"Housing different faculties in the same building is a huge advantage"

Jan Van Bocxlaer

Jan Van Bocxlaer, dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences about the new building on Heymans Campus for the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicine and Health Sciences faculties.

“In early January, we finally moved into this brand-new building. For the past four years, I’ve been very intensely involved in the construction process, from considering how we could best tune it to our needs, to deciding where the sockets should go. As a result, I have a very close connection to this building.”

The day we moved in was very special for me, as I arrived at this campus exactly forty years ago as a brand-new student. In all this time, the classrooms had remained unchanged, including the science labs that were created as a temporary solution to the lack of space. In the meantime, the whole infrastructure had aged considerably and we were facing a capacity problem. When I started my undergraduate degree here, just 80 students graduated each year. This year, more than 300 students are registered.

The building is on our campus and houses science labs and research groups from both our faculty and from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. It is also home to DoCoLab – Ghent University’s WADA-approved (World Anti-Doping Agency) doping control laboratory. Their approach dovetails seamlessly with ours, and we’re also on the same wavelength in terms of content. I think that housing different faculties in the same building is a huge advantage. To me, this is the future: we’re slowly moving away from the idea of separate campuses that are individual islands.

The whole campus now looks far more inviting. Not only architecturally, but also in terms of landscaping. We took advantage of the opportunity to green up the campus. Everything is in full bloom at the moment, which makes it an attractive and inviting place to spend time in. People go outside to enjoy the greenery, and while they’re there they might have a chat with colleagues. This can only be a good thing for education and research, as well as for the wellbeing of all the staff.”

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2021: Ghent University in 12 images