|Latin: Academia Gandavensis|
|State University of Ghent|
|Motto||Sapere Aude (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Dare to Think/Durf Denken|
|Rector||Rik Van de Walle|
|Colours||UGent blue & white|
3I University Network
Ghent University (Dutch: Universiteit Gent, abbreviated as UGent) is a public research university located in Ghent, Belgium.
Located in Flanders, Ghent University is one of the largest Belgian universities, consisting of 44,000 students and 9,000 staff members. The university also supports the Ghent University Library (including the famous Boekentoren) and the Ghent University Hospital, which is one of the biggest hospitals in Belgium. In addition to satellite campuses elsewhere in Flanders and a Global Campus in Songdo, South Korea, Ghent University maintains many inter-university partnerships and programs both inside and outside of Europe.
Established before the state of Belgium itself, the university was founded by the Dutch King William I in 1817, when the region was incorporated into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands after the fall of First French Empire. In that same year, he founded two other universities for the southern provinces as well, alongside Ghent University: University of Liège and State University of Leuven.
After the Belgian revolution of 1830, the newly formed Belgian state began to administer Ghent University. In 1930, UGent became the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium. Previously, French (and, even earlier, Latin) had been the standard academic language in what was Université de Gand. In 1991, it was granted major autonomy and changed its name accordingly from State University of Ghent (Dutch: Rijksuniversiteit Gent, abbreviated as RUG) to its current designation.
Ghent was one of the largest and most important cities of Europe in the medieval period.
The university in Ghent was opened on 9 October 1817, with JC van Rotterdam as the first rector. The foundation of universities in Ghent, Liege, and Leuven that year – by the Dutch King William I – was part of a larger policy to stimulate academic lag across the southern provinces of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (which would later become Belgium). The original four faculties comprised Humanities (Letters), Law, Medicine, and Science, with the language of instruction being Latin. In the first year, it had 190 students and 16 professors.
In the wake of the Belgian Revolution, of 1830, the number of students declined, having peaked at 414. Although the faculties of humanities and science were dissolved from the university, they were restored five years later, in 1835. At this time, French also became the language of instruction, taking the place of Latin.
Ghent University played a role in the foundation of modern organic chemistry. Friedrich August Kekulé unraveled the structure of benzene at Ghent and Adolf von Baeyer (Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Baeyer), a student of August Kekulé, made contributions to organic chemistry.
In 1882, Sidonie Verhelst became the first female student at Ghent University, in science and pharmacology.
In 1903, the Flemish politician Lodewijk De Raet led a successful campaign to begin instruction in Dutch, and the first courses were begun in 1906.
During World War I, Ghent University was closed initially due to the hostilities and subsequently due to the refusal of the academic staff and the students to resume classes while Belgium was occupied. Moritz von Bissing, the German Governor-General of occupied Belgium sought to make the territory easier to govern by exploiting the pre-war linguistic division. The Flamenpolitik ("Policy regarding the Flemish people") was launched in 1916. The occupying German administration set up the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium in Ghent under the name Vlaamsche Hoogeschool (Flemish Institute of Higher Learning). Pejoratively referred to as the Von Bissing University, the Vlaamsche Hoogeschoolwas founded in 1916 but was disestablished after the war and the University of Ghent resumed its activities with French as the sole medium of instruction. In 1923, Cabinet Minister Pierre Nolf put forward a motion to definitively establish the university as a Dutch-speaking university, and this was realized in 1930. August Vermeylen served as the first rector of a Dutch-language university in Belgium.
In the Second World War, the German administration of the university attempted to create a German orientation, removing faculty members and installing loyal activists.
In the postwar period, Ghent University became a much larger institution, following the government policy of democratizing higher education in Flanders during the 1950s and 1960s. By 1953, there were more than 3,000 students, and by 1969 more than 11,500.
The number of faculties increased to eleven, starting with Applied Sciences in 1957. It was followed by Economics and Veterinary Medicine in 1968, Psychology and Pedagogy, as well as Bioengineering, in 1969, and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
In the 1960s, there were several student demonstrations at Ghent University, notably around the Blandijn site, which houses the Faculty of Arts & Philosophy. The most severe of demonstrations took place in 1969 in the wake of May 1968.
In 1991, the university officially changed its name from Rijksuniversiteit Gent (RUG) to Universiteit Gent (UGent), following an increased grant of autonomy by the government of the Flemish Community. The faculty of Politics and Social Sciences is the most recent addition, in 1992.
Ghent University consists of eleven faculties with over 130 individual departments. In addition, the university maintains the Zwijnaarde science park and Greenbridge science park.
Standing on the Blandijnberg, the Boekentoren houses the Ghent University Library, which contains nearly 3 million volumes. The university library has joined the Google Books Library Project. Among other notable collections, it preserves Papyrus 30, an early manuscript of the Greek New Testament.
The university is also a partner in the development of De Krook, the new public library and media center in the center of Ghent, opened in 2017.
|Global – Overall|
|ARWU World||66 (2020)|
|CWUR World||118 (2020-21)|
|CWTS World||75 (2020)|
|QS World||=135 (2021)|
|Reuters World||98 (2019)|
|THE World||=96 (2022)|
|USNWR Global||85 (2021)|
|National – Overall|
|ARWU National||1 (2020)|
|CWTS National||2 (2020)|
|CWUR National||2 (2020-21)|
|QS National||2 (2021)|
|THE National||2 (2021)|
|USNWR National||2 (2021)|
Ghent University consistently ranks among the top 100 universities in the world, alongside the Catholic University of Leuven. In 2017, it was ranked, globally, 69th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (or Shanghai ranking) and 125th by QS World University Rankings. For 2021, Ghent University has been ranked, worldwide, 85th by U.S. News & World Report and 96th by Times Higher Education. The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration has also been awarded with an international Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation.
The university maintains many partnerships within Belgium, across Europe, and throughout the world.
Inside Belgium, Ghent University supports the Belgian Co-ordinated Collections of Micro-organisms and the Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie.
Within Europe, it is a member of the Santander Network, the Enlight (previously the U4) Network, and the 3i University Network. It also participates in the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research. In addition, the university cooperates with numerous universities for the Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programs; within the framework of the latter, it heads the International Master of Science in Rural Development and the International Master of Science in Soils and Global Change (IMSOGLO).
Beyond Europe, Ghent University conducts exchange programs on all six continents. Frameworks include its campus in South Korea and its 3C Partnership.
Ghent University has been instrumental in the development of COinS and Unipept.
The Technicum, or Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Bioengineering
The Blandijn houses the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy
UGent Campus in Kortrijk
Faculty of Psychology
Library of the department of Architecture and Urbanism
Library of the Humanities Faculty
Museum of Zoology
Institute for Anatomy
Faculty of Arts
Johan Rudolf Thorbecke, statesman
Henri Pirenne, historian
George de Hevesy, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry
Maurice Maeterlinck, Nobel Prize winner in Literature
Corneel Heymans, Nobel Prize winner in Medicine
Marguerite Legot, first female government minister in Belgium
Yaakov Dori, president of the Technion, Haifa
Suzanne Lilar, feminist writer
Jozef Schell (right), molecular biologist
Marc van Montagu, molecular biologist
Robert Cailliau, co-inventor of the World Wide Web
Guy Verhofstadt, politician
Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, jurist and diplomat
Hélène Mallebrancke (1902-1940) Civil engineer and Belgian Resistance member in Second World War