Founded in Shanghai in October 1951, East China Normal University (ECNU) is one of the most prestigious universities in China and is sponsored by the national programs “Project 211” and “Project 985”. ECNU has developed at a breathtaking pace into a comprehensive research university. At present, the University has three faculties, 23 full-time school, two colleges, a college of Marxism, 11 advanced research institutes, and a college of further education, with 58 departments offering 79 undergraduate programs. Among the over 4,000 strong faculty, 1576 are professors and associate professors, including 11 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences or Chinese Academy of Engineering. Currently, the number of full-time undergraduate students is 14,405 while that of graduate students is 15,771. There are also about 5,000 international students studying at ECNU. ECNU attaches great importance to the internationalization of its development and enjoys a wide influence and an excellent reputation around the world. The university has established exchange and cooperative partnerships with more than 150 internationally renowned universities and academic institutions. ECNU is one of the Chinese universities that first began establishing Confucius Institutes with foreign universities and institutions. So far, the university has set up 9 Confucius Institutes around the world. Approved by the Ministry of Education in early 2011, China's first Sino-American university – New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai) – was co-established by New York University and ECNU.
ECNU and ULB have established very important partnership with communication on exchange for students and professors and joint supervision of PhD students. When the two rectors from ULB and ECNU met each other on April 2014, they expressed to the Shanghai media that further cooperation was going to be continued, especially for enhancing the academic activities and communication among teachers.
With rich experiences on Chinese language teaching for foreigners of the International College of Chinese Studies and The International College of Chinese Studies (ICCS), ECNU is competent to transport the qualified Chinese teaching personnel. The academic research collaborations between two universities are not only on Chinese teaching but also on other faculties and centers of social science, for example, China-EU culture center and the Institute of ancient book studies of the former can respectively jointly carry out the China-EU cultural research and comparative studies of China-EU with European research center of the latter.