Scholarship Fund Bruyns

The Fund Bruyns is part of the non-profit organization UCSIA. The Fund reaches out to scholars from the Global South who may benefit from a research stay at the University of Antwerp, engage the newly acquired knowledge in their country of origin, and share their expertise with staff members of the University of Antwerp and UCSIA. The Fund launches a project call for a research stay of approximately 10 months.

The project call is launched by the task force Fund Bruyns, which operates within UCSIA.

Its current members are profs. Tom De Herdt and Danny Cassimon on behalf of the Institute for Development Policy (University of Antwerp), and Martin Decancq and Stijn Latré on behalf of UCSIA.


Since 2003, the Fund Louis Bruyns has awarded a grant to 20 beneficiaries from countries of the Global South, including DR Congo, Cameroon, Senegal, Ethiopia and Pakistan.

The Fund was named after Father Louis Bruyns sj (1919-2001), who devoted a great deal of his life to Africa as a missionary, trainer of executives, and administrator. He has great merits as a professor and manager in Belgium too.

Louis Bruyns was born in Essen (Belgium) on January 15, 1919. After his classics, he joined the Jesuit Order in 1936. He first studied philosophy, theology and classical philology. In 1945 he obtained a master degree at the Catholic University of Louvain in economics as well as in political and social sciences.

Father Louis Bruyns was deeply concerned with the fate of Africa. From 1945 to 1947, he worked at the mission of Kisantu in the former Belgian Congo as an inspector of the primary school network. He finished his PhD thesis on the socio-economic development of Lower Congo upon his return in 1951. From 1953 to 1968 he resided in Africa again. Among other things, he was a professor at the University Centre Lovanium, the founder and rector of the Centre Médico-Scolaire, a complex of schools and a hospital. He was also mandated as the representative of the Belgian Congo in the International Labour Office in Geneva.

After his return from Africa in 1968, father Bruyns played a major role in the Antwerp academic community. He was a manager and professor at the Saint Ignatius University College Antwerp (UFSIA), later on director of the Institute of post-graduate education (IPO) and rector of the UFSIA. After he was accorded emeritus status, father Bruyns was appointed president of the Communal Bureau of the University of Antwerp (GBUA), where he devoted himself to the co-operation between the different university institutions in Antwerp.

Fund Bruyns scholar 2024

Taye Birhanu Taressa is a young scholar from Ethiopia. He studied at Bethel Evangelical Secondary School (BESS), one of the few most prestigious non-governmental schools in the country, located in his hometown Dembi Dollo.

He graduated magna cum laude from Mekelle University in 2010, Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) in Civic and Ethical Education, with History as a minor. From 2011 to 2014, he taught citizenship courses at Billo and Kellem Comprehensive Secondary and Preparatory Schools in the regional state Oromia. From 2015 to 2017, he was assistant lecturer at the department of Civics and Ethical Studies at Mettu University.
From 2018 to 2019, he studied philosophy at Addis Ababa University and received his MA (Master of Arts) degree in Philosophy with great distinction. He then returned to Mettu University, where he worked as a lecturer and researcher for two more years. In Addis Ababa he taught “Global Perspectives” at the International Maarif Schools for two years.

He has published several research articles in reputable journals. His research interests include African philosophy, environmental philosophy, indigenous knowledge, moral philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of technology, etc. He also received certificates of recognition for his services as a volunteer at the United Nations.

Currently, Taye Birhanu Taressa is a PhD candidate in the department of Philosophy at Addis Ababa University. The title of his dissertation is “The Role of Oromo Indigenous Environmental Ethics in Sustainable Development”.

Because of his outstanding project proposal, he was awarded the Father Louis Bruyns scholarship, funded by UCSIA, making him a visiting research student at the Center for European Philosophy at the University of Antwerp, from 1 April 2024.

Taye Birhanu Taressa aims to build his academic career as a young professor and researcher, and continue his voluntary services to humanity elsewhere.



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