Ghent University strengthens ties with ten top universities in China and signs six cooperation agreements



From 18 November to 23 November 2019, Vice-Rector Mieke Van Herreweghe and a delegation of other people from Ghent University will visit China.

The delegation joins the Belgian economic trade mission under the leadership of Princess Astrid at certain times, but it will also set its own priorities by visiting as many as 10 partner institutions in one week during the mission.

For more than 40 years, Ghent University has regarded China as a privileged partner in the field of research, education, and social valorisation. In recent years, in particular, there has been increasing cooperation in an increasing number of varied scientific disciplines.

Ghent University and China: several figures

  • Over 100 Chinese masters and PhD students have graduated from Ghent University in recent years.
  • Ghent University had 556 Chinese students and researchers in the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • For the 2019-2020 academic year, 524 Chinese students and researchers have already enrolled at Ghent University, including 463 (doctoral) students and 61 exchange students.
  • There are over 50 active cooperation agreements for student and staff exchanges with Chinese partner institutions.
  • There are 6 agreements for a Joint Laboratory with a Chinese partner university (and 3 in the pipeline to be signed during the mission to China).
  • Over 4,000 publications co-written by Chinese and Ghent University researchers have been published.
  • The first two international alumni platforms were launched in Beijing and Shanghai (China) in 2013. And given the success of these two departments of our international alumni network, a third one was launched in Chengdu in November 2017. All together, they represent 200 alumni who actively represent Ghent University abroad.

6 days, 10 top universities, 6 agreements

By visiting ten partner institutions, Ghent University wants to stimulate cooperation and create new research opportunities.

Renmin University (15 November 2019)

Ghent University will sign a cooperation agreement with no fewer than 3 Renmin University ’schools’. At Ghent University, the departments of Archaeology, Geography, and Languages and Cultures, the Department of Geography, and the Faculty of Sciences are involved. Both universities work together on social sciences, humanities, economic sciences, and management sciences. This agreement will be signed on Monday, 18 November, at the official signing ceremony of the Belgian Economic Mission in the presence of HRH Princess Astrid.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences/Institute of World Religions (18 November 2019)

Ghent University’s Department of Languages and Cultures is investigating the possibilities of expanding their research collaboration with various institutes under the CASS.

Beijing Normal University (18 November 2019)

BNU and Ghent University have had an agreement with the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences since 2007. In 2016, this cooperation agreement was extended to the Faculties of Arts and Philosophy (Prof. Ann Heirman) and Engineering and Architecture (Prof. Jelle Saldien). Since 2018, the Faculty of Law has been working with the university to stimulate both student exchange and research collaboration. During this mission, an extension of the existing cooperation agreement will be signed for the Faculty of Sciences (Philippe De Maeyer).

Nanjing University (19 November 2019)

Partnership with the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.

Southeast University (19 November 2019)

There has been structural contact since 2013. During this visit, Ghent University will sign a cooperation agreement for the exchange of students and staff between the School of Civil Engineering and the School of Architecture and the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.

Nanjing Forestry University (19 November 2019)

Partnership with the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, environmental department, and ’Woodlab’ research centre.

Signing of ’Joint Lab’ agreement with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology (Stefaan De Smedt). There has been cooperation in the field of ’biobased functional materials’ for some time now. In October 2016, Stefaan De Smedt was named the ’Specially Appointed Professor’ at the NFU.

Nanjing Agricultural University (19 November 2019)

The focus is on more international partnership projects and the exchange of professionals and students.

The cooperation agreement will be renewed with the Faculties of Bioscience Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Sciences (Stijn Speelman, Sarah De Saeger, Wim Bert). 

Shanghai University (20 November 2019)

A cooperation agreement between the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy and Shanghai University was signed in June 2017 (Ann Heirman). This involves the exchange of students and staff, joint doctorates, and scientific research.

Zhejiang University (21 November 2019)

A large number of staff exchanges have already taken place between Ghent University and Zhejiang University. Several faculties are involved. The main focus of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture is on the theme ’Recycled Aggregates for Concrete and Bridge Monitoring’ (Luc Taerwe).  Within the same Faculty, the Photonics Research Group (Roel Baets) also collaborates with the departments that are active in the field of optics and photonics. In addition, several students of Zhejiang University obtained their doctorate from the Department of Structural Engineering at Ghent University.

Ghent University’s TechTransfer Office aims to make the partnership within the framework of the agreement signed last year with Zhejiang University’s Industrial Technology Research Institute a reality.

The Faculty of Pharmacy (Sarah De Saeger) cooperates in the field of food safety and food contamination.

Sichuan University (22 November 2019)

The first cooperation agreement with the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences was signed in 2012. The most recent renewal of the cooperation agreement took place in March 2017 between the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences (Jan Orbie), the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (Luc Taerwe), the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy (Ann Heirman), and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Stefaan De Smedt).

In 2018, an agreement was signed for the establishment of the ’Joint Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing - 3D Printing’. Prof. Ludwig Cardon of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture is the coordinator of this Joint Lab.

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