Unique bible manuscript gets face-lift and public baptism

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                                                                                                                                                     Speciale editie internationaal                 erkenning: P303221




   Campuskrant
Sep tember 2008 | international maga zine of k .u.leuven | re vis ta internacional de l a k .u.leuven
                                                                                                         i n t e r n a t i o n a l

                                                                             3   Profile
                                                                             Bryan Ding,
                                                                                                                                  4   Research
                                                                                                                                  crystal Ball in the making
                                                                             our man in Beijing                                   for surgeons



              Conservation project for one of the university’s crown jewels

               Unique bible manuscript
           gets face-lift and public baptism
   “Overwhelming, sublime, of absolutely the highest quality….”
   Professor Jan Van der Stock speaks in superlatives about the
   beautifully illustrated Anjou Bible. Currently, a preservation
   project is preparing the fourteenth-century manuscript for its
   introduction to the general public.
                                   Reiner Van Hove


   “
       T
                he manuscript originated       K.U.Leuven. Since then, it has become
                in the beginning of the        one of the highlights of the university’s
                fourteenth century at the      patrimony, a status that was confirmed
                court of Robert I of Anjou,    at the beginning of this year when it
   king of Napels,” recounts Van der Stock,    was added to the Flemish Community’s
   scientific co-ordinator of the project.     cultural heritage list.
   “The history of the manuscript — full of       Alongside its historical importance,
   court intrigue — reads as a Hollywood       the manuscript also — and primarily
   film script.”                               — has art-historical value. The 338 folios
      The manuscript was intended as a         of the manuscript contain two whole-
   wedding present from Robert to his          page miniatures and more than 160 ini-
   heir-apparent Andreas, who was mur-         tial decorations and smaller miniatures
   dered before he had the crown placed        alluding to the biblical texts and occur-     lieve Watteeuw examining the anjou Bible’s opening miniature.
   on his head. The bible continued to         rences in the royal house. They are the       (© Rob Stevens)
   circulate among royals, until around        work of many Neapolitan artists. Van
   the beginning of the sixteenth century      der Stock: “The opening miniature is
   when it ended up at Arras College in        the most overwhelming: an allegory            also certainly important: Christoffel          to open. Moreover, the parchment is
   Leuven, via the Bishop of Arras. In 1970,   representing the king among the vir-          Plantijn (influential printer and publisher,   folded and the pigments and the gold-
   the Major Seminary of Mechelen de-          tues ascribed to him. But in truth, all its   ed.) used the Anjou Bible as one of the        leaf contain lacunae.”
   posited the manuscript at the Maurits       miniatures are sublime, of absolutely         basic texts for his Polyglot Bible.”              Thus, a preservation project has re-
   Sabbe Library of the Theology Faculty,      the highest quality. The text itself was        Whoever is still not convinced of the        cently been undertaken: “The practical
                                                                                             manuscript’s value by this encomium            execution is in the hands of our Illumi-
                                                                                             might be impressed by its financial            nare Study Centre for Miniature Art,
                                                                                             translation: “The manuscript is valued         which is working in collaboration with
                                                                                             at EUR 15 million. It is safely stored in      the Royal Institute for Artistic Heritage.
                                                                                             a reading room in the Faculty of The-          Specialist Dr. Lieve Watteeuw from Illu-
                                                                                             ology’s library, which is in fact a safe.      minare will remove the folios from the
                                                                                             Naturally, one can’t simply request the        covers one by one, and then scan, exa-
                                                                                                                                            mine and clean them.”
                                                                                                                                               “And next, the pictorial layers, the
                                                                                                   “The history of                          gold-leaf, and the ink will be stabilized
                                                                                                                                            using the most advanced techniques.
                                                                                                    the manuscript                          High-resolution photographs will digi-
                                                                                                    — full of court                         tize the manuscript. Finally, the fo-
                                                                                                                                            lios will get a new preservation cover.
                                                                                                   intrigue — reads                         The cost for the project — EUR 80,000
                                                                                                                                            — is funded by the InBev-Baillet Latour
                                                                                                    as a Hollywood                          Foundation.”
                                                                                                      film script.”                            In 2011, the general public will get
                                                                                                                                            the chance to see the miniatures in
                                                                                                                                            flesh and blood — or better: in parch-
                                                                                             manuscript ‘just to see it.’ Sometimes         ment and pigment: “We are planning
                                                                                             researchers with the necessary docu-           an exhibition in Leuven’s new Museum
                                                                                             ments get the opportunity to study it.”        M. The most beautiful miniatures will
                                                                                                                                            be shown, and via a touch screen, visi-
                                                                                                Un-bound                                    tors will be able to leaf through a com-
                                                                                             Despite the richness of the manuscript,        plete digital version. Naturally, the rich
                                                                                             it has almost never been displayed in          and exciting history of the manuscript
                                                                                             public. And it was never decently ex-          will feature as well.”
                                                                                             amined, because the circumstances in
                                                                                             which it was stored were far from ideal.       Developments within the project can be
                                                                                             Van der Stock: “In the beginning of the        followed via the Web site of Illuminare:
                                                                                             twentieth century, it was regrettably          http://www.illuminare.be.
                                                                                             poorly re-bound. The covers are too
                                                                                             tight, making the manuscript difficult         Translation: John Hymers
Contents                                               2	         editorial	                                       September 2008   campuskrant international

Biomechanical models                               4
calculate best treatment
‘Crystal ball’ for surgeons                            Dear Reader                                                Estimado Lector
“Action is demanded                                5      “Leuven won’t let go”: so runs the title over an ar-       “Lovaina no suelta a sus alumnos”: ésta es la
quite immediately”                                     ticle in this issue of Campuskrant International telling   portada de uno de los artículos en este número
Energy expert Claude Mandil                            you how the Faculty of Business and Economics is           de Campuskrant International. Vd. podrá leer cómo
receives honorary doctorate                            keeping close contact with its alumni by organizing        la Facultad de Economía y Ciencias Empresari-
                                                       a home-coming and placing ambassadors in every             ales mantiene vínculos estrechos con sus alumnos
“Your own view                                     6   country. But naturally we hope that all alumni feel
                                                       like K.U.Leuven ambassadors. And we,
                                                                                                                  organizando días de regreso y designando em-
                                                                                                                                bajadores en cada país. Por supuesto
becomes so much larger”
                                                       through Campuskrant International, do                                    que esperamos que todos los alumnos
Project helps African universities to
                                                       our part by keeping you fully informed                                   se sientan a su vez embajadores de la
strengthen international dimension
                                                       about the comings and goings here at                                     K.U.Leuven. Queremos tenerles al cor-
                                                       your alma mater.                                                         riente de nuestra universidad gracias a
Leuven won’t let go
Faculty of Business & Economics
                                                   7      Now is that time of year when we                                      este periódico.
                                                       welcome many new international stu-                                         Hoy en día les damos también la bi-
expands alumni activities                              dents and researchers, whom I heart-                                     envenida a numerosos nuevos estudi-
                                                       ily wish an enriching stay in Leuven.                                    antes internacionales e investigadores,
500 words                                          8   For them, this is their introduction to                                  a quienes les deseo una estancia en-
Master’s student David Schuld                          Campuskrant International. And as al-                                    riquecedora en Lovaina. Para ellos es el
                                                       ways, like an octopus with our eight                                     primer encuentro con Campuskrant In-
                                                       arms (or: eight pages) we have tried                                     ternational. Como de costumbre trata-
                                                       to offer a relevant and varied armful of                                 mos de hacer, como un octópodo, con
                                                       K.U.Leuven news.                                                         sus ocho brazos — lea: nuestras ocho
                                                          So, you will read how a ‘crystal ball’ can help or-     páginas — una pertinente y variada selección de las
                                                       thopaedists choose the correct treatment, and you          noticias en nuestra universidad.
campuskrant international                              will learn what the consequences of stress during             Así Vd. podrá leer cómo un globo de cristal po-
                                                       pregnancy can be. Naturally, some of the articles          drá ayudar a la medicina ortopédica para escoger
Address                                                have an international touch: we will tell you how          el tratamiento correcto, y Vd. podrá enterarse de las
	 Campuskrant	International                            K.U.Leuven is sharing its expertise with universities      consecuencias del estrés durante el embarazo. En el
	 Communications	Office                                in Africa and Bosnia, and you will meet alumnus            artículo español el profesor Florentino García Mar-
	 Oude	Markt	13	–	bus	5005
                                                       Bryan Ding, our man in Beijing. We also offer you a        tínez nos cuenta sobre su investigación de los Rollos
	 3000	Leuven
                                                       glimpse of one of the crown jewels of our universi-        del Mar Muerto y sobre la condecoración real que le
  Belgium
                                                       ty’s patrimony: the Anjou Bible manuscript, with its       fue otorgada. Por otra parte Vd. podrá echar un vis-
                                                       beautiful miniatures.                                      tazo a un verdadero tesoro de nuestro patrimonio
	 phone	+32	16	32	40	18
                                                          Compared to that unique manuscript, Campus-             universitario: el manuscrito bíblico Angevino, con
	 fax	+32	16	32	40	14
                                                       krant International is perhaps a modest publication,       sus espléndidas miniaturas.
	 campuskrant@kuleuven.be
                                                       but we are convinced that you will also enjoy our             Comparado con este manuscrito único, nuestro
	 http://www.kuleuven.ac.be/ck/international/
                                                       ‘miniatures.’                                              periódico Campuskrant International es a lo mejor
Editor-in-chief
                                                                                                                  una publicación bastante modesta, pero estamos
  Reiner	Van	Hove
                                                       Professor Mart Buekers                                     convencidos de que Vd. disfrutará también de
Contributors                                           Vice-President International Policy                        nuestras ‘miniaturas’.
  Sofie	Bas,	Tine	Bergen,	Ann	Fransen,		
  Ines	Minten,	Benedict	Vanclooster                                                                               Profesor Mart Buekers
Translators                                                                                                       Vicepresidente Política Internacional
  English:	John	Hymers
  Español:	Beatrice	Schotsmans,	Paula	van	Eupen-
  Lavrysen,	Joaquín	J.	Sánchez	Gázquez
Design
	 Catapult
Layout
	 Wouter	Verbeylen



                                                         campuskrant international quiz
Photography
  Rob	Stevens
Cartoons
  Joris	Snaet
Circulation                                                                    Win a book about the Celestine Priory
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	 Drukkerij	Van	der	Poorten
                                                         by a fit of generosity: take part in our contest
Publisher
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  Ronny	Vandenbroele,	Oude	Markt	13,		
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Copyright
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                                                         1. For which three words does M3 stand in                The correct answers to last issue’s questions:
                                                            the M3-BIORES Department?
                                                                                                                  1. The camera pill developed at the Electrical
                                                                                                                  Engineering Department is 2 cm long.
                                                                                                                  2. Athlete Kim Gevaert won European gold in
                                                         2. What is the name of the library of the                Göteborg.
                                                            Faculty of Theology?                                  3. The acronym SOLFA stands for Solidarity
                                                                                                                  Fund for African Women.

                                                                                                                    An impartial outsider picked out the win-
                                                         3. Which square in Leuven was the location               ner from among last issue’s quiz contestants:
                                                            for a huge ‘cantus’ on April 10?                      Julia Wasilewska. She receives a copy of the
                                                                                                                  book ‘Lectures for the XXIst Century’. Our
                                                                                                                  heartfelt congratulations!
campuskrant international               September 2008   	                                                                                                 profiles	            3

                                                             Alumnus Bryan Ding mans K.U.Leuven’s first office abroad

                                                               Our man in Beijing
                                                             prepares pioneering role
                                                             Understandably, a representative in China for K.U.Leuven and its sister university
                                                             Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) has to know both universities and their
                                                             programmes inside out. That’s why Bryan Ding spent a couple of weeks in Leuven
                                                             and Louvain-la-Neuve in June to meet people from both universities. Remorselessly,
                                                             Campuskrant International claimed a spot in Ding’s overfull schedule, but the amiable
                                                             alumnus nevertheless took his time to contemplate and answer our questions.
                                                                                                             Reiner Van Hove

                                                            time, and felt it was time     collaborations with several other Chi-        new initiatives to turn it into a more
                                                            to give my life a twist and    nese institutions. Part of my job is to       dynamic network.”
                                                            look for more opportu-         develop these relationships further. In          “The Beijing office will also com-
                                                            nities. I received the job     this regard, K.U.Leuven takes a bottom-       municate and promote doctoral pro-
                                                            advertisement in March,        up approach: if there already is coopera-     grammes to potential candidates, and
                                                            through the Chinese            tion on a faculty or group level, we try to   facilitate the contact between them
                                                            alumni mailing list, and       take it a step further. But of course, we     and the faculties. If there is a need to
(© Rob Stevens)                                             thought it was worth a         will also be looking for new partners.”       conduct an interview, we offer the pos-
                                                            try. As a student, I was ac-      Another part of Ding’s job descrip-        sibility of video conferencing. And I can



A
“          classmate of mine was study-      tive in the Chinese Student Association,      tion is to promote the university and         help out with the application. But I will
           ing in Leuven and he recom-       and recently I’ve been involved in the        attract more students from China: “For        also be assisting students and research-
           mended the university to          Chinese Alumni Association, so I’ve al-       instance, student fairs offer a good op-      ers who travel in the other direction:
           me,” Ding recalls his first ac-   ways had a passion to contribute to the       portunity to meet students face-to-face.      students, scholars, and visiting delega-
quaintance with his new employer. “In        university. You can imagine I was very        I have a couple of them scheduled in Oc-      tions from Leuven who come to China.
2003 I came to Leuven myself, to take        happy when I heard I was selected.”           tober and November. Academic quality          They can contact me to facilitate their
the Master in Industrial Management.                                                       is the most important trump card to at-       stay.”
It was my first experience abroad and          Bottom-up approach                          tract students, scholars, and academic           Are there any misunderstandings
it really broadened my world view. Of        The office is located in the heart of         staff. But in addition, Leuven offers a       about K.U.Leuven Ding expects to en-
course, I took advantage of Belgium’s        Beijing, in a business centre which pro-      great, international atmosphere. For          counter often? “The difference between
central position to visit some coun-         vides services mostly to Belgian com-         Chinese students, Leuven really is the        K.U.Leuven and UCL sometimes is diffi-
tries around it. My study in Leuven also     panies. Ding is a bit of a pioneer, since     ideal city for a completely different ex-     cult to grasp for Chinese students: I have
helped me in terms of my career: it gave     this is the first office K.U.Leuven has       perience. Those are selling points I will     to explain they are really two separate
me more options than just becoming           opened abroad. Ding: “China is a very         certainly stress. I think the alumni in       universities. Another possible source
an engineer.”                                important partner for K.U.Leuven. Last        China can also help us to establish our       of confusion is the adjective ‘Catholic’
   Four years later, Ding is back in Leu-    year, Rector Vervenne and a K.U.Leuven        reputation and intensify our presence.        in the university’s name. Sometimes
ven to prepare for his new job. What         delegation came to Beijing to set up an       There already is a Chinese Alumni As-         I have to make clear that this doesn’t
motivated him to apply for the position?     institutional collaboration agreement         sociation, but its activities are quite       mean we only offer religious education
“I had been a patent engineer for some       with Tsinghua University, and we have         limited at this moment. We will take          — far from it.”




                         El profesor Florentino García Martínez
                    nombrado Caballero de la Orden del León Holandés

“Después de treinta años los Rollos del
  Mar Muerto siguen cautivándome”
Durante toda su vida científica,             parroquia en España me enfrenté con           mente inesperada. El nombramiento en
el profesor Florentino García                el régimen Franquista, por lo cual tuve       una Orden Holandesa es cosa muy espe-
                                             que exilarme de mi país. Sin embargo,         cial para un español. De hecho mi candi-
Martínez se dedicó al estudio
                                             mis estudios de los escritos de Qumrán        datura fue una iniciativa de mis colegas
de los Rollos del Mar Muerto,                empezaron unos años más tarde, por la         de Groningen, quienes me consideraban
una colección de manuscritos                 muerte de mi mentor. Este docente te-         sinceramente como uno de ellos, a pesar
que fue descubierta en el año                nía que dirigirme en mis estudios de es-      de mi descendencia extranjera. Solamen-
1947 cerca de Qumrán. Gra-                   critos rabinos y apocalípticos. Por esta      te ya por esta razón valoro enormemen-
                                             razón perdí mi beca. Gracias al consejo       te esta condecoración. En Groningen so-
cias a su obra, los escritos de
                                             de mi profesor español Alejandro Díez         mos por un lado colegas, y por otro un
Qumrán, se han desarrollado en               Macho, quien me dijo que a lo mejor           gran grupo de amigos.”
uno de los más importantes ins-              había dinero para una investigación de           “Después de treinta años los Rollos        (© Rob Stevens)
trumentos para comprender el                 los Rollos, pude empezar en la Escuela        del Mar Muerto siguen cautivándome.
Judaísmo y el Cristianismo anti-             Bíblica Francesa de Jerusalén.”               Imagínate que durante más de 2000             la investigación de los Rollos del Mar
                                                “Al final de los años setenta mi pre-      años estos escritos se quedaron en las        Muerto, sin embargo sigo entusiasma-
guo. García Martinez es cate-
                                             decesor Adam van der Woude buscaba            cuevas de Qumrán. Gracias a estos Ro-         do por ellos. Además enseñé la literatu-
drático en las universidades de              un sucesor a la jubilación de su colega.      llos cada día se descubren novedades          ra española, fui presidente del Instituto
Lovaina y de Groningen, Países               Quería alguien que estuviera especiali-       respecto al Judaísmo antiguo. Así, en         Qumrán, y en 2002 fui nombrado cate-
Bajos. En Holanda recibió hace               zado en el Judaísmo antiguo para poder        el año 1988, hemos presentado la ‘Hi-         drático de la K.U.Leuven y ayudé a las
unos meses una condecoración                 él centrarse en el Antiguo Testamento.        pótesis de Groningen’ que propone por         excavaciones arqueológicas. Siento mu-
                                             Así llegué a la universidad Groningen a       un lado que la comunidad de Qumrán            cho que no me sobra tiempo para leer,
real: fue nombrado Caballero de
                                             la cual debo mucho. Adam era un hom-          nació de una rotura dentro del movi-          estudiar y gozar de la vida. En general
la Orden del León Holandés.                  bre magnífico, por quien tengo muchí-         miento esenio y por otro que solamente        soy un hombre contento, tengo una es-
                                             simo respeto. Cuando miré a su retrato        una parte de los escritos encontrados         posa e hijos maravillosos y muy buenos
                  Sofie Bas                  en el edificio de la universidad en el        pertenecen realmente a esta comuni-           amigos en Groningen y en Lovaina. Tal
                                             cual tenía exactamente la misma con-          dad. Así, hay mucha controversia frente       vez no seré muy eclesiástico, sin embar-


“M
              i primer contacto con los      decoración que yo recibí al ser nombra-       a la tesis estándar que la comunidad de       go vivo mi fe en casi todo. Para vivir la
              Rollos del Mar Muerto          do Caballero, estuve muy emocionado.”         Qumrán estaba compuesta de un grupo           fe no hay nada mejor que un delicioso
              ocurrió en el año 1969,                                                      de esenios que ocultaron sus escritos en      puro cubano con un ‘single malt’!”
cuando estudiaba en el Pontificio Ins-          Controversia                               cuevas durante la Guerra Judía de 66 a
tituto Bíblico de Roma”, cuenta García       “Mi condecoración como Caballero de           72 después de Cristo.”                        Traducción: Beatrice Schotsmans, Paula van
Martínez. “Antes, como sacerdote en mi       la Orden del León Holandés fue entera-           “Aunque comencé por casualidad             Eupen
4	        research	                                                                                                       September 2008   campuskrant international



                 Materialise Chair in Patient-specific and Image-based Biomechanics

 Crystal ball in the making for surgeons
How well will patients still function after a knee or hip operation? For doctors and surgeons, it is currently impossible to predict this ac-
curately for the long term. However, researchers in Leuven are now working on a crystal ball within the framework of a new chair.

                                                                          Benedict Vanclooster




P
          roblems with the skeleton ide-    cal model need not start from nothing.       we collaborate, and from the clinical        “We have been working intensely with
          ally demand treatment tai-        “We have built up almost ten years of        network of our sponsor Materialise.”         the university for eighteen years now,”
          lored to the patient. “Everyone   experience in this domain,” says Vander         Using the model that will come about      says Fried Vancraen, CEO of Material-
          has a certain body weight, the    Sloten. “We want to make the model           through the means of the chair, doctors      ise. “The chair expresses gratitude for
measurements of the bones differ from       more patient-specific by introducing         can compare different treatment tech-        this exchange and creates a framework
person to person, and the places where      as many individual parameters as pos-        niques with each other and decide what       for going forward.”
muscles join the bones are different, as    sible. Skeletal measurements will be         would be best for the patient’s long-           “Materialise is active in different
is muscular strength. If doctors want       entered for each patient, as well as the     term functionality. “If they have a bio-     medical markets as a manufacturer of
to perform an optimal operation when        rigidity and strength of the bone mate-      mechanical model, they can estimate          patient-specific products. Our software
they, for instance, insert a knee or hip    rial, and the load on the bones. Moreo-      how the bones will develop after the         makes it possible to plan surgical inter-
prosthesis, then they should be able to     ver, we know how the bone will react         operation under the influence of forces      ventions and to develop the necessary
tailor the planning and preparation for     to mechanical stimuli. Bone is actually      or exertions,” says Vander Sloten.           implants and instruments for these.
the operation to the patient,” says Jos     a living material that disappears if it is      Still, the professor does not want to     Thus, Materialise provides software
Vander Sloten of the Biomechanics and       lightly loaded, such as in outer space,      crow victory too early. “I fear that our     for half of the hearing aids that are
Engineering Design Section.                 and grows as it is more heavily loaded.”     crystal ball might never be completely       tailored for an individual ear. Around
   The professor is holder of the new Ma-                                                finished. For, the functional prediction     seven thousand oral implantologists
terialise Chair in Patient-specific and       Step by step                               depends on so many individual param-         use our software to plan operations
Image-based Biomechanics. “The inten-       The researchers are basing the design of     eters and many pieces of the puzzle are      based on CT images for each individual
tion is to develop biomechanical models     their biomechanical model on medical         still missing. It is not possible to model   patient. A similar system is currently
enabling doctors to calculate what treat-   imaging information. “Through x-rays,        the entire genome and all hormonal in-       being launched together with Biomet
ment would be most fitting for each         but also more modern techniques such         formation by tomorrow. But we proceed        for the placement of knee implants. The
individual orthopaedic patient. Such a      as computer tomography scans or mag-         step by step.”                               chair’s research gives Materialise the
model is a ‘finite elements formulation,’   netic resonance images, we learn how            With the financing of the chair — EUR     chance to further perfect its software
and looks like a three-dimensional com-     the insides of a patient look. We request    260,000 spread over four years — Mate-       and designs for implants.”
puter image of the skeleton.”               the imaging material from the radiolo-       rialise underlines the confidence that it
   The development of this biomechani-      gy services of the university, with whom     is placing in the Biomechanics Section.      Translation: John Hymers




 Negative emotions during pregnancy influence
         development until adolescence
The amount of anxiety a mother experiences during pregnancy influences how her children process information. Thus concludes
Maarten Mennes of the Health Psychology Research Group and the Department of Paediatric Neurology in his doctoral research.
                                                                               Ann Fransen




M
              ore than twenty years ago,    participants to look for a large number      sis for the displayed effect on the later    opment of the child does not lead to
              Mennes’s supervisor Pro-      of objects on a large sheet and to count     development of the child. Moreover,          serious disorders, Mennes wants to em-
              fessor Bea Van den Bergh      sounds at the same time. Children of         the research shows that the effects are      phasize that the findings must be taken
              distributed a question-       anxious pregnant mothers appeared            long lasting and do not disappear as         into account: “Too much pressure at
naire among pregnant women. State-          to have difficulties in finding the right    the child becomes older. However, we         work for pregnant women, for instance,
ments such as “I am calm” and “I am         strategy for combining both tasks. Ei-       hypothesize that the measured func-          can lead to anxiety and stress, and thus
nervous,” coupled with a scale of val-      ther they paid too much attention to the     tions are controlled by a brain area that    possibly influence the child negatively
ues, were intended to give a picture of     objects on the sheet, or to the sounds.”     develops until about age twenty-five.        for life. Further research is needed to
the extent to which the women experi-                                                    One hypothesis, which must still be          see if reducing pressure at work dur-
enced negative emotions. Subsequently,        Work pressure                              researched, is that children of anxious      ing pregnancy, improving the support
Van den Bergh examined the children         The researchers concluded that the           mothers can regain their lost ground         a pregnant woman receives from her
during regular developmental inter-         negative emotions a mother experienc-        as soon as the brain area in question is     surroundings, and relaxation exercises
vals. Among other things, she showed        es during pregnancy could cause subtle       fully developed.”                            can reduce the effects.”
that attention problems and hyperac-        deviations in the brain development of          Even though the link between anxi-
tivity in children can partially be ex-     the foetus: “These changes form the ba-      ety during pregnancy and the devel-          Translation: John Hymers
plained by how anxious the mother was
during her pregnancy.
   The measurements were carried
out in three periods of the pregnancy.
Mennes: “I stepped into the study when          Noble visitor
the children turned fifteen. My research
results show that the feelings of anxiety       The Caribbean author Derek Wal-
experienced especially in the first meas-       cott, winner of the Nobel Prize in
urement period — twelve till twenty-two         Literature for 1992, visited Leu-
weeks — influenced the child.”                  ven on May 15. He read from his
   For his doctoral research, Mennes            works and answered questions
studied both the behaviour and the brain
                                                from the public. Walcott was vis-
activity of the participants. The results
are remarkable. The children of mothers         iting K.U.Leuven at the invitation
who were anxious during their pregnan-          of the Herman Servotte Fund,
cy encountered difficulties when asked          established in 2004 in honour of
to think up a strategy to optimally per-        the deceased English literature
form in a task. If a strategy was imposed       professor. The fund supports the
on them, no problems arose.
                                                study and promotion of English
   “We asked the twenty-year-olds from
                                                literature and calls attention
the research group, for example, to press
a button whenever a square appeared             to how literature takes up the
on their computer screen. If a circle ap-       challenges of meaning-giving. In
peared, they were not to press it. This         2006, the South African author
task presented absolutely no problems.          Nadine Gordimer held the first
Namely: the squares and circles gave            Herman Servotte lecture.
the strategy that had to be followed. A
task that seemed more difficult was to         (© Rob Stevens)
combine several jobs. Thus, we asked the
campuskrant international                  September 2008   	                                                                   honorary	doctorate	                         5

                       Energy expert Claude Mandil receives honorary doctorate

 “Without quick action, we are headed
     straight for an energy crisis”
As the former director of the International Energy Agency, Claude Mandil used to call into Brussels frequently. But on May 14, his
first visit to Leuven was to receive an honorary doctorate from the Science, Engineering, and Technology Group. “I have earned di-
plomas at engineering schools, but I do not have a university degree. Recognition from Leuven, not surprisingly, is a great pleasure.”

                                                                             Benedict Vanclooster



“
     W
                         hy didn’t you           are currently breaking all records, but   on energy than in 1973 and thus, all        the higher prices at the pump will de-
                         come here with          there are still important differences     in all, can continue to make ends meet      crease our oil consumption. I do not
                         public        trans-    with the situation then,” says Mandil.    without difficulties.”                      have that impression.”
                         p o r t a t i o n ?,”   “The crisis of 1973 was caused by ac-       For this reason some people dare to
                         asks        Mandil      tions taken by the Arabian oil-produc-    say that the high oil prices are even a        Belgian sore spots
when he hears that we came to the                ing countries. Today, objective, mar-     blessing, because these will stimulate      Nevertheless, if we do not change our
Champs-Elysées by car. After all, high           ket-bound mechanisms are chasing          the development and use of other, more      pattern of energy consumption today
automobile CO2 emissions are a thorn             the prices up. Oil consumption in the     environmentally friendly energy sourc-      or tomorrow, we are headed straight
in his side. “We all know that energy            world, especially the growth poles of     es. “I would not take that logic so far,”   for an energy crisis, Mandil fears.
consumption in the world is problem-             China and India, is rising faster than    says Mandil. “These price increases are     “With its relatively limited CO2 emis-
atic, but all too easily we see that as a        investment in production. Another dif-    an absolute disaster not only for rich      sions and diversified energy supply,
concern for our neighbours and cast              ference is that the average European,     but also for poor countries. Moreover,      Belgium belongs among the better pu-
away our glance,” says Mandil. “No — I           relatively speaking, spends much less     there is still the question of whether      pils of the IEA. Still, I also see three
am not free of blame either. According                                                                                                 points where progress must be made.
to my wife, I lecture eloquently in my                                                                                                 Like all Europeans, the Belgians must
speeches about energy conservation,                                                                                                    deal with energy more efficiently. I
but I am still the last to turn off the                                                                                                believe in the efficacy of the market,
lights at home.”                                         “The problem is not so much that we will                                      but stress at the same time the need
   The leaders of Western states and                    exhaust our energy supplies. Technological                                     for regulation. All houses must be
governments are sticking their heads                                                                                                   excellently insulated. For household
in the sand, thinks Mandil, who at-                     progress will shield us from that. However,                                    appliances, a maximum level of use
tended the G8 conferences at Glenea-                   it is a fact that current investment in energy                                  must be imposed. And the automobile
gles (2005), Saint Petersburg (2006),                                                                                                  policy must be stricter.”
and Heiligendamm (2007). “The prob-                        production is not matching our quickly                                         “The two other sore spots are spe-
lem is not so much that we will ex-                    increasing consumption. We are threatened                                       cific for Belgium. I argue for the inte-
haust our energy supplies. Technologi-                                                                                                 gration of the gas and electricity mar-
cal progress will shield us from that.                 with becoming even more dependent on an                                         kets. Concerning the deregulation of
Thirty years ago we were proud as                            ever-shrinking number of suppliers.”                                      the market, it is a bad state of affairs
peacocks when we brought up petro-                                                                                                     that a small country like Belgium has
leum in the North Sea from 200 me-                                                                                                     no less than four regulators. Finally, I
ters. Now we can drill more than 2,000                                                                                                 would really mourn the closing of Bel-
meters deep. Undoubtedly, technology                                                                                                   gian nuclear power stations, at least as
will lead us even deeper, to new levels.                                                                                               long as they are safely managed. Leav-
However, it is a fact that current in-                                                                                                 ing nuclear energy behind would lead
vestment in energy production is not                                                                                                   to more air-borne CO2 and make Bel-
matching our quickly increasing con-                                                                                                   gium more dependent on the gas sup-
sumption.”                                                                                                                             plier Russia.”
   But what is really worrying Mandil                                                                                                     Just like all IEA countries, Belgium
is the climatological limit that we are                                                                                                has a strategic oil supply in cases of
running up against. “The greenhouse                                                                                                    need to guarantee the security of sup-
effect is urgently compelling us to                                                                                                    ply. Mandil: “The USA only has raw pe-
emit less CO2 and thus to use less pe-                                                                                                 troleum in stock and no refined prod-
troleum. Moreover: if we don’t do that,                                                                                                ucts. They could have never imagined
then we are threatened with becom-                                                                                                     that a number of their largest refiner-
ing even more dependent on an ever-                                                                                                    ies in Texas and Louisiana would lie
shrinking number of suppliers — with                                                                                                   closed for a month or two because of
all the consequences for energy prices.                                                                                                flooding. Nevertheless, this happened
Thus I did not agree with President                                                                                                    in 2005 during the passage of Hurri-
Bush at all when he announced two                                                                                                      cane Katrina. The European countries
years ago that we would have to wait                                                                                                   then rushed to help by releasing their
patiently for the development of new                                                                                                   raw oil onto the market. This was an
technologies to find a solution for cli-                                                                                               exciting moment for me as director
mate change. Luckily, his discourse                                                                                                    because, discounting the Iraqi inva-
meanwhile has become completely dif-                                                                                                   sion of Kuwait, there had never been
ferent. For action is demanded quite                                                                                                   a transition to the use of the strategic
immediately.”                                                                                                                          reserve.”
                                                                                                                                          Since September 1, Mandil’s IEA chair
   Energy bug                                                                                                                          has been occupied by Nobuo Tanaka
Claude Mandil has stuck closely to                                                                                                     from Japan. What has Mandil advised
the energy problem since the begin-                                                                                                    his successor? “My most important tip
ning of the 1980s. “When I worked in                                                                                                   is that he must always remember that
the cabinet of Prime Minister Mauroy                                                                                                   the staff is the greatest treasure of the
in 1981, energy was one of my respon-                                                                                                  Agency. As director, he can ensure that
sibilities. I have not shaken that bug.                                                                                                his formidable team delivers good work
After a five-year break with a French                                                                                                  and comes to the Agency gladly.”
investment company, I ended up once                                                                                                       Mandil himself intended to use his
again in the energy world, for instance                                                                                                retirement by spending more time
as managing director of Gaz de France                                                                                                  with his wife, five children, and his
and as chair of the Institut Français du                                                                                               grandchildren. “On that score, I am
Pétrole.”                                                                                                                              only partially successful, because I am
   From February 2003 until his retire-                                                                                                frequently invited to conferences and
ment in September last year, Mandil                                                                                                    colloquia, and also to chairs in differ-
was the head of the International Ener-                                                                                                ent boards of directors. What matters
gy Agency (IEA), headquartered in Par-                                                                                                 is that I can continue to put myself at
is. This G8 think-tank, where around                                                                                                   service, and that I have the feeling that
190 energy experts from twenty-seven                                                                                                   what I do is useful.”
countries work, was born in the wake
of the first oil crisis in 1973. “Oil prices     (© Rob Stevens)                                                                       Translation: John Hymers
6	         international	co-operation	                                                                                     September 2008   campuskrant international



                                                                                                                                                       INSHORT
                                                                                                                                            Programmes &
                                                                                                                                            application deadlines
                                                                                                                                            K.U.Leuven offers an extensive
                                                                                                                                            range of programmes in English.
                                                                                                                                            You can find an overview at
                                                                                                                                            http://www.kuleuven.be/
                                                                                                                                            admissions/.
                                                                                                                                            Non-EEA citizens must apply
                                                                                                                                            before February 1 for the Dutch-
                                                                                                                                            language programmes, and
                                                                                                                                            before March 1 for the English-
                                                                                                                                            language programmes. We pre-
                                                                                                                                            fer to receive the applications of
                                                                                                                                            EEA students before June 1.
                                                                                                                                            There is no deadline for predoc-
                                                                                                                                            toral and doctoral programmes,
                                                                                                                                            nor for international and visiting
                                                                                                                                            scholars and specialization pro-
                                                                                                                                            grammes.
                                                                                                                                            Information about the applica-
                                                                                                                                            tion procedure and about our
                                                                                                                                            university, its admission policy,
                                                                                                                                            study and research programmes
                                                                                                                                            and their diploma and language
                                                                                                                                            requirements, etc., can be found
                                                                                                                                            on our Web site http://www.
                                                                                                                                            kuleuven.be/english or at the In-
                                                                                                                                            ternational Office: International
Jean Zida (Université de Ouagadougou) and Mitiku Haile (Mekelle University).                                                                Admissions and Mobility Unit, (t)
(© Rob Stevens)                                                                                                                             +32 16 32 88 07, (f) +32 16 32 37
                                                                                                                                            73, admissions@kuleuven.be.

 Project supports African universities in developing international dimension                                                                Travel grants

 “Not only the university profits
                                                                                                                                            If you are a European student
                                                                                                                                            seeking to carry out some of
                                                                                                                                            your study programme (thesis
                                                                                                                                            research, practical training) in


   from internationalization”                                                                                                               a developing country, you can
                                                                                                                                            apply for a travel grant of EUR
                                                                                                                                            1,000. This is an opportunity for
                                                                                                                                            young people to experience real-
With the Edulink-AUDIS project, coordinated by the University of Padua (Italy), European and                                                ity in the South.
African universities are collaborating on strengthening the international dimension of African                                              Your assignment in the South
                                                                                                                                            should take at least one month.
universities. In the project’s first phase, the issues to be addressed were determined. In its second                                       You will be welcomed and
phase, organized by co-promoter Martine Dekoninck of K.U.Leuven’s International Office, the                                                 guided by a local organisation:
universities are now tackling these issues through seminars and internships.                                                                a university, an NGO, a govern-
                                                                                                                                            ment institution, or a hospital.
                                                         Tine Bergen                                                                        And your promoter or supervi-
                                                                                                                                            sor in Leuven will support your



P
         rofessor Pierpaolo Faggi from      international cooperation of the Uni-         the person who you are. These are                 project abroad.
         the University of Padua coor-      versité de Ouagadougou in Burkina             things that you can never surrender.              If you have reached the third
         dinates the Edulink-AUDIS          Faso. “But much could also happen con-        In the story of the Tower of Babel, the           year of your bachelor’s pro-
         project: “Edulink is a pro-        cerning mobility. Not only by exchang-        different languages were put forth as a           gramme, or are in master’s or
gramme that supports cooperation            ing students and professors between           punishment, but it is also an enormous            doctoral programme, you can
projects between African and Euro-          Africa and Europe, but a professor also       enrichment.”                                      travel to the South with this
pean universities. The project we are       need not limit him or herself to one                                                            grant. Depending on your desti-
now working on is called AUDIS: Afri-       university within Africa. If many stu-           Broad vision                                   nation, you should apply either
can Universities International Dimen-       dents benefit from it, it is simpler if the   After the seminars in Leuven follows a            for a VLIR-UOS grant or an IRO
sion Strengthening. We assume that a        professor moves, for instance.”               series of one-week internships at two             travel grant.
stronger international position of Af-                                                    different European universities. Haile            Deadlines for application are in
rican universities is positive for Africa                                                 is going to the Universities of Bologna           December and March.
and Europe. Each partner of the Coim-              “At our university,                    and Padua. “We already have good rela-            http://www.kuleuven.be/international/
bra Group, a group of ten European uni-                                                   tions with Leuven, and now I want to              development_cooperation/
versities, has thus invited its African
                                                  you can experience                      experience what the differences are               travelgrants.html
partner to join the project.”                     that it is possible to                  at a Mediterranean university.” Zida
   “In the first phase, last December,              work without the                      is going to Groningen and Louvain-la-             Orientation Days
we met in Saint-Louis, Senegal, to de-                                                    Neuve. Then, everybody comes back to-
termine the primary issues concern-                  stress that is so                    gether again to provisionally evaluate            To help new international
ing internationalization. These turned              typical of Europe.”                   the project.                                      students and researchers get
out to be funding, mobility, manage-                                                         Our interviewees are positive: “You            settled during their first days in
ment, and language. Seminars on these                                                     cannot ignore globalization, and ex-              Leuven, the university offers a
themes were held June 4-6, 2008, in            “Additionally, internal and external       change is a part of that,” says Zida. “By         special Orientation Programme
Leuven. Two representatives from each       management is also very important,”           ending up in a totally different envi-            (September 17-25) with guided
African university were present, who        Haile chimes in. “Students and staff          ronment, you learn that there are also            tours, trips, and lots of useful
were responsible respectively for the       must clearly know what a specific cur-        other ways of looking at things. Your             information concerning living
academic and administrative levels of       riculum contains, how an exchange             own view becomes so much larger.”                 and studying in Leuven.
internationalization.”                      runs…. Management also has a practi-             “And it is really reciprocal,” stresses        New students can also ask for a
                                            cal side, such as housing. And this is        Haile. “The students who come to us               personal Flemish buddy (see the
  Open forum                                connected with the image of the uni-          are not coming to ‘take.’ For instance,           Web site).
Professor Mitiku Haile is president of      versity. The world must receive a clear       a small group of researchers has gath-            On the morning of Friday Sep-
Ethiopia’s Mekelle University. “During      image of what our university stands           ered together money to plant trees. And           tember 19, a special welcome
the seminars, we heard success stories,     for and what somebody stands to gain          another group has provided bee hives,             and introduction session will
but we also heard where things went         when choosing us. At our university, for      so that the women of that area can now            be organised for new doctoral
wrong, making this a very open fo-          example, you can experience that it is        sell organic honey. Not only the univer-          students and researchers.
rum. You can also talk about your weak      possible to work without the stress that      sity profits from internationalization.           For further information and
points, and together look at how these      is so typical of Europe.”                     You get people with a broad vision, who           registration, please visit
can be improved.”                              “Language is very important,” says         are creative, and who dare to think.              http://www.kuleuven.be/vesta.
  “Of the four themes, naturally the        Zida. “There needs to be a basis for com-     These are people who can change many              International Office, Naamsestraat
search for funds is and always remains      munication. But this means wanting            things!”                                          63, Leuven,(t) +32 16 32 37 46,
very important for every university,”       to understand each other’s language.                                                            Vesta@kuleuven.be
puts in Jean Zida. He is the director of    Language is part of your culture and          http://www.coimbra-group.eu/audis/
campuskrant international               September 2008   	                                       alumni	&	international	co-operation	                                         7

          Faculty of Business and Economics expands international alumni activities

                                    Leuven won’t let go
Through a network of ‘ambassadors,’ Ekonomika (the alumni association of the Faculty of Business and Economics) has recently
been striving to provide information centres for alumni throughout the world. And Professor Piet Sercu hit upon the idea of or-
ganizing home-coming days, making it attractive for international alumni to return once more to Leuven.
                                                                               Tine Bergen



“
  I
         t actually began with a question
         from two of my former doctor-
         al students who now teach in
         Hong Kong,” recounts Professor
Sercu. “They proposed holding a confer-
ence for alumni here, so that they had
a reason to come back to Leuven once
more. Ekonomika organizes many ac-
tivities for alumni, but, for instance,
nobody would just get on a plane for a
half-day company visit. Thus, we organ-
ized our first-ever International Alum-
ni Days, June 1-3.”
   Roelof Makken is such an interna-
tional alumnus. He graduated in 1986
from Leuven with a master’s degree in
economics. “I completed my bachelor’s
degree at Brock University in Canada,
and then, following the advice of my
professor in Canada, came to Leuven for
my master’s degree. I have always been
very thankful for that, because I had a
lot of fun studying here. Not only is the
programme excellent, but I also met
many interesting people. For instance,
I remember sitting Sundays at noon
on a terrace with Father Jan Lemmens,
but also a lecture series featuring an
East European army commander and a
bishop. Leuven really is the crossroads
of Europe.”                                   Alumni Olaf Hermans and Roelof Makken, and ‘ambassador’ Carl De Smedt.
   Roelof is not only returning to Leu-       (© Rob Stevens)
ven out of nostalgia. “In the meantime,
I have my own consulting business in
Canada, and I sit on the board of Brock       to ensure that K.U.Leuven graduates       twenty-five years and works as the CFO       Spanish students who go to Leuven. Ad-
University. When there was talk a few         can find information centres spread       at Grandvalira Ski Resort in Andorra.        ditionally, I also hope to make Leuven
years back about more internation-            throughout in the world.                  “I immediately joined the ambassadors        better known to the Spanish universi-
alization in the direction of Europe, I         One of the ambassadors for Spain is     project, because I find it very important    ties and government.”
offered to hold talks with K.U.Leuven.        Carl De Smedt. At the end of the 1970s,   that alumni be able to keep contact
Successfully. Last night I had a drink on     he studied economics and earned an        with Leuven,” says De Smedt. “As an am-      http://www.ekonomika-international.be/
the Oude Markt with two students from         MBA in Leuven. In Louvain La Neuve,       bassador, I want to be an information        ambassadors.htm
Brock who have already been studying          he met his Catalan wife. Meanwhile,       centre, both for the Leuven Erasmus
here a year. They are, just as I was then,    he has lived in Barcelona for almost      students who come to Spain and for the       Translation: John Hymers
incredibly enthusiastic.”

   Networking
Olaf Hermans graduated in 1988 from
Leuven in applied economics and now
lives and works in Breda, Holland, as a
                                                Tempus project supports doctoral
lecturer in hotel management. “I have
now reached that age where you look
back at what you have accomplished
                                              programme in Sarajevo and Banja Luka
so far, and education certainly plays a       K.U.Leuven is supporting the              search through intensive cooperation         perfect opportunity to gain experience
role. Thus, the invitation for this reun-                                               in participating countries. For the doc-     and to take a different look at the re-
ion came at precisely the right moment.
                                              nascent doctoral programme                toral programme in food technology,          search world.”
I feel twenty years younger again. And        in food technology in Bosnia-             six European universities have joined           Josse De Baerdemaeker also finds
people such as the vice rector, who ear-      Herzegovina’s universities. “It           forces. “The Universities of Sarajevo        the cooperative network crucial for
lier seemed so out of reach, now actu-        gives all participating institu-          and Banja Luka are in great need of          K.U.Leuven. “This also expands our
ally seem approachable. They also have                                                  strengthening their knowledge at the         view. Our doctoral schools can only
a sincere interest in the itinerary that      tions the chance to exchange              level of doctoral programmes,” says          be the better for it.” De Baerdemaeker
each of us have followed.”                    ideas,” says Professor Josse De           De Baerdemaeker. “The participating          is just as dedicated to these schools.
   For Olaf, affinity is the main reason      Baerdemaeker from the Fac-                universities are now thinking togeth-        “They are developing quickly and I can
why he is participating: “It is a good ini-                                             er about how doctoral research in the        only applaud that. We stress the impor-
tiative, which I really want to support.
                                              ulty of Bioscience Engineer-              field of food technology can best be         tance of competencies and skills for
I have always worked in customer rela-        ing and chair of the Arenberg             done, and organized most efficiently.”       our doctoral researchers. They are very
tionship management — networking is           Doctoral School for Science,                 Meanwhile, the cooperation has been       specifically focused for years on their
my speciality. That is also what must be                                                running for two years and will be con-       research, which naturally is great, but
                                              Engineering, and Technology.
furthered here: building up networks                                                    tinued for yet another year. “At this        at the same time we need to give them
among these thousands of very differ-         “This is also interesting and             moment, we are collecting together all       the chance to prepare decently for the
ent alumni. Whatever you want to do           useful for our university.”               the most important publications in the       business world and to gain experience
after graduation, there have always                                                     discipline. We are specifically looking      in areas outside of research. I certainly
been alumni who have preceded you. It                                                   for documentation and research ma-           hammer away on that aspect of the


                                              B
would be a shame if you could not first              osnia-Herzegovina has experi-      terial that is also directly relevant to     doctoral programme — also for the
listen to their stories.”                            enced hard times. During the       industry in the region.” A second aim        food technology project in Sarajevo
                                                     civil war, the industrial and      is to give doctoral students from both       and Banja Luka. And I have the impres-
  Ambassadors                                 academic worlds were as good as flat-     universities experience in foreign labo-     sion that they are integrating those
Not only were international alumni in-        tened. Not surprisingly, the Universi-    ratories. “That is difficult for many, be-   ideas very well.”                    (im)
vited to the International Alumni Days,       ties of Sarajevo and Banja Luka jumped    cause a majority of them have another
but also all Belgian alumni who cur-          with enthusiasm onto the Tempus           job alongside their doctoral research at     http://www.tempus40030.com
rently live abroad. Ekonomika is work-        bandwagon, which devotes itself to        the university. For those who succeed
ing hard on a network of ‘ambassadors’        expanding higher education and re-        in working abroad for a while, it is a       Translation: John Hymers
8        backchat                                                                                         September 2008   campuskrant international



                                                                            500 words
          PictureTHIS                                                       David Schuld (23), American student in the Master of European
                                                                            Politics and Policies programme (MEPP)
                                                                            “I felt homesick for Leuven when I
                                                                            was back in the States briefly”
                                                                             Interview
                                                                           	 Reiner	Van	Hove


                                                                            “I did my undergradu-
                                                                            ate in political sci-
                                                                            ence at John Carroll
                                                                            University, a very
                                                                            small Jesuit university
                                                                            in Ohio. I was inter-
                                                                            ested in European
                                                                            politics, and I took
                                                                            part in three European
                                                                            Union simulations. I
                                                                            actually pretended
    (© Rob Stevens)                                                         I was Guy Verhof-
                                                                            stadt (Belgium’s Prime

    Shadow dancing                                                          Minister between 1999
                                                                            and 2008, ed.) twice.
                                                                            We also got to visit
          For	the	third	time,	the	Ladeuzeplein	served	as	an	extra-large	    the Belgian embassy
          dance	floor	this	past	May	14.	During	the	Carillon	FestiBAL,	      for the exercise. I was
                                                                            chit-chatting with one
          revellers	were	able	to	folkdance	to	the	sounds	of	the	sixty-
                                                                            of the representatives
          three	carillon	bells	once	again.	After	this	successful	third	
                                                                            there, and he talked
          edition,	Culture	Coordination	has	plans	for	another	sequel,	      about K.U.Leuven. I’d
          so	keep	an	eye	on	their	Web	site	—	also	for	other	cultural	       been to Leuven before
          events	during	the	new	academic	year.                              when I was travelling
          http://www.kuleuven.be/culture/                                   around Europe, and




                                                                                                                                                                   (© Rob Stevens)
                                                                            really liked it then. So I
                                                                            looked into the possi-
                                                                            bility of studying here
                                                                            and came to Leuven in
                                                                            September.”

                                                                            “All my courses were of high quality, so it’s hard to pick a favourite. This
                                                                            semester, I had a course on social policy. I had no idea about the welfare state
                                                                            – it is non-existent in the States – so it’s really interesting to learn about that.
                                                                            And I’m quite into foreign policy and external relations, so I like the courses on
                                                                            those topics as well.”

                                                                            “Studying in Leuven is a great learning experience, but also an amazing life ex-
                                                                            perience. It has given me the chance to travel around Europe and make friends
                                                                            from Portugal, Greece, England…. I also like Belgians a lot — they know how
                                                                            to have a good time. Belgians have tough shells, but once you crack that shell,
                                                                            they are the nicest people I know.”

                                                                            “I was involved in student government at my undergraduate university and
                                                                            really enjoyed that. So I wanted to commit myself in Leuven as well, and luck-
                                                                            ily there was an opening. They ran it like an election: I had an opponent and
                                                                            my colleagues in the programme voted. As the student representative for the
                                                                            MEPP, I offer student insight into the administrative decisions for the pro-
                                                                            gramme. And if students have problems, they can come to me. The professors
                                                                            really welcome the students’ opinions, which will make this programme even
                                                                            better in the future.”

    (© Rob Stevens)                                                         “At this moment, I’m doing an internship for the European Parliament, in the
                                                                            policy department of external relations. As an internal think-tank, I’m follow-
                                                                            ing the United States and some other countries. I make analyses and reports
                                                                            about Congress, the EU-US summits, the economic situation … and recently I
    Biker gang                                                              even did some research on poultry. The US isn’t allowed to export poultry into
                                                                            Europe — I didn’t even know that: chickens are a big deal! (laughs) I love going
                                                                            to work every day. I may not be a European, but it’s a cool feeling to be work-
          For	a	few	months	now,	K.U.Leuven	has	been	providing	              ing for the people directly.”
          a	bike	for	every	staff	member	who	agrees	to	use	it	to	
          travel	to	and	from	work	(in	Dutch:	woon-werkverkeer),	and	        “Thanks to the internship, I can put the academic knowledge and the real
          for	short	trips	from	office	to	office	(in	Dutch:	van dienst       experience together. That’s the best way to do it. My experience in Brussels
          naar dienst).	The	name	of	these	bikes	—	2WD	—	is	an	ab-           will also be a benefit when I go to Washington. It’s been a dream of mine since
          breviation	of	these	two	functions.	More	than	1,000	staff	         I was sixteen to run for the state legislature in Ohio or work in Washington, for
                                                                            the Democratic Party.”
          members	have	already	signed	up.	The	2WD	bikes	have	
          become	an	accustomed	sight	in	Leuven’s	street	scene,	             “I have an American flag in my room, but I really don’t miss that much — ex-
          thanks	to	their	uniform	appearance	and	the	K.U.Leuven	            cept a real American hamburger, of course. Actually, I felt homesick when I
          logo	emblazoned	on	their	frames	and	chain	guards.	And	            was back at home to vote for the primaries (laughs). I missed the Oude Markt
          a	personalized	sticker	on	the	baggage	rack	ensures	that	          a lot. Just to enjoy a sunny day with a Duvel out on the plaza (as we are doing
          staff	members	can	recognize	their	own	bikes.	During	              during the interview, ed.) is an amazing experience.”
          K.U.Leuven’s	Trip	Trap	staff	party	on	June	28,	a	festive	
                                                                            “The good thing about Belgian beers is: you have one for every mood. When
          tour	with	the	bikes	was	organized.	At	the	head	of	the	pack	
                                                                            I’m in a summer state of mind, I get a Hoegaarden. On a quiet night, I go
          rode	Rector	Vervenne	(left)	and	Frank	Vandenbroucke,	             for a Leffe Brown. And when I’ve had a bad day, or just want to relax, a nice
          Flemish	minister	of	Work,	Education,	and	Training.                Duvel works out. You can really tell a lot about people from the beer they
                                                                            drink.”

                                                                            http://www.kuleuven.be/mepp/