2020-2021 academic year: guide to an exceptional start to the year at Ghent University

UGent on/off

Partly online, partly offline. Sometimes on campus, sometimes off campus. The most important thing, wherever we are, is to stay connected.

We will get through this difficult period together. So hang in there, and get ready for a SUCCESSFUL academic year with classes on campus and an active student life!

Ghent University has made some specific choices related to teaching so that the academic year can run smoothly and safely. We are well-prepared and we can make changes quickly and flexibly if necessary.

We will start the academic year in code orange.

Teaching in the 2020-2021 academic year

Colour codes

Ghent University is committed to ensuring your safety on campus. We are following the guidelines set out in the 'pandemic response matrix' from the Flemish government, The matrix sets out different "pandemic levels' (green, yellow, orange, red). The four pandemic levels are linked to a set of safety measures for on-campus teaching, with particular rules related to room occupancy, ventilation and the wearing of face masks, in addition to other more general measures to ensure classes will happen as smoothly and safely as possible.


We are starting the current academic year in code orange.

  • Lessons in large auditoria take place with an occupancy rate of 1/5 with mouth mask.
  • Education in small groups (50 persons or less) can, however, continue with an occupancy rate of 1/2 with mouth mask or 1/5 without mouth mask.
  • Lab exercises and practica can take place with an occupancy rate of 1/1 with mouth mask.
  • Activities in Study-OOs or at work and study places (50 persons or less) are organized in such a way that a distance of 1.5 meters is guaranteed, so that wearing mouth masks is not necessary.


In 2020-21, Ghent University will focus entirely on blended learning through Blend@UGent: a well-thought-out and carefully coordinated mix of online learning with on-campus teaching. As a student, you will actively engage with the learning content, both individually as well as by interacting with each other and with the teachers.

Within each study programme, your teachers have worked together to provide the optimal mix of on-campus and online education based on the current safety guidelines. If and when these guidelines change during the academic year, the plans are flexible so it's possible to make adjustments to the campus/online ratio. This may result in more on-campus opportunities, but may also lead to more sessions going online at other times.

Study-OOs for new students

Students who are coming to Ghent University for the first time will get particular care and some special arrangements. Those in the first bachelor year will be divided into smaller study groups and each study group will get its own StudyCoach, a personal tutor and mentor who can help students find their way and answer any questions.

For students on courses which don't have many practice sessions, Ghent University is setting up permanent areas where you can go with your study groups, called "Study-OO" (Study Online On Campus). These are areas where first bachelor students can follow interactive lessons together online, and collaborate on assignments, exercises, and preparations. They can also get coaching there and some groups will have practice sessions or exercises.

Additional work and study places

Our main goal when planning classes this academic year is to find ways to create a community, promote interaction and social contact between students, and to provide structure.
To achieve this, we will be using most or all of the available spaces at Ghent University which can serve as work and study places. In this way we will expand the capacity of the university, so you can be present on campus as much as possible while still respecting the rules for physical distancing.
All faculty libraries and the Book Tower are also open again.

More info: Extra work and study places

You'll need a laptop

For most courses, a basic, well-functioning laptop is sufficient. Some courses require a more advanced computer – if you are a student on such a course you will get further information about this.

Ghent University has various options for student finance through the social service (In Dutch - 'sociale dienst'). Be sure to take a moment to read about these options.

Are you considering buying a new laptop at Ghent University? On this page you can find some guidelines and tips: Bring Your Own Device


Check this page for more information regarding COVID19-measures for international students coming to Ghent University.

Corona Guidelines for Students

Voorkom besmetting

Student life

Will there be a student life? Yes! We want to give all students plenty of opportunities for life outside the classroom, in collaboration with the student organisations and our own facilities.

Student restaurants

As of 7 September, a number of restaurants have reopened, with a more limited menu on offer, and for take-away only. For the first semester at least, the dining rooms will remain closed for meals, and will be used instead as work and study spaces. Payment is by card only, and if possible you should pay with your Ghent University card; you can use epurse to quickly and securely charge money to your card. Another change is that you can now order food via an online form for collection the same day at a chosen pick-up time and place.

More info and updates: Student restaurants

Student homes

The Ghent University halls ('studentenhomes') are all open.

Within each home, each floor (with a shared bathroom and kitchen) will now count as one bubble. Within the bubble you can walk around without a mask and you can organise joint activities there. It is not allowed to organise larger activities for the whole home. In addition, arrangements will also made for using the common areas in the homes and the rules for having visitors are stricter: any visitors must stay in your room.

More info and updates: Student homes and private accommodation ('op kot')

Sports facilities

The GUSB (university sports centre) and the university pool remain open. Everyone must wear a face mask in the common areas (entrance hall, stairs, corridors,...)

  • The pool is following the regular opening hours; it is not possible to make a reservation.
  • The gyms and tennis courts are accessible on weekdays after the classes related to official study programmes are over. On weekends, normal opening hours apply. You do still have to make a reservation if you want to use the gyms.

More info and updates: Sports facilities

Student associations and activities

Ghent University is very aware of what is happening outside the university. Therefore as we are preparing the coming academic year, we are working closely with the city, police forces and student associations. For example, we have established a committee for student activities which will evaluate and approve or reject applications from student circles ('kringen') and other recognised student associations to organise specific activities. Decisions will be based on the relevant current government or city measures and the rules about hygiene and social distance, with a focus on preventing or limiting activities that happen in closed spaces.

More info and updates: Student associations and activities

Ghent and Kortrijk

As a Ghent University student, you are also part of the city of Ghent and/or Kortrijk where you have to follow certain measures as a student.


Student loans

Ghent University has various options for student finance. Depending on your situation, this can range from interest-free short- or long-term loans to financial grants that you don't have to repay. It may also be possible to get an advance on your study allowance from the Flemish Government and on scholarships for international exchange programmes.

Check out the options for student finance at the 'sociale dienst', or Social Service (In Dutch).

Student jobs

Are you looking for a student job to help pay for your studies, your living expenses or have some spending money? Then register with our Job Service. And also check out your rights and responsibilities as a 'job student', so that you are well-prepared to enter the student job market!

Physical and mental well-being at Ghent University

Being a student is not always a party: sometimes you have a lot on your mind or it's difficult to find your way. Please know that for every issue – no matter how small or 'unimportant' it may seem – you can get help! So don't just keep things to yourself.

Practical information for a smooth start

The sites below offer reliable information about all aspects of student life aside from Coronavirus rules.

Questions? Comments?

  • Do you still have questions that aren't answered in this document? Let us know, and we'll try to add your question:
  • For specific questions about your course, you can always contact the student representatives. They are the best point of contact for any questions, queries, feedback or help when things go wrong.
    In this list you will find details about the chair of your study programme committee (a professor) and also the student representatives from last academic year. This list will be updated as soon as the academic year starts and the new student representatives are appointed.