European Commission praises Ghent University for outstanding quality international masters

(26-06-2017) The International Master of Science In Fire Safety Engineering has been labelled a succes story by the European Commission - another recognition of Ghent University's high-level international education cooperation.

Since 2004, Ghent University has been involved in the organization of an increasing number of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMD). This intensive form of international high-level education cooperation is financially supported by the European Commission. Since 2014, this is happening in the Erasmus+ programme. Students attending an EMJMD, study in at least two different EU countries. Afterwards, they receive a joint diploma. Our university is involved in the organization of ten international master's programs with ongoing or past funding from Erasmus Mundus. 

In the case of the International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering (Faculty of Engineering and Architecture), the selection panel specifically assessed the quality, relevance and achievements of this program, coordinated by Ghent University professor Bart Merci. The alumni occupy leading positions worldwide, both in practice and in academia. The International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering is also available as a good practice example on the Erasmus+ Project Platform. 

Professor Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Academic Director of Internationalization, and since 2004 the driving force behind the International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD, Faculty of Bio-Engineering), will deliver the keynote speech at the annual international conference of Erasmus Mundus coordinators on 27 June, at the invitation of the European Commission. Particular attention will be paid to recent EU policy themes such as strengthening the link between the field of employment and education, and increasing employability in the graduate labor market. This invitation is also a sign of appreciation for Ghent University's efforts in this area.

That an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree should is not only for a selective company but can also reach larger groups of students, is proven by the International Master of Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea, Faculty of Science, Dr. Tim Deprez). No less than 102 students representing 33 nationalities will start in September at this course coordinated by Ghent University. It is the continuation of a programme that was previously financially supported by the European Commission. Last year, another EU selection as EMJMD was obtained with funding.

From academic year 2017-18, Ghent University also becomes a full-fledged partner institution of the Master of Arts in Global Studies (EMGS, professors Eric Vanhaute and Koen Vlassenroot). For the first time, the faculties of Arts and Philosophy and Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University become involved in the organization of an EMJMD. This training is one of the longest running EMJMDs and is coordinated with the Universität Leipzig. Like the Master in Fire Safety Engineering, the European Commission recently recognized it as a good practice example.

The model of EMJMDs is also influential beyond the context of the Erasmus+ programme: for example, Ghent University is also a partner in the organization of the International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management (SINREM, Faculty of Bio-Engineering, Prof. . Gijs Du Laing). This programme is organized under the auspices of the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) ‘Raw Materials’. In that way, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) provides a link between research, innovation and education in the raw materials sector.