University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is one of the major Belgian universities located in the city of Antwerp. The official abbreviation is UA, but UAntwerpen is more recently used. The University of Antwerp has about 20,000 students, which makes it the third largest university in Flanders. The University of Antwerp is characterised by its high standards in education, internationally competitive research and entrepreneurial approach. It was founded in 2003 after the merger of three smaller universities.
As of 2019, the University of Antwerp ranks as 198th globally according to Times Higher Education, 223rd according to QS World University Rankings and between the 201 and 300th place according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The university ranked 22nd in the Times Higher Education Ranking for Young Universities and 18th in the QS University Ranking Top 50 Under 50. In ten domains the university's research is among the best in the world: Drug Discovery and Development; Ecology and Sustainable Development; Harbour, Transport and Logistics; Imaging; Infectious Diseases; Materials Characterisation; Neurosciences; Socio-economic Policy and Organisation; Public Policy and Political Science; Urban History and Contemporary Urban Policy.



The university's roots go back to Sint-Ignatius Handelshogeschool founded by the Jesuit in Antwerp in 1852. This was one of the first European business schools to offer formal university degrees. It later opened a Faculty of Literature and Philosophy and a Faculty of Political and Social Sciences. It was renamed Universitaire Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius Antwerpen
in the 1960s when the Belgian government granted it university status. In the early 1970s UFSIA joined into a confederation with "Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen" and "Universitaire Instelling Antwerpen", public institutions.


In 2003 UFSIA, RUCA, and UIA merged into the University of Antwerp to become the first explicitly pluralistic university in Belgium, offering philosophical, ethical, and spiritual discourse and openness towards religion and intercultural dialogue. It soon became the third largest university in Flanders with 20,000 students. In order to face the challenges posed by the internationalization of European education and research, the University is part of the Antwerp University Association. The Catholic influence that the Jesuits had at UFSIA continues through the Saint Ignatius University Centre, Antwerp, founded in 2003.


The University of Antwerp has 33 academic bachelor programmes, 69 master programmes, 18 master-after-master programmes and 23 postgraduates. In addition, there are 31 programmes completely taught in English. All of these programmes are divided into 9 faculties.
The Institute of Development Policy and Management has an autonomous faculty-like UAntwerp status and Antwerp Management School is an autonomous school within the University of Antwerp.


The nine campuses are located all over the city of Antwerp, from the historic city centre to the green belt to the south of the city.
In the 2010 QS World University Rankings the University of Antwerp was ranked 179th overall in the world. On the 2009 THE–QS World University Rankings list, University of Antwerp was ranked on a shared 177th place. An overview of the THE-QS World University Rankings up to 2009:

Times Higher Education World University Ranking:

Notable alumni


The University of Antwerp has a long tradition in organizing international student championships. The following FISU, EUSA and IFIUS events have been organized:
At the University of Antwerp there are faculty clubs, regional clubs and political clubs. Faculty bound clubs are governed by VUAS which consists of Unifac and ASK-Stuwer. Political and philosophical clubs are governed by PFK-Antwerpen. The student newspaper is called "Dwars".