2023: Ghent University in 12 images

18 December 2023 |

A lot happened in 2023. Also at Ghent University. We selected a few moments out of all the unique events to tell the story of the past year.

JANUARY: Professor on an impressive list together with Edison and Einstein

Dominique Van Der Straeten

The impressive list of AAAS fellows includes names such as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King and, since 2023, also Dominique Van Der Straeten. “I am extremely honored with this award. But that is a credit to my entire research group. A scientist never does his work alone,” she says.

Read the interview with Dominique Van Der Straeten: 

FEBRUARY: Head of Europol is Ghent University alumni of the year

    Catherine De Bolle

    Catherine De Bolle: “I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the news. Recognition is always nice and if it comes from your alma mater, that is extra nice. I am very proud of Ghent University, a university that plays an international role. The bond with the university is still strong, because I have a lot of contact with academics.”

    Read the interview with Catherine De Bolle: 

    MARCH: First alumni day at Ghent University


    Take a trip down memory lane to your old campus, discover new Ghent University buildings, follow a class with your favorite professor or taste the famous spaghetti from De Brug. All this and more is on the program of the very first Alumni Day.

    Read more about alumni at Ghent University:

    APRIL: Student club Moeder Theepot celebrates 10th anniversary

    Moeder Theepot

    Student life is not just about drinking alcohol. Moeder Theepot was founded by 4 students who prefer tea parties an alternative to the traditional cantus. Ten years later they have almost 300 members.

    Read more about student life in Ghent:

    MAY: Student entrepreneur Emilio wins Gentrepreneur audience award


    The final of the Gentrepreneur Awards, an initiative to stimulate entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurship among students, took place in May. Emilio Van Der Linden, student at the faculty of Economics and Business, won the audience award. With his company Rebin he strives for efficient waste management by making waste bins smart.

    Read more about entrepreneurship at Ghent University:

    JUNE: Record number of popular stink plants in bloom


    Three Giant Arum lilies exceptionally bloomed in our botanical garden. The simultaneous blooming of three of these flowers has never happened in our greenhouses.

    JULY: Helena is elected student of the year 2023

    Helena Van Tichelen

    Bioscience engineering student Helena Van Tichelen has been elected Student of the Year 2023 by the city of Ghent for her role as climate ambassador. Helena: “Many know what this theme is about, but this is such a large-scale problem that we can all still learn from each other.”

    Read the interview with Helena after COP27:

    AUGUST: English literature becomes world news thanks to Taylor Swift

    Elly McCausland

    This summer it was hard to miss: at Ghent University you would soon be able to take a “Taylor Swift-class”. A storm of reactions blew up, the crackle could be heard all the way to the United States. In the eye of the storm: professor Elly McCausland and her elective course Literature (Taylor’s version). “It was a lot, but I’ve grown quite a thick skin.”

    Read Elly McCausland's reflection on her year:

    SEPTEMBER: Students invited by the King

    Two years ago, Jarne and Oshin founded Epione, a chat line for and by students. Their initiative to improve the mental well-being of students is now even on the radar of the Royal Family.

    Read the interview with Jarne and Oshin: 

    OCTOBER: Researchers are exploring an alternative to painful mammography

    Hannelore Denys en An Hendrix

    October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Researchers worldwide are looking for innovative detection and treatment methods. This includes experimental oncologist An Hendrix and medical oncologist Hannelore Denys, two top researchers from Ghent who are passionate about making a difference every day.

    Read the interview with An Hendrix and Hannelore Denys:

    NOVEMBER: Painted map becomes Flemish masterpiece thanks to Ghent University archaeologist


    Archaeologist Jan Trachet went looking for the secrets of a map of the Bruges Vrije (1571) painted by Pieter Pourbus. With success, because in November the map was added to the Flemish Top Pieces List: “For years, the map was treated somewhat neglectful.”

    DECEMBER: Preview of Lichtfestival Gent


    Our Aula shines a little more in December. The columns have been given a striking covering by the Spanish artist SpY as a preview of the 2024 Lichtfestival. The lights at the Aula will be on until January 7.

    Read more about light: