Research Group in the Spotlight

Maandelijks zet de VPW een onderzoeksgroep aan een Vlaamse universiteit in de spotlight!

Deze maand is dat: Instituut voor de Overheid, KU Leuven

Jouw onderzoeksgroep volgende maand in de spotlight? Mail dan naar


Deze onderzoeksgroepen verschenen reeds in de spotlight:

  • Centre for EU Studies (CEUS), Universiteit Gent

Een overzicht met alle onderzoeksgroepen en bijhorende informatie vind u hier.


Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven

The KU Leuven Public Governance Institute is an internationally oriented and interdisciplinary research institute that focusses on different aspects of public governance. The Public Governance Institute conducts research into different aspects of public governance from a public administration and political science perspective. The results of our research are of value in higher and continuing education, in public organizations, and for society in general. We intend to make scientific contributions to an improvement in the policy-making, organization and management of public administrations. In this process, special attention is given to the role of citizens, political parties and government officials.

We are part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, but are mainly externally funded. We also coordinate the Steunpunt Bestuurlijke Vernieuwing. With our approximately 45 FTE faculty, research fellows, PhD candidates, and support staff, we have three main tasks:

  • Interdisciplinary research, fundamental and applied
  • Research-based education and training, for regular students and for government officials
  • Public service and policy advice

We serve multiple audiences:

  • Regular students and civil servants in our bachelor courses, master´s programmes and executive trainings
  • The international and national academic community, through our articles, papers and conferences
  • Policy makers and public servants at the local, regional, national and international level, though our applied research, policy advice and opinions
  • Citizens through our participation in the public debate

Public governance is a very wide domain. We focus on three distinguishable but partly overlapping clusters within that domain:

  • Politics, citizens and policies
  • Administrative organization and HRM
  • Management of information,  performance and finance

We offer three master´s programmes:

In addition, our executive training institute offers around 25 different residential and in-company training courses targeting early- and mid-career civil servants.



The roots of the Institute date back to the period after World War II, where under the impulse of the Marshall plan, centres for productivity improvement were established in various European countries, among which was the ‘Belgium Productivity Centre’, part of which later became the Public Management Institute. In 1960 the first training sessions in management for senior civil servants were held. From the 1980s the focus of the Public Management Institute evolved more towards research, often with an international dimension. In 2013 the Institute changed its name to Public Governance Institute. This extended the scope of the Institute from management and policy to management, policy and politics. This development was an important new step in the profiling of the Institute, but also in its growth and capacity. With this name change the Institute also joined the international trend, where the emphasis has shifted from government to governance.


More information

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December 17, 2021:
10th edition 'Belgium: State of the Federation'