University of Liège

The University of Liège (French: Université de Liège), or ULiège, is a major public university of the French Community of Belgium based in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium. Its official language is French. As of 2020, ULiège is ranked in the 301–350 category worldwide according to Times Higher Education,[3] 451st by QS World University Rankings,[4] and between the 201st and 300th place by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.[5] More than 2,000 people, including academics, scientists and technicians, are involved in research of a wide variety of subjects from basic research to applied research.

University of Liège
Université de Liège
University of Liege arms.png
Latin: Universitas Leodiensis
Other name
Former name
State University of Liège
Scientia Optimum
Motto in English
Excellence through science
TypePublic university of the French Community of Belgium
Established1817 (206 years ago) (1817)
RectorProf. Anne-Sophie Nyssen
AdministratorAnne Girin
Academic staff
1,398 (2021)[1]
Administrative staff
2,022 (2018)[1]
Students26,863 (2021)[1]
2,260 (2021)[1]
50°38′27″N 05°34′29″E / 50.64083°N 5.57472°E / 50.64083; 5.57472
CampusMultiples sites
ColorsTeal blue  [2]
COP (permanent observer)
University of Liège logo.svg


The university was founded in 1817 by William I of the Netherlands, then King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and by his Minister of Education, Anton Reinhard Falck. The foundation of the university was the result of a long intellectual tradition which dates back to the origins of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. Beginning in the eleventh century, the influence of the principality attracted students and prominent scientists and philosophers, such as Petrarch, to study in its libraries. The reputation of its medieval schools gave the city the reputation as a new Athens.[6]

A 17 March 1808 decree by Napoleon I concerning the organization of an imperial university indicated Liège as the site of a new academy to be composed of a Faculty of Arts and a Faculty of Science—the first university charter for Liège. Ultimately, Liège owes its university to William I of the Netherlands, who remembered the city's prestigious legacy of teaching and culture when he decided to establish a new university on Walloon soil.

Nearly 200 years later, settled to some extent in the Sart-Tilman [fr] district of Liège, the University of Liège belongs to the French community of Belgium. The university is located at the edge of the river Meuse, in the center of the Island, the Latin Quarter of Liège. In 2009, the Agronomical University of Gembloux (FUSAGx), based in Gembloux, in the Province of Namur, integrated ULiège. It has adopted a new name for academics as well as research, namely Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech.


  • 1817: foundation of the University of Liege by William I of the Netherlands.
  • 1838: opening of the Liège mining school.
  • 1881: first female student.
  • 1882: beginning of the construction of the Trasenster Institutes in Liège:
  • 1955: foundation of the University of Lubumbashi (called Elisabethville at the time) by the State University of Liège.
  • 1967: beginning of the transfer process from the city center to the Sart Tilman campus.
  • 1969: the Cureghem University of Veterinary Medicine in Brussels is administratively attached to ULiège.
  • 1989: the State University of Liège becomes a university of the French Community of Belgium.
  • 1991: The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is transferred from Brussels to the Sart Tilman campus.
  • 2004: The Fondation universitaire luxembourgeoise integrates the University of Liège, creating the Faculty of Science's Department of Environmental Science and Management.
  • 2005: HEC Liège (Management School) and the Department of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Liège merge to create the HEC Liège – School of Management of the University of Liège business school ;
  • 2009: The University of Agricultural Sciences of Gembloux (FUSAGx) in Gembloux is integrated into the University of Liège, becoming an independent faculty under the name Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech.
  • 2010: Through the merger of the Institut supérieur d'architecture Saint-Luc de Liège (ISA Saint-Luc Liège) and the Institut supérieur d'architecture Lambert Lombard (ISAI LL), a new faculty is created within ULiège: the Faculty of Architecture.
  • 2015: the Institute of Human and Social Sciences (ISHS) becomes an independent faculty: the Faculty of Social Sciences (FaSS)
  • 2021: The Department of Media, Culture and Communication of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters establishes its school of journalism, with various auditoriums, classrooms and studios in the renovated Grand Poste de Liège; named Media Campus, these facilities are located in front of the historical faculty buildings.[7] The student radio station 48FM is also relocating there.


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[8]201-300 (2020)
CWUR World[9]282 (2020-21)
CWTS World[10]395 (2020)
QS World[11]451 (2021)
THE World[12]351–400 (2021)
USNWR Global[13]=370 (2021)

The rector of ULiège is Professor Anne-Sophie Nyssen, who succeeded Professor Pierre Wolper in 2022, becoming the first woman to hold this position[14].  Anne Girin has been the university's Administrator since September 1, 2020. She replaced Laurent Despy and became the first woman to hold this position.[15]

The University of Liège counts:

  • 24,522 students
    • 4,600 foreign students
  • 4,300 employees
    • 2,800 faculty members (both teaching and research)
    • 1,300 administrative and technical support staff

ULiège comprises 11 faculties:


Since the 1970s, ULiège's main campus has been the Sart-Tilman [fr] hill, a vast planned community campus located about ten kilometers south from the center of Liège. However, the university has kept its headquarters and many administrative facilities in the city centre, as well as the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, the Institutes of Zoology, Anatomy, the HEC Liège Management School and the newly incorporated Faculty of Architecture.

The Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech campus and faculty are located in the city of Gembloux, Namur Province, and Faculty of Science Department of Environmental Science and Management is located in Arlon, Luxembourg Province.

The university also owns a scientific research station in the Belgian High Fens since 1924, the STARESO oceanography station in Calvi, Corsica, France, a meteorological station and the Sphinx Observatory on the Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, since 1950[16] and research stations and observatories in Chile (SPECULOOS and TRAPPIST-South), Morocco and Tenerife, Spain (TRAPPIST-North).

Notable alumniEdit

For full list, see University of Liège alumni.

Notable facultyEdit

Honorary doctorateEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Key Figure,
  2. ^ "Visual Identity Guidelines" (PDF). University of Liège (Charter) (in French). Liège. March 2017.
  3. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2020". Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  4. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2021". Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Université de Liège - History". Archived from the original on 2016-10-06. Retrieved 2016-08-12.
  7. ^ "Inauguration du Média Campus de la Grand Poste". 2021-11-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". 7 March 2021.
  9. ^ "World University Rankings 2020-2021". Center for World University Rankings. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  10. ^ "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020 - P(top 10%)". CWTS Leiden Ranking. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  11. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2021". 7 March 2021.
  12. ^ "World University Rankings 2021". 7 March 2021.
  13. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2021 - University of Liège". 7 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Anne-Sophie NYSSEN elected Rector of the University of Liege". Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  15. ^ "Anne GIRIN désignée nouvel Administrateur de l'Université de Liège". 2020-08-26. Retrieved 2021-11-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "History of the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch". High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat International Foundation. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  17. ^ "History of Geopyhysics, Volume 1". History of Geophysics. Washington, D.C.: American Geophysical Union: 44. 1984. ISSN 8755-1217.

External linksEdit