Haute Ecole Louvain en Hainaut

Year of foundation: 1996 (Haute Ecole Charleroi Europe)
Approx. number of students: 7,500
Period of study: Mid September-Mid January; End January-End May
MCI partner since: 2006

The City

Louvain-la-Neuve is a planned city in the municipality of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, situated 30 km southeast of Brussels, in the French-speaking part of the country. The city was built to house the Université Catholique de Louvain; following the linguistic quarrels that took place in Belgium during the 1960s, and Flemish claims of discrimination at the Catholic University of Leuven, the institution was split into the Dutch language Katholieke Universiteit Leuven which remained in Leuven, and the Université Catholique de Louvain.

To a great extent, it still lives following the rhythms of the university that is its raison d'être. However, with the recent construction of L'Esplanade shopping complex, the Aula Magna exhibition center and auditorium, as well as a large cinema complex, it is beginning to grow beyond its academic roots.

The University

The Haute Ecole Louvain en Hainaut (HeLHa) has been created by the merger of three haute ecoles; among them the Haute Ecole Charleroi Europe, with which MCI has a long-standing history.In the French speaking part of Belgium the haute ecoles are to some extent the counterparts to the universities of applied sciences in Austria. MCI founded its contact to the Haute Ecole Charleroi Europe in an transatlantic project, where several European universities participated and MCI was the lead institution. The aim of the project was to exchange Social Work students for an internship between Europe and Canada. The Haute Ecole Charleroi Europe was the only French-speaking institution of higher education which participated.