The Erasmus University College Brussels has a pluralistic and humanistic mission. This implies that no single programme or single research is unrelated to society. The university college is strongly embedded in its environment and in particular in Brussels, a unique metropolitan laboratory. As the research is of a highly applied nature, the university college has strong ties with the field. This interaction with practice influences not only education but also research.
In fact, our university college is engaged in 4 types of research. Two types run parallel with those of the university, i.e. applied and industrial research, strategic (fundamental) research; and our university college adds artistic and practice based research thereto.
Most research by far in Flemish colleges is of a more applied and practical nature than in universities. This is because the degree programmes in colleges are more practice-oriented than those of universities. They lead to a specific profession, such as interpreter, industrial engineer, musician or director. The professional bachelor’s degree programmes also engage in research projects. The government has made available research means and resources to this end.
Students are involved
The students are involved through projects or through master’s theses. In certain programme sections they are assigned research topics, and the instructor or researcher gets feedback on his own research topics and results. Some degree programmes also provide for specific “research fields” such as literature research, statistical analysis or research methods. Furthermore, seminars or workshops are organised that offer students opportunities to conduct research themselves. The students are stimulated to align their master’s essay closely with the current research or doctoral projects.
There are numerous research projects in the bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes which pertain to social topics and needs. The programme in town and country planning conducts research in the livability of the Brussels public space. Biomedical scientists at the university college conduct research into an affordable solution for the administration of anti-malaria medicines. The journalism programme conducts a comparative study of Dutch-speaking (VRT) and French-speaking (RTBF) TV interviews with Dutch-speaking and French-speaking politicians. Voice specialists carry out research into the prevention of voice problems of teachers. Industrial engineers have cooperated in developing an X-ray workstation for the automatic scanning of mammography. Future teaching staff will conduct research into the design of the playground at the primary school, taking into account the needs and wishes of those involved, safety and ergonomics. And then there are numerous artistic research projects in music, audiovisual arts and dramatic arts.
The Erasmus University College Brussels has its own research board, the Office for Research by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). In addition, it participates in research bodies at university and association level, i.e. with the Research Board of the VUB, and with the Office for Research of the Brussels Association.
The Erasmus University College Brussels cooperates with the VUB on research.
Two platforms have been established to support the education and research structure for two specific fields, i.e. the arts, and town and country planning. These are the “Platform for doctorate in the arts, the Brussels model,” and the “Brussels urban platform.” A third platform for multilingualism, interculturalism, and communication (MIC) is in formation.
Erasmus University College Brussels,
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