The Université Libre de Bruxelles (Free University of Brussels) was founded in 1834 and rapidly developed into one of the largest universities in Belgium. The university programme was originally conducted entirely in French, but a complete curriculum in Dutch was gradually developed since 1935. In 1969, the Dutch-speaking university was split off from its French-speaking and officially became a separate legal, administrative and scientific entity as from 28 May 1970.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel offers a complete university curriculum. The general objective of the university is to fulfill the three-pronged role in research, education and social service. The university has 150 research teams. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel participates in 66 EU research projects.

Centre for Urban Research - COSMOPOLIS
COSMOPOLIS is a transdisciplinary research centre in urban studies, which focuses on the relationship between city, culture and society. The research programme examines the processes of globalisation and localisation (glocalisation), the changing relationship between world system and system of nation-states and the collateral processes of urbanisation and urbanity (as a post-national cultural condition). Its main focus is on social and cultural geographies, urban cultural development strategies, sustainable (neighbourhood) development and participatory democracy. COSMOPOLIS is linked to the Social Geography of the Department of Geography of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
The members of the team have backgrounds in Philosophy, Geography, Urbanism, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Architecture, Cultural Studies, Agogics and Human Ecology. COSMOPOLIS forms part of international networks mainly through educational projects: POLIS, UNICA Master in Urban Studies, 4CITIES, UNICA Euromaster in European Urban Studies and our Erasmus Mundus Module Urban Studies. COSMOPOLIS is also a member of INURA (International Network for Urban Research and Action). COSMOPOLIS is an active member of the UAB Urban Studies Network, a network of researchers linked to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Erasmushogeschool within the University Association Brussels. The goal of the Urban Studies Network is to maximise research and educational synergies.