The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is the offshoot of the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) that was founded in 1834 by a Brussels lawyer with Flemish origins, Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen. He wanted to establish a university that would be independent from the state and the church and where academic freedom would reign. Although some courses at the ULB’s Faculty of Law were already being taught in Dutch in 1935, it was not until 1963 that almost all the faculties offered courses in Dutch. The Dutch-speaking university was finally split off from its French-speaking counterpart on 1 October 1969.
With the act of 28 May 1970, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Libre de Bruxelles officially became two separate legal, administrative and scientific entities.