VUB students graduate on Brussels market square

All week long graduation ceremonies for students at the Flemish Free University of Brussels, the VUB, and its Francophone counterpart, the ULB, are being held outdoors on Brussels historic market square.  The ceremony is being staged here so that social distancing can be observed.

Blue is the colour that will dominate as some 5,000 VUB and ULB students in blue graduation gowns and their parents attend staggered graduation ceremonies.

“Due to the corona crisis the past academic year was one with many challenges for our students” said VUB Rector Caroline Pauwels. “They had to follow lessons from home during the lockdown and with a new spike graduation ceremonies too seemed threatened.  Thanks to the City of Brussels we have been able to stage this exceptional alternative.  Our students will be able to enjoy a graduation ceremony they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

1,700 VUB students in blue toga will graduate in this unique historical setting. “I secretly started thinking there are good sides to corona” an anonymous student confided to our reporter. “Without corona we would have graduated in the VUB lecture theatre.”

Another student drew parallels with the Grand place treatment usually reserved for Red Devils, the members of the national soccer squad. “The Red Devils stood here when they finished third in the World Cup.  We, students, have also completed quite an itinerary.  Nothing was as anticipated during our final year. It’s great we can see each other at this graduation.  We will never forget this.”

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