2021: Ghent University in 12 images

17 December 2021 |

2021 was, just like the year before, a year like no other. Take a look back at a selection of some of remarkable moments of last year at our university.


JANUARY: Ghent University pioneers new European University

Studenten met mondmasker

Ghent University is becoming more international than ever. In fact, the university will be part of ENLIGHT, a brand-new collaboration project, together with eight other European universities. This should make it easier to take courses abroad, conduct research across the borders and team up in tackling social challenges.

Read more:

FEBRUARY: Ghent University researchers become corona experts


Just like in 2020, the coronavirus continued to determine our lives this year. A lot of research into and around the virus is going on at Ghent University: the motivation barometer gauges behaviour around all measures, vaccines are tested, we chart the spread of the virus.

Read more:


MARCH: Inventor of the World Wide Web receives honorary doctorate

Tim Berners-Lee

On Dies Natalis, this year on 19 March, Ghent University awarded an institutional honorary doctorate to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, the HTTP protocol and HTML mark-up language for web pages, the ideas for which he had been developing at CERN since 1989. 

Read more:


APRIL: Students assisting at vaccination centre


Helping out with vaccinations is the new sought-after activity among students. More than 300 of them have signed up via 25 different student associations as volunteers for the vaccination centre at Flanders Expo.

Read more:


MAY: 'Penis plant' in bloom in the Ghent Botanical Garden


A Giant Arum (Latin name Amorphophallus titanum) is blooming in the greenhouses of the Ghent Botanical Garden. A popular event that is even followed online via live stream.


JUNE: faculty of Veterinary Medicine number one in the world


or the fifth consecutive year, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University has come first in the Shanghai ranking. This ranks faculties based on their scientific research.

Read more:


JULY: students, alumni and researchers present at Olympics

Anouk Geurts

Combining top-level sports with studying: it is not easy. But some Ghent University students do it successfully. This year, no less than 8 students from our university went to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The marathon participation of alumna Mieke Gorissen will also be remembered. And besides the sports participants, Ghent University's Doping Control Lab was also present at the Games.

Read more: 


AUGUST: Virtual reality brings medieval Zwin harbours back to life


Thanks to its many outer harbours in the Zwin channel, Bruges was once an international metropolis like London or Shanghai. New archaeological, historical and geological research now makes it possible to reconstruct that past in an unprecedented way. A bicycle route with VR viewers and an experience exhibition in the Zwin Nature Park bring the medieval Zwin harbours back to life.

Read more:


SEPTEMBER: traditional opening of the academic year

Opening academiejaar

This year, the academic year once again opened according to long-standing tradition: with a procession to the Aula where a formal sitting took place. In the new academic year, education at Ghent University could once again take place on campus.


OCTOBER: Belgian Cultural Festival at Ghent University Global Campus

Ghent University Global Campus

Ghent University Global Campus, our campus in South Korea, organised a festival for the second time to introduce Belgian culture to the public in Incheon. You can watch the highlights again on YouTube.

Read more: 


NOVEMBER: the 'Boekentoren' open again after a long renovation


De Boekentoren is opnieuw open na een lange renovatie. The Ghent University Boekentoren tower is a 64 metre high architectural masterpiece. But the tower is so much than just a monument. “It is a beacon of science, a fountain of knowledge for both researchers and students,” says head librarian Dries Moreels. Since November, monument lighting has also been provided in accordance with the City of Ghent's Lighting Plan.

Read more: 


DECEMBER: Street art for Amnesty International at Campus Sterre


We donated a wall of campus Sterre to a street art project to celebrate Amnesty International's 60th anniversary. Kitsune's work shows a letter-writing student, the candle and the yellow cover that refer to Amnesty's trademark: letters to set people free and the candle as a symbol of hope.