Privacy at Ghent University

Ghent University processes personal data of more than 9,000 staff members, 42,000 students, various alumni, external partners, visitors or other groups involved in the education, scientific research, quality assurance and business operations provided by Ghent University.

At Ghent University this data is handled in a careful and responsible way to safeguard the personal data and information of all data subjects concerned.

Your personal data is protected

Ghent University takes the protection of privacy very seriously. That is why the Executive Council of Ghent University approved the Generic Code of Conduct for the processing of personal data and confidential information on 18 May 2018.

With this Generic Code of Conduct Ghent University ratifies its General Data Protection Policy. Central to this is the security, accuracy, care and responsibility of the processing of personal data and confidential information, in addition to ensuring compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Specific privacy information

For (prospective) students

In order to be able to fulfil its educational responsibilities and to provide high quality education to all students, Ghent University processes personal data of (prospective) students who wish to pursue a study programme or course of training at Ghent University, and who consequently register (online) or (pre-)register for the same.

These data are accurately and securely stored in a database of Ghent University. The attention of (prospective) students is drawn to this regulation at the time of registration, pre-registration and re-registration. They may always consult and change their personal privacy settings at any time using the web application available for this purpose.

For researchers

Researchers affiliated to Ghent University may collect, process, analyse and manage personal data in connection with conducting scientific research. This may involve sensitive data (e.g. medical data, ethnicity/race, data relating to personal or sexual life, etc.), according to the nature of the research.

The general principles that must also be respected in relation to scientific research have been laid down in the Generic Code of Conduct for the processing of personal data and confidential information in force within Ghent University.

Personal data within Ghent University-Research must always be handled in conformity with the broader policy of Research Data Management. A focus in this policy is to ensure the collection, management and storage of research data in an ethical manner and with the requisite quality.

For alumni

As a former student of Ghent University you are one of our most important ambassadors, and we hope that you have taken the trouble to register yourself in the Ghent University alumni database.

Your data will only be used in connection with alumni associations relating to data and membership management, sending the alumni newsletter and other faculty or study programme-related applications.

As Ghent University alumni, you may always consult your data and privacy preferences and even modify the same if necessary, using your own registration/login.

For contributors

Just like your support, your personal data as a contributor are also close to the heart of Ghent University.

The personal data of (potential) contributors and sympathisers are stored and processed by Ghent University in order to enable their close monitoring, registration, and for the purpose of issuing a tax certificate (proof of payment issued as per Section 145³³, § 1(2), of the Income Tax Code 1992).

Ghent University processes the following categories of personal data

  • Identification data such as surname, first name, address, date of birth
  • Financial data such as the account number and the donation amount
  • Contact details such as e-mail address

These personal data are processed to enable the issue of tax certificates and to promote the legitimate interests of Ghent University. This is done by creating and optimising a relational bond and a university community, in order thereby to contribute to the social relevance of donations for research and education.

The personal data of the contributors are not disclosed to third parties (except to government agencies for legal or fiscal reasons).

The explicit consent of the concerned contributors shall be taken before making any public disclosure of a contributor’s personal data (e.g. to express gratitude on Ghent University website).


In most cases, Ghent University, legally represented by its rector, bears ultimate responsibility for the processing of personal data at Ghent University.

Ghent University has therefore appointed a Data Protection Officer who coordinates the further development and implementation of Ghent University’s policy on the processing and protection of personal data and confidential information. 

Data Protection Officer

Please contact the Data Protection Officer in case you have any questions, comments or suggestions concerning the various rights and obligations relating to privacy, or if you believe that Ghent University is processing your personal data wrongfully and/or improperly:

Hanne Elsen
Department of Administrative Affairs
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Ghent

Additional information

Ghent University may request additional information in order to assess the well-foundedness of such a request or to verify the identity of a person making the same.

Ghent University reserves the right not to comply with such requests, provided it states the grounds for the same. This may apply, for example, if such a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive in nature.


If, after processing a request or complaint, you believe that insufficient action has been taken, you may contact the Flemish Supervisor using the following details:

Flemish Supervisory Committee for the processing of personal data
Koning Albert II-laan 15
1210 Brussels
Telephone: +32 (0)2 553 50 47