study programmes:
   [open to bachelors from all 3 faculties]
   [choice between engineering track or pure science track]
   master of nanoscience and –technology
   master of bio-informatics
   master of environmental sciences
   master of artificial intelligence
since 2004 being implemented:

new joint doctoral school
“Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School in
Science, Engineering and Technology”

- common internet portal
  all research positions jointly advertised
  (from many different funding agencies)
- common follow-up procedure for doctoral students
Group library

new joint library

15 departmental
    libraries suspended

in favour of
    1 group library

Implementing University reform by consent is not obvious

Long preparations and negotiations needed
   (preceded by international case study report)

Determined University Board needed
   (rector and vice-rectors have to speak with one voice)

Offering something in return definitely helps to convince
   (‘extra power’)
578 years old but “alive and kicking”

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