Centre Placet ASBL - Rue des Sports 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

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Welcome to Centre Placet, the international hostel of UCLouvain and a place for intercultural exchange.

"The Placet was a place where you didn't feel like a foreigner ... We felt at home, in a place in the world where it was possible, with others, to rebuild or strengthen an identity..."
Elena Bicera, former Placet resident (Uruguay) - 2001

The origin of the name “PLACET comes from the the Brothers of Christian Doctrine - also called Placet College, founded in 1889 in Leuven. The College, which has now disappeared, had this name inscribed above its front door: “PLACET DEUS” (“who pleases God in Latin). With time, the inscription “DEUS” faded away, leaving only the name “PLACET. The name was retained when the building was purchased in Leuven to convert it into a student house. The name was retained when the UCLouvain was transferred to Louvain-la-Neuve, where the hostel now resides.

The name of our Association is deeply linked to both "Louvain" (Leuven, in Dutch and located in Flanders, & Louvain-la-Neuve, located in Wallonia, french-speaking region of Belgium) as well as to the University.


Foundation of the Catholic University of Leuven in Leuven (Flemish Brabant).


Foundation of the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Doctrine, also called Placet College, in Leuven.

Lithography of Placet College (only the entrance gate remains in Leuven), made by Gustaaf Wellis - Museum M of Leuven (licence CC BY-NC-SA).


The Catholic University of Leuven, which was bilingual in French and Dutch at the time, is about to be split into two separate entities following a language conflict in Belgium between Flemish and French-speaking students.

One will be Flemish and Dutch-speaking (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - KU Leuven), the other French-speaking (Université catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain).

The official name in English of the Université catholique de Louvain is University of Louvain.

Archive of Hythlodaeus (CC BY-NC-SA licence).


Creation of the hostel at College Placet in Leuven. The Centre Placet was created by Jean-Marie Lechat, who was the 1st director. The new hostel would provide students with access to accommodation in a city from which they risked being excluded.


A number of initiatives have been taken to support the children of residents during their stay in Leuven (alternative school, playground at Placet College, nursery).


The new French-speaking University of Louvain moves to the new town of Louvain-la-Neuve (Walloon Brabant).

Placet helps its first students find accommodation on the Louvain-la-Neuve campus.


The Centre Placet is founded as an ASBL ("association sans but lucratif", nonprofit organization under the Belgian law) with the support of the University of Louvain.

The university, informed by decree of the Belgian government's encouragement of the creation of clubs and hostels for international scholarship holders, takes the opportunity to set up the hostel as an nonprofit organization. Centre Placet is recognised and subsidised by the General Agency for Development Cooperation (AGCD) of Belgian government.

Relocation to Louvain-la-Neuve.


The statutes of the Centre Placet provide for the parity management of the hostel by representatives of the University of Louvain and student representatives elected within the Placet Residents' Association (ARP, "Association des Résident·es du Placet" in French).

The members of the ARP, an existing de facto association recognised on this occasion as a partner of the Univeristy of Louvain for this project, are actively involved in the development and evaluation of projects, stimulating and supporting staff and management in the search for resources, the many negotiations and the implementation of the various actions.

Archives of the University of Louvain, Jean-Jacques Rousseaux, CO029-Lieux


Christiane De Wan and Michel Ledent become co-directors of the Centre Placet.


Successive agreements have been signed with the Walloon region to obtain qualified personnel as part of employment promotion.


Inauguration of the OVO statue by Aberlado Mancinas (former resident) in Rue des Sports, opposite to the Centre Placet head office and accomodations.


Centre Placet was experienced as a small village by its residents and staff, in the heart of the Hocaille district of Louvain-la-Neuve. At this time, the majority of international students living at Placet came to study in Belgium with their families.


Inauguration of the "Wall to the Victims of Intolerance" at the Place des Sciences in Louvain-la-Neuve.

The work consists of two plaques. The second mentions : "Created on the initiative of the Town of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, the University of Louvain (UCL), the Woitrin Foundation, the Centre Placet, the Association des Habitants, the CIEE, the AGL, Amnesty International and MRAX, this wall is dedicated to the victims of intolerance on the five continents of our planet. A register listing the names of identified victims who stayed in the town can be consulted in the Halles universitaires, model room."

Photo of EmDee (licence CC BY-NC-SA).


Armando Merino is the Director of the Centre Placet.


The General Agency for Development Cooperation (AGCD) becomes the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD). It reports to the Federal Public Service of Belgium (Ministry) for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.


Inauguration of the fresco "Allegory of interculturality", created by Roxana Alvarado, on the walls of our offices at the Farm of Blocry.

Photo of EmDee (licence CC BY-NC-SA).


Centre Placet co-founded a solidarity grocery shop with the support of the town of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Wallonia, University of Louvain and kots-à-projets, AlimenTerre and the Belgian Red Cross.

The management of the grocery store has since been delegated to the Belgian Red Cross.


Andrés Patuelli is the Director of the Centre Placet.


Recognition by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation of the Centre for Expression and Creativity (CEC).


Recognition as a Continuing Education Association by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.


New acronym and logo for the University of Louvain : UCLouvain.


Jean-Marie Mutore is the Director of Centre Placet.


To celebrate interculturality, the children created a totem pole in front of our offices in Rue des Sports. The statue was completed in July 2020.


50th anniversary of Centre Placet as part of a week of reflection at UCLouvain on equity, diversity and inclusion.


Florence Thibaut and David Amram have been appointed co-directors of the hostel.

We also have a photo album of the people who have come to stay in our home over the years. The photos are published with the agreement of our former residents. 

Many thanks to Jean-Marie Lechat & Michel Ledent, formers directors of Centre Placet, for the additional information that made the writing of this page possible.