Vlerick Business School, Belgium

Live, learn, leap


Vlerick Business School is the oldest business and management school in Europe. Founded in 1953 by the renowned academic, entrepreneur and politician, Professor André Vlerick, Vlerick Business School has been leading innovation in business for well over half a century. As the management school of Belgium’s two largest universities – Ghent University and KU Leuven – the School has built a solid, worldwide reputation as a leading, independent institution with a strong international focus and close ties to both the academic and corporate worlds.


When André Vlerick founded the business school, he built it on a strong belief in business as a source of progress and prosperity. And while that vision has not changed to this day, the world has changed. Constant global change and rapid technological developments are disrupting many markets. That’s why we need positive change-makers with a vision that is rooted in a dream. We strive to generate entrepreneurial leaders by encouraging them to “Live their dream, learn continuously and take the leap”. We strive for meaningful impact in all our actions and activities, but want to highlight a few relevant ones in this context:


  • In 2015, with the appointment of the current Dean Prof. dr. Marion Debruyne (reappointed in 2019), an explicit strategic choice was put forward to emphasize Digital Innovation, Being Open to the World, and Focus for Relevance. This way, we aim to develop leaders all over the world with relevant insights and increased confidence to make positive change to the world. (More information)


  • Within the Vlerick Social Forum, Vlerick students are encouraged to use the insights and skills they have gained during their Vlerick programme in a global social project. The Vlerick Social Forum aims to create awareness for social entrepreneurship. The Social Forum is matchmaking between Vlerick students and organisations that develop, fund, and implement solutions to social, cultural or environmental challenges.


  • In 2017, we launched a dedicated fund raising campaign to attract the best talent and to give them chances to infuse them with the Vlerick knowledge and the Vlerick spirit of entrepreneurship. This campaign resulted in the Vlerick Scholarship Fund (to financially support students in need to access our MBA or Masters programme) and the Student Entrepreneurship Fund (to support young entrepreneurs in the pilot phase of their start-up). (More information)


  • The RRBM position paper (which we endorsed in 2018) inspired us to write our own Charter for Good Academic Practice to specify how we see research in our business school. Our charter is fully in line with RRBM’s vision that research needs to produce truthful and insightful knowledge that addresses problems important to business and society. From the outset, our research aims to be relevant. We also explicitly try to reconcile business and societal challenges with the gaps that exist in a particular field of knowledge, allowing us to go into sufficient academic depth. (More information)


  • In 2018, we initiated a blended doctoral programme for experienced professionals together with our parent universities. Within this doctoral programme, quite some lively discussions take place about the role of research in society, the aims of academic knowledge creation and the impact one wants to achieve. The philosophy of engaged scholarship underlies our PhD programme, which also explains why we were accepted as member school of the Executive DBA Council (EDBAC) that adheres to the same principles. (More information)