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    UCL-USaint-Louis merger – discord with ULB strikes again

    The Chancellor of the University of Saint-Louis has not definitively closed the door on the financial backing offer proposed by ULB (the French-speaking private university in Brussels). He did, however, express his preference for the proposed merger with UCL.  (Catholic University of Leuven). “This scenario for the provision of backing by ULB deviates from that articulated by the Education Board (of USaint-Louis).” Pierre Jadoul said this yesterday evening at the university’s meeting and graduation ceremony for the beginning of the academic year.

    However, he confirmed that the ULB proposal would indeed be examined by the General Assembly of USaint-Louis.

    During this very same speech, Jadoul did, on the other hand, stress all of the advantages, from his point of view, of a merger with the Leuven University.

    He said, “UCL complements our university in the best possible way.”

    This merger offer “appears to respond positively to various problems” which have been suffocating USaint-Louis over the last few years, he finished.

    He also flagged up the “business management cultures which are fairly similar.”

    UCL and USaint-Louis announced their ‘engagement plans’ at the beginning of the aummer, with the objective of merging by the beginning of the academic year 2017-2018.

    The announcement provoked an angry reaction from ULB. It took a dim view of a new extension of UCL in the Brussels region, which it traditionally considers its major sphere of influence.

    The new ULB Chancellor, Yvon Englert, launched, in the press, a public counter-offer for financial backing to USaint-Louis.

    He also made this proposal directly by e-mail to members of the General Assembly at USaint-Louis.

    In his speech yesterday evening, Mr. Jadoul suggested that Englert had made an “inelegant gesture”.

    The ceremony closed by the distribution of degrees by Marie-Claire Foblets, who is an Honorary Doctor in Legal Anthropology and a specialist in migration law.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times