Ghent University (Dutch: Universiteit Gent, abbreviated as UGent) is a Dutch-speaking public university located in Ghent, Belgium. It is one of the larger Flemish universities, consisting of 32,000 students and 7,100 staff members. The current rector is Paul Van Cauwenberge.
It was established in 1817 by King William I of the Netherlands. After the Belgian revolution of 1830, it was administered by the newly-formed Belgian state. French became the academic language until 1930, when Ghent University became the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium. In 1991, the university was granted major autonomy and changed its name from State University of Ghent (Dutch: Rijksuniversiteit Gent , abbreviated as RUG) to its current name.
Health and safety at UGent
The staff of the Health & Safety support services provide a central resource for health and safety to complement and support the work of safety officers in the Universitys academic departments. Together they ensure that the University is a safe and healthy place to work, study or visit.
Our specialist safety advisers work alongside external authorities. They also run a comprehensive programme of internal inspections, including environmental monitoring, chemical monitoring and noise surveys. The team also delivers training courses and produces guidance documents on a wide range of topics to ensure that all University staff are equipped to deliver best practice in health and safety.
Ghent University boasts a fully-equipped sports centre ("GUSB"), with three large and two small halls for indoor activities, a 25-meter swimming pool, an instruction pool, two saunas, two football fields, and more! Special attention is devoted to sports for disabled students. The university also offers individual supporting services and counselling for students who are actively involved in top-class sports.
Some of the sports that can be pursued are: aerobics, aikido, condition gym, badminton, basketball, bujinkan bujutsu, cross-country running, diving, BBB, football, handball, hockey, horse riding, jazz-dance, jogging in group, judo, karate, kayaking, korfball, Latino moves, mini-football and five-a-side football, Body&Mind, rugby, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water polo, yoga, etc.
Info Child care
Combining your studies or employment with family life is not an easy task. If you have small children, you have the additional worry of finding the best possible child care. There are long waiting lists everywhere, particularly for babies. Ghent University offers its students and personnel child care options for children aged 0 to 3.
The Housing Department rents out its own rooms, studios and flats.
Cosy, well-equipped and safe accommodation can help to make your stay in Ghent more enjoyable.
It also informs and advises about the private housing market.
Here you can find information on the variety of accommodation the university has to offer, whether you are an exchange, a degree or a PhD student, or working at UGent. The Housing Department predominately caters for students. It provides limited accommodation for international guests.
At first, Flemish people appear to be modest and introvert. Initially, most of them do not make contact easily with people they do not know. From the moment they get to know you, however, they become very sociable. Never hesitate to start a conversation, the Flemish are helpful and friendly, especially if you try to talk their language. If people hear that you do not speak Dutch that well they will switch to French, English, German or another language to help you.
Flemish people are mostly open-minded. Nevertheless, people may be offended when young people are violent, make a lot of noise, behave dangerously,... On buses, trains and trams people talk softly and it is polite for young people to give their seat to the elderly, handicapped or pregnant. Leaving rubbish or littering is not done!
No discrimination allowed
As in many other parts of the world, the traditional image of women has changed. Women have achieved equal rights and have the same professional status as men. They are emancipated, self-confident and do not allow themselves to be dominated. Opinions of both men and women are equally respected and accepted.
Since the 1960s, both men and women can take initiative when it comes to getting to know someone. But take care - even serious flirting might not turn into a major love affair. If one of the parties concerned does not want to take it any further (yet), the other party will have to accept this.
Since the 1990s, homosexuals openly express their sexual preference and the topic is no longer taboo in Belgium and Flanders. Gay and lesbian people are allowed to marry and to adopt children. Two men or two women walking hand in hand and kissing in the street is considered as normal, just as if it were a heterosexual couple. Violence and discrimination against men, women, gay, lesbian and transgender people is a serious criminal offence which will be prosecuted.
In Flanders, several cultures coexist peacefully. The Turkish, African, Moroccan and Asian minorities are considered to be a cultural aspect that enriches the Flemish culture. Mutual respect is very important in a multicultural society. Racism, violence and discrimination against migrants is a crime that will be prosecuted.
Belgium has gradually implemented a widespread smoking ban. You are not allowed to smoke
It is also illegal to sell smoking accessories to children under the age of 16.
You will soon find the shops you need for everyday purchases such as groceries, household articles, stationery, newspapers etc. in your neighbourhood. The big supermarkets are often cheaper but not always centrally located. You may need a car for major purchases or big shopping expeditions.
In many towns shops have gradually established themselves offering special groceries and ingredients from other cultures and countries. Also in Ghent:
Shops are usually open between 10am and 18pm, Monday to Saturday. Local grocers and especially the baker's may be open on Sundays and closed on a weekday instead. Some (smaller) stores close for lunch. If you are in urgent need of something when shops have already closed, you may find what you need in one of the several night shops.
Apart from the weekly market days, the specialised markets are certainly worth a visit: the flea market, the flower market, the art market, the vegetable market, the bird market, the Christmas market, etc.
You can buy second-hand goods at very reasonable prices at your local Kringloop-winkel.
These Kringwinkels sell original, cheap and solid second-hand stuff at very keen prices. Furniture, cooking utensils, decoration materials, clothing, bicycles, ... Every day, Kringwinkels collect new goods which guarantees a constantly changing offer. Moreover, the goods are conveniently exposed and arranged according to product group.
Clothing, electronics etc.
Ghent is an ideal city for window-shopping. There is a wide range of big and small shops and the city centre is a pedestrian area.
Since prices and quality vary considerably from one shop to another, it is advisable to compare carefully.
Bargains can be found at summer and winter sales (July and January), offering goods from the outgoing season at reduced prices.
You can exchange most purchases - with the exception of special offers - within 14 days if the goods have not been used and if you can produce the receipt.
With major purchases, such as electrical appliances, you can return faulty goods up to several months after the date of purchase. Nowadays, the guarantee is often valid for 2 years. The terms of the guarantee are specified on a guarantee card supplied with the article. There are firms who insist you bring the original packaging when goods are returned to the shop or exchanged.
It is advisable to enquire prior to making a purchase about conditions of sale and exchange terms.
Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master at Ghent University!