Seminar on societal impact of university cooperation with the Global South

For whom
Employees , Students , Alumni
17-12-2021 from 13:00 to 17:00
Zaal Vermeylen, Pand, Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent
ASEANplus Platform

This seminar will provide guidelines and feature real-life examples on how to achieve and measure societal impact with university development cooperation.


An important goal of both education and research is achieving societal impact. Across the world we are seeing a clear trend whereby societal value creation (the process which may lead to impact) is no longer an add-on or happy by-product of academic activities but consciously integrated into the way research is undertaken. It is also increasingly put forward as an intrinsic motivator of collaboration with the Global South, and, by extension, of internationalisation. But trends and mindsets are one thing. Actually fostering a common understanding, embedding and planning for societal impact remains a challenge.

This seminar will:

  • ·provide a much needed contextual and methodological backdrop to societal impact with reference to collaboration with partners in the Global South;
  • highlight good practices from Ghent University and Francophone colleagues, both on a strategic as on a project level;
  • offer a forum to discuss experiences, challenges and possible pitfalls.


  • Esther De Smet (Senior Policy Advisor UGent Research Department) will expand your understanding about the processes underlying impact and elaborate on the societal impact strategy of Ghent University
  • Olivier Degomme (Team leader Societal outreach Department of Public Health and Primary Care) will highlight how his team facilitates and ensures achieving impact in the various international activities of the faculty
  • NN (Conflict and Development Studies)
  • Steven Schoofs (VLIR-UOS, Global Minds Programme manager) will elaborate on what ‘impact’ signifies for VLIR-UOS and how it wishes to achieve it via its new five-year programme
  • Jean-Michel Pochet and Vincent Slypen (resp. Director General and Facilitator UNI4COOP) will outline the remarkable concept of our Francophone sister-universities where universities have established ‘spin-off’ NGO’s that subsequently are integrated in projects with the Global South.
  • Best practice examples of projects with societal impact:
    • Dr Nguyen Minh Tam & Dr Nguyen Thi Hoa (Hué University of Medicine) will tell how the VLIR-IUC project with Hué University has paved the way to the reform of the primary health care system in Vietnam

CoVid rules permitting, the seminar will be followed by a reception with networking opportunity from 17-18h. 

Register for this seminar