Students that make a difference– in Gent, Belgium

TEXT: PAULINE ZIJDENBOS | PHOTOS © HOGENT

At HOGENT, a well-known university college based in Gent, Belgium, students make a difference. It is important for young people nowadays to be able to solve contemporary problems in modern society, which is in a constant state of flux. HOGENT students are stimulated to think outside the box or, as we would say in Flemish: ‘to colour outside the lines’. Having developed a critical thinking mindset at HOGENT, they are being prepared to have a direct impact on the work floor.

There is an abundance of courses to choose from. Anyone looking for a handson approach to learning, can enrol in one of the bachelor courses or associate degree courses. Students (current and from other educational institutions) can then follow up their degree with a Master’s programme at HOGENT’s School of Arts or one of the many continuation programmes.

Since the 1990s, many university colleges in Flanders have merged, and HOGENT is a perfect example of this new, more integrated structure. HOGENT offers mainstream study subjects, but also courses that are unique for Flanders, such as textile, fashion and wood technology and retail management. Although mainly a Dutch-speaking institution, several parts of the HOGENT courses are taught in English for international students coming to Gent. There are many options in the course of a student’s career at HOGENT to do work placements or to go abroad for part of the year.

Aäron Plovie, head of HOGENT’s international office, talks enthusiastically about opportunities for students to be part of the future. “In 2016, we were a founding member of the Urban Research and Education Alliance (U!REKA), an alliance of six European Universities of Applied Sciences to develop multidisciplinary strategies for sustainable, future-proof action plans. U!REKA’s motto is ’Shaping Urban Communities. Smart and Sustainable Solutions’. Our students will gather vast experience by being involved.”

Have a look at HOGENT’s informative website to find out more about their innovative, multi-disciplinary research projects and the breadth and depth of courses on offer. They have already earned the HR Excellence in Research label for their commitment to making their institution more attractive for researchers. The UN Development Goals that want to create more sustainability for everyone on our planet are used as a research agenda.

HOGENT’s renowned School of Arts has produced some unique creations. One of HOGENT’s alumni, Lukas Dhont, recently found fame at the Cannes film festival with his feature film Girl.

hogent.be/en