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39th Conference Background

June 4 – June 7, 2019


KU Leuven, Belgium

Organized by The Foundation for Critical Thinking in Partnership with CRITHINKEDU, KU Leuven, and University Colleges Leuven-Limburg (UCLL)

About the Conference and the Foundation for Critical Thinking

Since 1981, The Foundation and Center for Critical Thinking sister organizations that together represent the world's oldest think tank dedicated to critical thinking have hosted the world's longest-running critical thinking conference. The conference emphasizes the Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking, which stands apart from other critical thinking theory in that, first,  it applies to all human thought in all fields, professions, and domains of life; second, it relies on natural, rather than technical, language to provide tools and concepts that enable the thinker to break down, assess, and enhance his or her own thinking; third, it accounts for human emotions and desires; and fourth, it emphasizes the importance of ethics in reasoning.

Regardless of your professional, educational, or personal background, The Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking provides a unique opportunity for you to improve your understanding of critical thinking, as well as your ability to apply it to your everyday work, learning, and life.

June 3: European Summit for Critical Thinking Education

The 39th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking will be preceded by the European Summit for Critical Thinking Education on June 3, 2019. The summit is organized by the ERASMUS+ project CRITHINKEDU, in cooperation with the Foundation for Critical Thinking. The meeting will unite higher-education researchers and educators, deans, student support agencies, policymakers, and employers eager to invest in critical thinking education. This one-day summit will challenge participants to take a stance for the future of critical thinking education in Europe , and is free of charge for those who choose to attend.

The European Summit for Critical Thinking Education will be a unique opportunity for people from around the world to gather and discuss critical thinking teaching and learning strategies, as well as other important related matters. Read more here.

About KU Leuven

The Foundation for Critical Thinking, together with CRITHINKEDU and University Colleges Leuven Limburg (UCLL), will host the 39th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking at one of the world's most esteemed universities: KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.

To read more about the university and city of Leuven, please visit our venue page .

About the University Colleges Leuven-Limburg (UCLL)

One of the
major universities of applied sciences in Flanders, the University of Colleges Leuven-Limburg (UCLL) is working with KU Leuven to bring the Annual International Conference to Europe for the first time. UCLL is a member of the KU Leuven Association, which is a major higher-education association comprised of thirteen institutions.


The Foundation for Critical Thinking is pleased to partner with CRITHINKEDU in organizing and hosting the 39th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking.

CRITHINKEDU, or 'Critical Thinking Across the European Higher Education Curricula,' is a project funded by the European Commission. Arising from the background and experience of higher-education institutions, businesses, and other organizations from nine different European countries, the venture aims to assess and improve the quality of reasoning that is taught and learned in Europe's universities and across various labor sectors. CRITHINKEDU will deliver and present a set of guidelines and recommendations for critical thinking development in higher education. 

About Leuven MindGate

We are grateful to have Leuven MindGate as a communications sponsor for the 39th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking. It represents one of the world's prime regions for health, high- tech, and creativity a region with a unique ecosystem of companies × cooperating with knowledge institutions and the government, creating a perfect breeding ground for companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and international talent. Simply put, it is a great place to study, work, and live.

Leuven MindGate participates in national and international projects, missions, and trade fairs, and it constantly aims to be a worldwide leader when it comes to health, high-tech, and creativity. Leuven MindGate also improves cross-pollination between these sectors by letting them interact, cooperate, and co-create.