University-wide policy choices

In the coming years, Ghent University is focusing on six specific challenges. These six topics were suggested by the Ghent University community and are therefore close to our heart. As a result, we tackle these issues together with the staff, alumni and policy makers within and outside of the university ... as well as, of course, with our students. For each challenge, a special commissioner has been appointed to support us in its accomplishment.

Social identity

In addition to providing education and conducting academic research, a university also plays a social role, for example, by initiating and nurturing public debate. The focus on its social identity is one of Ghent University’s policy choices because we wish to create more social value through academic research in the coming years.

For example, Ghent University aims to collaborate with social actors to conduct academic research that is socially relevant.

Special commissioner: Leo Hellemans - various directorial positions for many years at the VRT (Belgian public media broadcaster)


Ghent University is aware of the fact that the ever-increasing diversity in our society is not yet properly reflected in the lecture halls and workplaces at the university.

Many young people with a migration background are still not finding their way to the university. Similarly, school leavers with a lower socio-economic background often do not opt for a university education. As for students with a functional disability, the way that their guidance is being organized could probably be improved.

Ghent University is responding to diversity in an active and integral way. We continue to build on our mission statement, in which Ghent University presents itself as a socially committed and pluralistic university that is open to everyone regardless of their philosophical, political, cultural and social background.

Special commissioner: Khalid Benhaddou - Advisor diversity and imam

Alumni activities

Ghent University aims to increase the effectiveness of its national and international alumni policy. The faculties will become the centre of the national alumni policy, with each faculty further expanding the scope of its own alumni association(s).

The central alumni work group supports the faculties in this, while focusing on university-wide initiatives. Flemish alumni abroad and foreign alumni are united in international chapters.

Special commissioner: Emeritus Professor em. Kries Versluys - Former Director of the Department of Educational Policy at Ghent University


Ghent University aims to take the lead in sustainability issues and teach its students and staff how to deal with such issues. For example, the university wishes to integrate sustainable development more explicitly into the course catalogue so that students are ready to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Ghent University wishes to be a leading knowledge centre for a future which is ecologically, socially and economically sustainable, in a local and global context.

Special commissioners: Professor Arnold Janssens and Professor Thomas Block – Assistant Professor ‘Sustainability and Governance' in the Department of Political Sciences

Talent management

Finding, attracting, retaining and efficiently deploying talent is an important challenge nowadays. Attracting excellent staff and students requires initiatives to position Ghent University as an appealing environment where creativity is encouraged and excellence is awarded.

We will develop policies that actively support Ghent University staff in the development of their career, within or outside of the university.

Special commissioner: Professor Frederik Anseel - King's College Londen, professor Organisational Behaviour, Vice Dean Research and part-time professor at Ghent University

Active learning strategies

Interactive teaching, using technological teaching aids and breaking free from traditional ex-cathedra education are opportunities which may encourage students to activate their learning.

In the coming years, Ghent University is fully committed to developing suitable active teaching and learning activities, appropriate (continuous) evaluations and efficient forms of feedback in education.

Special commissioner: Professor Tammy Schellens – Department of Educational Studies