Prof. Dr. Ir. Danny Geelen

Dare to think

Ghent University

Ranked among the world's top 100 universities, and Europe's top 30, Ghent University (UGent) is a creative academic and research community producing wide social and economic value for its stakeholders.  Across its 11 faculties and five doctoral schools, UGent has nearly 10,000 academics and researchers and a total of 41,000 students.
The University has an exceptionally strong science base.  It operates two science parks and seven business incubators demonstrating its strong commitment to business and entrepreneurship. 


Ghent University is a world-ranking academic institution.  It is located in the city of Ghent, regarded as one of the most beautiful in northern Europe.  The city, 1500 years old, sits at the confluence of the Scheldt and Leie rivers and has been an important industry and port centre since the Middle Ages. It was once the largest city in Europe after Paris. With excellent rail, road and air infrastructure, UGent is the principal academic centre in one of Europe's premier economic clusters and is well placed in terms of access to Europe's other major industry, agriculture, logistics and science clusters.

UGent is a large university with a strong research culture, spending about €410m on research each year, a fifth is sourced of which from the private sector.  It has connections all over the world through its students and diverse academic partnerships. For example, UGent's International Centre for Eremology hosts the UNESCO Chair on Eremology, researching soil degradation and desertification in dryland regions all over the world.The University is strongly committed to generating societal and economic benefit, and has extensive working links with business. At the end of 2012 the patent portfolio of Ghent University Association (UGent and local academic partners) had co-ownership of 337 active patent families.  In 2012, 5 new spin-offs were established while 19 license agreements and 552 new research agreements were concluded with industry.

The academic profile of UGent is broad, but it has particular strengths in science, technology, bioengineering and mathematics. Its academics and researchers have played notable roles in many fields, not least in life sciences. Walter Fiers was the first to establish the complete nucleotide sequence of a gene (1972) and of a viral genome (1976). Jozef Schell and Mark Van Montagu are known as the founders of modern agricultural biotechnology, and Van Montagu was a co-recipient of the World Food Prize in 2013.