The Université libre de Bruxelles and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel have common roots, dating back to 1834, when Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen founded the 'Université Libre de Belgique', renamed 'Université Libre de Bruxelles' in 1842. Only in 1969 do the two universities separate, giving birth to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. However, they continue to share the same values and work together. Their collaboration is given an institutional framework in 2013, with the creation of the Brussels University Alliance.
As part of the partnership between ULB and VUB, the Brussels University Alliance's main missions and goals are:
To develop synergies and joint projects between the two Brussels universities in the following areas:
Infrastructures and logistics
Increasing international visibility and recruitment
More specifically, BUA's missions and goals are to:
Boost recruitment, visibility, and efficiency for both universities in the field of education and research, both in Belgium and abroad, and create synergies between ULB and VUB while respecting each institution's specific identity and strategies.
Pool the two institutions' resources dedicated to analysing the international landscape of higher education—especially in terms of teaching—, as well as their resources dedicated to promotion and recruitment and other joint services that support the partners' international development.
Create and promote a label for joint communication.
Coordinate activities such as joint recruitment, back-office functions, the concerted development of teaching programmes, continuing education, research projects, international projects, and infrastructures.
Actively support the development of new—and generally multilingual—projects, whether for teaching (regular curricula, chairs, continuing education, international programmes, summer school, etc.), research, valorisation of teaching and research (though symposia, spin-offs, etc.), and infrastructures, using both institutions' resources.