Until recently, the KULCK was known as the KULAK, “Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Afdeling Kortrijk" (Catholic University of Leuven Branch of Kortrijk). Although the university buildings were upgraded from a mere branch or dependence to a campus in the late 1990s, locals still use the old designation of "KULAK". The main reason for this is that it rolls off the tongue much easier than the new letter construction with its three consonants ending.
As the name implies, it is a university campus affiliated with the Catholic University of Leuven situated on the southern rim of Kortrijk. The idea behind this campus is twofold. First of all, Leuven always had a strong portion of its students coming from the West-Flanders region. Yet, many prospective students are wary of moving to Brabant for an adventure that would involve an almost complete rupture with their familiar surroundings. (Also many parents are uncomfortable with the idea of sending their son or daughter straight out of school to a town known for its student bars and parties.) Secondly, the majority of students who quit university do so in their first year. Typically, depending on the studies, the first two years (which give a general but thorough introduction into the whole scope of the subject) draw two to three times as many students as the last three or four (in which the student specializes in one specific field of his subject)
By giving their West-Flemish students the possibility to complete their first two years in Kortrijk, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) offers them a smaller, easier to manage environment closer to their homes (and to their parents' controlling influence). Leuven also benefits as more students in Kortrijk means lesser students in the chronically overcrowded first year lectures in Leuven. Students that have completed the first two years will still move to Leuven (or to any other university, for that matter) to specialize but by then they will be more mature, confident and up to the challenge of a true university town.
With its primary purpose of getting students through the first years of their studies, the KULCK only offers two years of general "candidacy" studies for the most popular courses, being languages and medicine. Recently, economics was added to this list, but this courses are managed as a dependence of the university of Antwerp. With the first two years giving a general layout of the subject, there are no specializations, only general chairs, which again adds to the streamlining of the education process.
While the KUL is a patchwork of chairs, lecture halls and departments spread out all over Leuven, the KULCK campus only consists out of one university park with a handful of buildings located on a shallow hill in the "t'Hoge" (the heights) residential region just south of Kortrijk. About half of the students live either in the university dormitory or in a rented room nearby. The other half lives with their family in the greater Kortrijk region, close enough to drive (or even bike) to the university in the morning and return home for the evening.