The new academic year at Ghent University

(19-06-2020) For next year, Ghent University fully opts for maximum on campus activities, says rector Rik Van de Walle.

Our students and prospective students woke up this morning with headlines saying ‘they will hardly be able to go to class next year'. I want to reassure them: that message is not correct and even the complete opposite of the plan we are working on at Ghent University.

For next year, we fully opt for maximum on campus activities. At Ghent University, we are currently laying out the biggest location puzzle ever: we are gathering information on a large number of locations both inside and outside the university. Students will be able to get together at these locations, take live or online classes, attend working classes, work on projects and, above all, meet and interact with teachers and fellow students.

Many students will be able to experience this from day one of the next academic year. Ghent University wants to welcome as many students as possible on campus and give everyone the education they deserve. In doing so, we pay special attention to first-year students, who will, after all, find themselves in a completely new environment and educational system.

The student residences of Ghent University will reopen and student life will flourish. Ghent is slowly waking up again after a long lockdown. I am confident that, from the next academic year onwards, a vibrant student life will once again be possible.

Ghent University dares to question its operation, its education, its research and its social services. We dare to reinvent ourselves. Corona has forced us to be even more creative than normal. We readily took up the challenge to not let go of current and future students. To them we say loud and clear: you will be welcome, also on campus.

Ghent University takes communicating honestly and transparently with its staff, current and potential students as well as their parents very seriously. Next year will be another unusual academic year. Uncertainties still exist, but one thing is certain: next year will not be like the past couple of months at all. We will meet each other, on campus, and there will be many of us.

Rik Van de Walle