From 1830: a State University in Belgium

A State University as early as 1830


n terms of higher education, the birth of Belgium in 1830 is characterised by a certain disorder. All the regulations and traditions of the old regime are abolished; Liège loses its Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. The organic law of 25 September 1835 restored it at the same time that it instituted the universities of Liège and Ghent, the official State Universities. The bar of 1,000 students at the University of Liège is exceeded during the 1876-1877 academic year.

The teaching and research activities of the University of Liège begin in the old buildings of the Jesuit College, in the heart of the city. The official inauguration ceremony, on 25 September 1817, takes place in the old Jesuit church. This will be demolished to make room in 1824 for the Palace of the University, the current Academic Hall.

From 1880, the expansion of the University will be marked by the construction in different districts of Liège of Institutes separated by the German model of science. Progressively built were the Institutes of Astrophysics in Cointe, of Pharmacy at the Botanical Garden, of Zoology, of Anatomy, and of Physiology in Outremeuse. The Institutes of Chemistry and Physics are built as part of an extension of the central building, along the University Square (the current place du 20(Août). On this square, the new constructions of the Faculties of Philosophy and Letters and Law in 1892 complete the circling of the Academic hall. In the early 1890s, the old Bavarian hospital, named after the Prince-Bishop Ernest of Bavaria, is rebuilt.

In the aftermath of the First World War, it was not only necessary to repair the damage done by the occupier, but also to consider how best to adapt to the technological change disrupting the world. In 1924, the University of Liège acquired the estate of the former Val Benoît, where it would establish the main part of its Faculty of Applied Sciences.

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