2020-2021 academic year: guide to an exceptional 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.

Update 23/11/2020:

The Flemish government published an adapted pandemic matrix. 
From Monday 30 November onwards, we will organise our educational activities according to the modalities of code red.  All information about the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021 is described in the framework for teaching and assessment activities in the first semester of 2020-2021.

Update 8/12/2020:

Framework for education in the first 6 weeks of the second semester of the academic year 2020-2021.

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.

new framework has been developed for the education and the evaluations in the remaining part of the first semester of this academic year.


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.

Study areas

  • Students who need to do so can make use of the designated quiet study areas at Ghent University. Strict safety measures apply when using these spaces, and the spaces are monitored at all times to make sure the rules are followed. Study slots for these spaces can be booked via the webpage https://studieplekken.ugent.be, bookings start each week on Thursday from 7.00pm.

You 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


UPDATE 22 December 2020: the Belgian government strongly advises against all international traveling.
Moreover, more stringent measures were announced regarding international travel. 
UPDATE 30 December 2020: the Consultation Committee tightens up Belgian travel policy: additional measures are imposed for those returning from abroad, see https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/news/occ-30-12/ (translation will follow soon).

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

Check this page for more information regarding outgoing exchanges as Ghent University student

Corona Guidelines for Students - illness and infection

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.

Resto UGentStudent restaurants

As of 7 September, the 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


Kamer in home AstridStudent homes

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

It is not allowed to organise larger activities for the whole home. In addition, arrangements will also made for wearing a mask, 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')



Zwemmen in het GUSBSports facilities

UPDATE: The GUSB (university sports centre) and the university pool are closed temporarily

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

StudentenlevenStudent associations and activities

UPDATE: the student associations have decided not to organize any physical activities temporarily

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


Afstand brengt ons dichter bij mekanderGhent 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:

Student representatives

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 for the academic year 2020-2021.

Together #UGent

This academic year we face shared challenges in which Ghent University students and staff will make the difference.