KU Leuven and OH Leuven enter into structural cooperation
KU Leuven and OH Leuven signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement formalizes the existing cooperation and provides the opportunity to expand it even further.
OH Leuven strives to build the club sustainably to the highest professional standards and is strongly committed to innovation within its various ranks. KU Leuven is both nationally and internationally a leading education and research institution, with a large socio-economic impact. Both are committed to making a positive contribution to the local community and wider society. The collaboration includes five concrete substantive pillars that were explained today at a press event:
Education and internship
Opportunities are provided for students to put their theory to practical use. Thus, during the past and current season, 65 students were able to carry out their internship or sports science deepening at OH Leuven. In addition, a number of KU Leuven alumni also found their way to a job at the soccer club.
Research and scientific services
On the one hand, setting up and carrying out joint research projects. On the other hand, OH Leuven can make use of scientific services based on a cooperation with UZ Leuven and entities linked to KU Leuven, such as the Sports Medical Advice Center and the Bakala Athletic Performance Facility. This concerns both preventive screenings, such as cardioscreening, but also injury prevention. In case of injuries, thanks to the multidisciplinary knowledge of UZ Leuven, a strongly supported diagnosis and treatment is proposed.
Infrastructure & facilities
Both organizations make use of each other's infrastructure and facilities. OH Leuven's Player Innovation Hub uses KU Leuven's sports infrastructure. The women train on the soccer field of the university sports center and the power room of the new fitness hall is used extensively by all sections within the club. In addition, the elite academy uses KU Leuven's indoor sports facility for the multi-sport project with young soccer players.
OH Leuven has an extensive student operation with a real student club 'Studentica'. There is a specific offer for students who want to attend the games. There are also all kinds of activities in the stadium aimed at students. Currently, an average of 600 students per day are cramming in our stadium.
Networking & Consulting
KU Leuven and OH Leuven would like to play their role in the social and economic ecosystem in the region. Thus, they organize occasions for networking and try to bring the right organizations into contact with each other to create new opportunities.
CEO Peter Willems is particularly proud of this collaboration. "KU Leuven is a top university, world-renowned for education and research, but also intertwined in our city and region. We have found many points of contact where we can strengthen and support each other. This ranges from practical matters such as infrastructure over deployment of internships to conducting joint research."
"Innovation has always been a strong point of KU Leuven and we as a club also have innovation at the heart of our DNA. We are a challenger in Belgian soccer with great long-term ambitions. Innovation is an important tool to take steps forward."
"I am elated that we can officialize the good cooperation and understanding of the past years with this agreement," said Rector Luc Sels. "It goes beyond the scientific guidance we have been offering for some time as a university. This agreement seals an interaction with added value for both partners."
"I know OH Leuven as a very innovative soccer club, which is also a very relevant professional environment for students who want to gain valuable experience. This is evident for our programs in sports medicine or exercise and rehabilitation sciences, but applies equally to engineering, business sciences, marketing and communication. There is also the supporter experience that we can add to with our thousands of students, from home and abroad. In short, there is much that binds the two partners despite the vast difference in age."
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