ACU strengthens ties with Belgian university KU Leuven

Australian Catholic University (ACU) hosted a delegation from Catholic research university KU Leuven at the North Sydney campus this week. The visit was part of the Belgian Economic Mission to Australia, led by Princess Astrid.

KU Leuven is one of Europe's premier research-intensive universities, and the delegation included the University’s President, Rector Luc Sels, and senior academic leaders.

This visit builds on longstanding academic collaborations between the two institutions, including a Memorandum of Understanding focused on joint research projects. There has been significant collaboration between KU Leuven’s Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, including the development of joint doctorates and curricula.

As a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven brings a wealth of expertise to the partnership, enhancing the international standing of both institutions.

The agenda for this week’s visit included a series of meetings and discussions with ACU's senior leadership, faculty, and professional staff.

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Zlatko Skrbis, said the visit underscored the commitment of ACU and KU Leuven to international collaboration, research excellence and cultural exchange.

"Our partnership with KU Leuven represents a commitment to advancing knowledge, research, and academic excellence on a global scale,” Professor Skrbis said.

“We share a common goal of enriching the learning experiences of our research students, enhancing opportunities and facilitating cultural exchange.

“Our shared history of collaboration in areas such as Theology and Religious studies has yielded invaluable insights and scholarly contributions."

ACU’s partnership with KU Leuven encompasses shared research agreements, public lecture series, and staff exchange initiatives to promote social justice, ethics, and moral development in education, innovation and research.

ACU Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global and Education Pathways) Chris Riley said the visit allowed for wide-ranging discussions around future collaboration, including education and health sciences.

"As we look to the future, we are excited about the possibilities this partnership holds,” Mr Riley said.

“We have plans to broaden the partnership to encompass areas such as Teacher Training, Service Learning, and Student Mobility.

“It is a testament to the power of international academic collaboration.”

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