A total of 409 participants from no less than 70 different countries are currently taking part in the Antwerp Summer University, immersing themselves in very specific, intensive courses at the University of Antwerp. Many of the courses have been organised in cooperation with Antwerp city council and other partners.
This year sees the ninth edition of Antwerp’s Summer University. The initiative started small in 2010, with three different programmes and around seventy participants. Since then, the project has grown year on year. More and more Bachelor and Master students - but also researchers and professionals - are finding their way to Antwerp.
“This summer we welcomed more than 400 participants for the first time,” say coordinators Sara Bervoets and Wannes Gijsels. “They represent 70 countries. About a quarter of the participants are from Belgium, and the Netherlands, Egypt, Italy and India are also well-represented. But even countries like Nepal, Syria and Venezuela currently have one or more summer school participants in our city on the Scheldt.”
The city’s strengths
Seven summer schools were held at the beginning of July, with the other nine being organised in late August and early September. All are intensive courses lasting one to two weeks. “The subjects are closely linked to the University of Antwerp’s fields of expertise. For example, there are summer schools on vaccinology, children's literature, and diversity and migration.”
Several of the courses also shine a spotlight on some of Antwerp’s specific strengths as a city. There are programmes on entrepreneurship, fashion management and the diamond industry, as well as on book printing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. To organise these courses, the university works closely with the city council and a number of other partners. The council sees great value in the work of the Antwerp Summer University and welcomes participants to a reception at the Felix Pakhuis every year.
Wannes Gijsels (UAntwerp)