Post graduate programme on India at the KH Leuven
1. Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven (KH Leuven)/Leuven University College, part of the prestigious Katholic University Leuven Association, has announced its intentions to inaugurate a post graduate programme from the next academic session. The post graduate programme on India is expected to focus on important issues relating to India—its history, its cultural heritage and its developmental aspirations taking into account the vast multi-dimensional economic progress made by it, especially in the last two decades.
2. The University of Leuven founded in 1425 is Belgium's first university. Later, in 1968, its split component-- the Dutch-language Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) --is considered the oldest Catholic university in existence. With 55,484 students in 2014–2015, KUL is the largest university in Belgium having several satellite campuses in Belgium. KUL arguably ranks amongst the top 100 universities of the world.
3. India has strong and vibrant cooperation with the Katholic University of Leuven. About 400-600 Indian students are registered in KUL in each academic year, making them the second largest student community from a non-European country after China. Most of these students pursue Post Graduate course in the fields of engineering, medicine and economics. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has instituted a Chair for Indian Studies at the Katholic University of Leuven, the first occupant for which was Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2014. Prof. Sachdeva, during his 3-month long association with the KUL, delivered several lectures on diverse aspects of India-EU bilateral relations besides undertaking several classes on international relations. A new Professor is scheduled to be nominated for the Chair shortly.
5. KUL also has the India House Leuven as an India-focussed platform for stimulating civic, cultural and economic ties between India and the city of Leuven in particular and the region of Flanders in general (the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium). The India House Leuven was conceived by the city authorities of Leuven along with the University of Leuven in view of the fact that Leuven has a fairly large number of Indian students, researchers and professionals who study and work in this university. The Embassy of India in Brussels has been actively supporting the India House project that was inaugurated by former President of the ICCR, Dr. Karan Singh, in October 2013.
6. ICCR has presented a bust of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore that would be inaugurated on the occasion of the forthcoming Birth Anniversary of Tagore on May 7, 2015.