University for You: debate on the societal role of the university

On the occasion of its 200th anniversary, Ghent University wants to carry out a debate concerning its own societal role.

Major societal challenges - like sustainability, diversity, ’glocalisation’, and workable work - demand that the university reinvents itself and explores how science can serve society and how society can become involved in science.

Ghent University now knows well what it’s good at, but is now asking the question, "What is it good for?".

Come join the debate during the University for You (U4U) event, together with Herman Van Rompuy, Eric Swingedouw, Bea Cantillon, Jan Rothmans, Dirk Geldof and Rik Van Cauwelaert.


University for You will take place in Het Pand, City Hall, the Provincial Government Building, and De Krook, according to the following daily schedule (all speeches and debates are in Dutch):

  • 9:30 a.m. - noon Welcome speech and plenary session on the results of the ’Chatbox’ survey and a discussion of the four societal themes by the keynote speakers
  • Noon - 1 p.m. Lunch
  • 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Break-out sessions: four-person groups will debate on the role that the university must/can play in the future for each of the four societal challenges
  • 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Plenary closing session with discussion of the break-out session outcomes and final keynote speaker Herman Van Rompuy
  • 6 p.m. Reception to end the day

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