The Global Network Partnership between the University of Cologne and the renowned Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) was established in July 2013. The main objectives include creating sustainable structures and co-operation research projects particularly in regard to the procurement of third party funding and EU projects as well as developing dual PhD programmes and structured student exchange programmes.
Since January 1976, the UoC and KU Leuven have enjoyed contractual relations that have been successively developed especially within the framework of the Erasmus programme. There are now Erasmus agreements between seven institutes and four faculties of the two universities as well as other exchange programmes and joint research interests that involve all faculties. There are especially strong co-operative research and teaching projects in the disciplines of philosophy, cultural anthropology, earth science and neuroscience.
Within the framework of its internationalisation strategy, the UoC has been striving to create closer academic co-operation projects with institutions of higher education in Benelux countries in order to strengthen regional collaboration and ease mobility between neighbouring states. This corresponds with the UoC’s intermediate term objective of enabling 50% of UoC students the opportunity to gain international academic experience. It was in this context that the KUL with its extraordinary and varied co-operation teaching and research projects became a focus for the UoC.
The KU Leuven is one the largest and most renowned universities in Belgium. It holds place 67 in the world in the Times Higher Education ranking, and place 17 in Europe; it is the top university in Belgium. In the Shanghai Ranking, it ranks between place 101 and 150.