In 2015, UCL launched a pilot project that broadened PEPS status to include a new student category: student entrepreneurs/business creators. For 2015-16, the project was reserved to some 15 students.
The project was evaluated at the end of the academic year and renewed for three years (2016-19), with a new arrangement: if you’re pursuing a bachelor’s programme, you must have successfully completed 90 credits (as proven by your most recent transcript) to be eligible to apply for PEPS Entrepreneur Status.
The purpose of PEPS Entrepreneur Status is to:
- encourage, support and guide registered UCL students who wish to simultaneously develop a business activity;
- enable the student to combine academic success and business development;
- allow the student to benefit from ‘possible arrangements’ during his or her studies and a framework adapted to his or her business project regardless of level or course of study;
- ensure these students are identified and can benefit from a space for dialogue with faculties on the basis of university recognition, as the status stipulates that faculties may grant the students reasonable accommodations for the parallel pursuit of studies and peri-academic objectives.
A secondary purpose is to associate a set of local initiatives with the entrepreneurial activities of students in order to assure smoother communication and foster healthy competition.
Thus the status will also enable the student to:
- be aware of all initiatives, events, competitions, awards, and course and coaching offerings related to entrepreneurship and innovation posted on UCL websites, and participate in them more easily whether during or outside class hours;
- enjoy easier access to the coaching structure most appropriate to the project and its location (student incubators at Louvain-la-Neuve and Mons, FabLab at the Louvain School of Engineering).
As with requests for the other categories of PEPS status, the student submits an application for analysis by experts whose decision is based on the project’s potential. Depending on the student profile, one or several variants of student-entrepreneur status will be granted.
UCL prefers to speak in terms of benefits rather than advantages for students accorded this status. Indeed, the goal is to make possible, through reasonable and regulatory accommodations, the pursuit of higher education in an inclusive environment. Academic demands and degree value are identical to those of any other UCL student.
UCL is committed to guiding the beneficiary of this status in the pursuit of his or her goals and expects the same commitment in return. Thus the university and the student sign a contract specifying the rights and obligations of both parties.
Curriculum adjustment examples include a reduced course load and ad hoc scheduling. Each request is analysed and accommodated in a personalised manner. How this is achieved depends on logistical constraints and schedule-related legal stipulations.
When should I apply?
First of all, recall that if you’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you become eligible to apply for PEPS Entrepreneur Status once you have successfully completed 90 credits.
PEPS Entrepreneur Status applications for the 2017-18 academic year are accepted between 15 July and 2 October 2017 - however, please be advised that students also requesting a reduced course load must respect an earlier deadline of 20 September 2017.
A second application period opens in February (with no possibility of course load reduction). The deadline for receiving the online application form and complete dossier is 5 February 2018.
Candidates are likely to be invited to present their projects to the ‘PEPS-E Status-granting Committee’.
How do I apply?
By submitting to the Office of the Vice-Rector for Student Affairs an online application form and, separately, a complete dossier by the deadlines indicated above. For details click ‘Creating an application dossier’ on the menu on this page.