UCL carries out three missions: education, research and serving society.
Education. UCL wants to enable anyone who desires an education to pursue one of the highest possible quality. Whether fresh out of secondary school or in mid-career, students can acquire skills and expertise conducive to their personal and professional development. Course quality is ensured by closely tying innovation in teaching to developing programmes and maintaining their cutting edge.
Research. As a research university, UCL assumes its place in an international community based on the recognition of the excellence of its contributions to development and knowledge dissemination. UCL favours an environment conducive to scientific creativity, the commercial development of findings, and a balance between research and teaching.
Serving society. Leveraging its regional foothold (seven sites and two university hospitals in the French Community of Belgium), world-class research and educational capabilities, dynamic alumni network, formidable spin-off creation capacity, science parks, incubators and international development cooperation projects, UCL contributes to the development of a society that ensures the well-being of all its members.
UCL is a stabilising force in an uncertain world. It prioritises universal access to high-quality education and makes innovation the governing principle of its activities, in teaching as much as in research. It creates synergies between its involvement in regional development and its international influence, enabling them to fuel each other. Its research reveals complexity and provides perspective in a world that emphasises the here and now.
In June 2015, university authorities approved ‘Louvain 2020’, a strategic plan to guide UCL to the end of the decade. Designed with input from throughout the university, the plan addresses several areas, including: high-quality course offerings, improving the university’s ranking as a research institution, reinforcing internationalisation, intensifying regional cooperation, developing the ‘digital university’, and promoting universal equality.
The values on which UCL’s vision is based are openness to others and to differences, solidarity, freedom and respect. Faculty enjoy academic freedom enshrined in the constitution, specifically, freedom of thought in the pursuit of truth arrived at scientifically and free from the undue influence of current trends. UCL is a cosmopolitan and intellectual human space whose diversity stimulates encounters between people of different backgrounds and with the world itself in the spirit of rational discussion and mutual enrichment. Its Christian tradition is a living heritage, a driving force of an authentic pluralism that benefits and respects all people regardless of their beliefs.