|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.
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.
Located in Flanders, Ghent 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.
An avowedly research-driven and socially minded university, UGent consistently rates among the top 100 universities in the world. It is one of the greatest beneficiaries of funding from the Flemish research council. It was also among the Top 30 recipients of major research grants awarded by the European Research Council under the funding framework Horizon 2020 (2014–2020).
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, the occupying German administration conducted Flamenpolitik and turned Ghent University into the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium. A Flemish Institute (Vlaemsche Hoogeschool), commonly known as Von Bissing University, was founded in 1916 but was disestablished after the war and French language was fully reinstated. 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 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 and, alongside the Catholic University of Leuven, the best in Belgium. 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 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.