International facts and figures

International students

Each year more and more international students choose Ghent University for their study. More than 4150 foreign students, including exchange students, studied at Ghent University during academic year 2013-2014, 58% originating from EU countries; 42% from non-EU countries

The top 5 of European countries of origin are the Netherland, Spain, Germany, Italy and Poland (owing to intensive Erasmus Exchange programmes and intake from Belgium's neighbouring countries). The non-EU countries are represented by a strong contingency from Asia: People's Republic of China, Iran, India and Vietnam. African students are predominantly from Ethiopia and Cameroon. Overseas students mainly come from Brasil, USA, Columbia, Ecuador and Mexico.


FacultyTotal Studentsnon-Belgian students
Arts and Philosophy 5103 8%
Law and Criminology 3881 6%
Sciences 2942 21%
Medicine and Health Sciences 7005 4%
Engineering and Architecture 4793 12%
Economics and Business Administration 5625 5%
Veterinary Medicine
1881 29%
Psychology and Educational Sciences 4562 5%
Bioscience Engineering
2799 28%
Pharmaceutical Sciences 1051 4%
Political and Social Sciences 2237 7%
Total 41.879 10%

Receiving the bulk of foreign students are the faculties of Science, Engineering and Bioscience Engineering: their international courses, including the Erasmus Mundus joint programmes and the Development Cooperation course programmes, attract large numbers of international students.

The high number of international students for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is due to intense 'border traffic': many Dutch and German students try to avoid their countries' numerus fixus in veterinary medicine studies.

Not all international students are degree seeking students. More than 1.150 students stay at Ghent University in the framework of an exchange programme. Without doubt the Erasmus programme is the most popular of all.

Erasmus Exchange Programme

The Erasmus Exchange Programme is the most widely known programme for student and lecturer mobility in Europe and has been instituted at Ghent University since 1987.

During the academic year 2013-2014 more than 850 Ghent University students spent part of their study abroad in the framework of Erasmus (out of a total of 1.150 outgoing exchange students). The most prominent destinations are Spain, France, Italy and Germany.

Every year Ghent University welcomes scores of exchange students.  In 2013-2104 more than 700 European exchange students chose Ghent University for part of their study. Of these students the majority originated from Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland and France.


In 2014 Ghent University boasted about 3.635 PhD students of whom 37 % had a non-Belgian nationality.

Our foreign PhD students are mostly active in the exact sciences: Sciences, Engineering and Bioscience Engineering are the dominant faculties. They generally originate from People's Republic of China, the Netherlands, India, Iran and Vietnam.

International employees

Ghent University employs around 8.500 people (31-12-2013). Up to 12% of this number is of a non-Belgian nationality.

While there are few international tenured staff members (mostly of Dutch or German descent), a considerable number of contracted researchers have a foreign nationality. Once again Europe (Germany, Poland, Italy) and Asia (India, Iran, PR China) come out on top.


What do rankings mean? How does Ghent University perform? Further reading...