External collaboration

External Education Policy Implementation and Co-operation: Basic Principles

Ghent University plays an active part in a local, Flemish, European and international community. It goes without saying that this has an impact on our general education policy. On all these levels, we establish relationships with the wider education world, intermediary organizations, alumni and employers, various government bodies and other networks.

By means of this (inter)national co-operation:

  • we create premium-quality, socially relevant and rational education that is up to par with international standards. A regular benchmark exercise – the so-called external perspective - incites continuous reflection, and increases the social impact of the education we offer. We avail ourselves of national and international co-operation to support our university-wide education vision;
  • we strengthen our own strategic position in terms of education. An “external perpective” benchmark strengthens both our education offer, its contents and its quality assurance. After all, by means of internationalization:
    • we give our students and teaching staff the opportunity for international talent development;
    • we put multiperspectivism into education practice;
    • we embed international and intercultural competencies into our study programmes.
  • we obtain up-to-date information on how regulations in the various education-related policy domains evolve;
  • we submit our own proposals of policy change. In doing so, we want to weigh in on decision-making processes when it comes to the implementation of certain regulations, and to make interuniversity agreements about it.

External Education Policy Implementation and Co-operation: the Actors

At Ghent University, we collaborate with relevant national and international partners at a local, Flemish, European and international level.

Local and Flemish

  • Ghent University is part of the Ghent University Association;
  • Ghent University collaborates with the City of Ghent and the city’s education sector;
  • Ghent University collaborates with the Province of East Flanders;
  • Ghent University is part of networks such as LNO2 and the broad healthcare network;
  • Ghent University, the University of Antwerp and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are part of a special partnership, specifically with regard to lifelong learning. It focuses on:
    • a joint communication platform ‘lifelong learning’;
    • a joint policy on lifelong learning, for e.g. on micro-credentials;
    • systematic consultation on the positioning of, and adoption of positions in, higher education;
    • agreements on complementarity and regional distribution of their current, non-joint education offer;
  • through umbrella organizations such as the Flemish Education Council (VLOR), the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) and the Flemish Higher Education Council (VLUHR), Ghent University collaborates with a network of secondary schools and the Flemish school network organizations;
  • Ghent University collaborates with the Flemish Government, in particular the Department of Education and Training, and the Cabinet for Education, as well as all other government departments, ministries and cabinets with a bearing on education policy;
  • at Ghent University, we are further expanding our national (and international) alumni activities by means of (among other things) the Infinitum platform.

The various collaboration forums mentioned above are monitored at university level. In addition, faculties monitor education-related matters through personal connections.

European and International

  • Ghent University collaborates with the European Commission, and EACEA in particular.
  • Ghent University plays an active part in relevant international organizations, including:
  • Ghent University plays an active part in academic diplomacy together with such other stakeholders as the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs and diplomatic posts of Belgium and Flanders, and of foreign states in Belgium;
  • Ghent University is further expanding its (national and) international alumni activities by means of (among other things) the Infinitum-platform;
  • Ghent University focuses on specific and premium-quality collaboration models:
    • project-based international co-operation through the European education programme Erasmus+, international education programmes of the Flemish Community, or other external funding organizations;
    • bilateral education co-operation with partner universities from all over the world. This cooperation primarily focuses on student and staff exchange formalized in bilateral agreements. The responsibility for putting together a premium-quality partner portfolio rests with the Programme Committees;
  • Ghent University focuses on priority regions and partner institutions:
  • Ghent University is committed to maximum education-related data exchange with various stakeholders, such as government services/official bodies and partner institutions worldwide. By playing an active role in international projects such as Erasmus without paper, we actively contribute to the digitization of education processes.
  • Ghent University has the special ambition to expand the strategic network of nine universities, ENLIGHT, into a strong University System that should make our education future-proof and in line with the developments towards a European Degree.

The various collaboration forums mentioned above are monitored at university level. In addition, faculties monitor education-related matters through personal connections.