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Universities in Ghent, Belgium

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Ghent is an incredibly popular and friendly student city.

Ghent is a city located in North Belgium with a population of just over 550,000 residents. Ghent is Belgium’s third-largest city and is well-known as a trading centre with a busy port. It is the largest city in Belgium’s East Flanders region, and is fast becoming a tourist-favourite destination with over a million tourists visiting every year.

World-leading companies including ArcelorMittal, Honda and Volvo have set up large-scale offices in Ghent alongside their operations at Ghent Port. Ghent is also known as a centre for world-class research and innovation, and is home to research-focused companies such as Innogenetics, Cropdesign, and Bayer Cropscience.

With over 60,000 enrolled students, Ghent is also one of Belgium’s largest student cities. The official language spoken in Ghent is Dutch, but many residents are also fluent in English, which makes it easy for travellers and students to explore the city. Additionally, with nearly 36% of Ghent residents being immigrants, the city is a truly welcoming and immigrant-friendly space.

All Universities in Ghent

Top Universities in Ghent

Ghent University

Established just over 200 years ago, Ghent University is one of Europe’s premier institutes for research and innovation. The university currently hosts about 40,000 enrolled students, including nearly 5,000 international students.

Alongside its primary campus in downtown Ghent, the university also operates a satellite campus in the nearby seaside town of Ostend, where its GreenBridge incubation and innovation centre provides world-class facilities for start-up companies. Ghent University also operates a technical partnership with the Songdo Global University Campus in Incheon, South Korea. Through this partnership, Ghent University offers courses in molecular biotechnology, environmental technology and food technology at the South Korea campus.

Ghent University is world-famous for its research in multiple disciplines and has been associated with multiple Nobel Prize-winning scientists over the years. Alongside the international students enrolled at Ghent University, the institute also welcomes many international students as part of the Erasmus Student Exchange Program every year.

Although most courses are taught in Dutch at Ghent University, a selection of postgraduate courses are also offered in English for international students. The university’s strong ties with Belgium’s leading companies and organisations make it easy for you to secure post-graduation employment opportunities in the country.

Vlerick Business School

Vlerick Business School is a Belgian business school that was founded in 1999. It is the result of merger between the Katholieke Universitiet Leuven and the Instituut Professor Vlerick voor Management of Ghent University.

Vlerick has three campuses across Belgium, these are in Ghent, Brussels and Leuven. The university offers masters, MBA and Executive Education courses in a variety of business and management fields, with courses run both on campus and online.

Artevelde University of Applied Sciences

The Artevelde University of Applied Sciences is a catholic university located in Ghent. In 2000, four catholic universities merged to form Artevelde University – a business & design college, a healthcare college, a teacher-training college and an college of social work.

Today, Artevelde University is home to over 15,000 enrolled students and has become a hub for research innovation. Alongside its primary Ghent campus, Artevelde University operates 12 additional satellite campuses located all over Belgium.

Artevelde University has become a popular choice for international students interested in Belgium universities, mainly because it offers a wide range of both undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses in English. Artevelde University is a member of the Ghent University Association (AU GENT).

College of Europe

Situated 40 minutes west of Ghent in the nearby town of Bruges, the College of Europe was established after the second world war in 1948 as a postgraduate institute of European studies.

The College of Europe is a highly selective institute with a total enrolment of just 500 students. The college awards students an advanced master’s degree following a one-year degree programme. All students at the College of Europe are required to be fluent in English as well as French.

The college offers a selection of courses focused on European politics. Alongside its main campus in Bruges, the College of Europe also operates a satellite campus in Warsaw, Poland.

International students from one of 28 European countries are selected by a ‘national selection committee’ for their home country. International students who are from elsewhere, you must apply directly to the College of Europe. Most College of Europe graduates go on to pursue administrative and political careers in major European countries and organisations.


The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies is a research institute operated by the United Nations University, the academic organisation of the United Nations.

Situated in nearby Bruges, UNU-CRIS is mainly funded by the local Flanders government in Belgium, as well as by various United Nations funds. UNU-CRIS focuses on providing world-class facilities to its students for conducting research on issues of global governance, global peace, environmental challenges and any other issues that the United Nations may consider to be important.

UNU-CRIS offers masters and PhD programs at its Bruges campus, as well as offering degrees through partnerships with leading universities in the Netherlands.

Ghent Universities World Ranking 2024

Below are the top-ranked Ghent universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2024 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2024Times Higher Education Ranking 2024QS Rank in BelgiumTHE Rank in Belgium
Ghent University=15911522

Tuition and Living Costs in Ghent

For non-EU/EEA international students, tuition fees at top-ranked Ghent universities begin at about 4,900 US Dollars and can go up to 8,000 US Dollars per year, depending on the specific degree programme and courses selected. As for EU/EEA region students, tuition fees are about 800-1,000 US Dollars per annum. Graduate tuition fees, meanwhile, are even more affordable and start at about 500 US Dollars per annum for EU/EEA region students.

Meanwhile, the Erasmus Foundation estimates that you should budget between 1,000-1,200 US Dollars per month for living expenses in Ghent as an international student. This figure includes about 650-800 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 150-200 US Dollars for food expenses, 100-120 US Dollars for utilities and another 50-60 US Dollars for public transport.

International students enrolled at Ghent universities are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full-time during academic breaks. Many international students secure internships and part-time employment in order to offset tuition & living expenses during their time in Ghent. Current Belgium student visa rules enable you to stay in the country for up to 9 months after graduation in order to find a job.

Life in Ghent for International Students

International students can comfortably travel to Ghent from their home countries via major airport hubs such as Amsterdam and Brussels, both of which are under two hours away by road. Belgium’s excellent train network enables you to easily explore the countryside as well as neighbouring tourist-favourite regions in France, Germany and Netherlands.

Within the city, people generally prefer to travel and explore on bicycles. Ghent is famous for its mediaeval-era buildings across the city, from world-famous museums to centuries-old churches and administrative centres.

Ghent is also popular for its annual festivals which attract large crowds of travellers every year. These include the Gentse Feesten, the Flanders Expo, the ‘10 Days Of’ musical festival, the International Film Festival of Ghent and the Gent Festival van Vlaanderen.

International students at Ghent universities can also use their time away from the classroom to enjoy outdoor activities and relax in one of the city’s many outdoor areas and parks by the Rivers Scheldt and Leie which run through the city. Below are a few of Ghent’s must-visit locations for international students:

  • Gravensteen
  • Saint Bavo’s Cathedral
  • Saint Nicholas’ Church
  • SMAK – Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Graslei
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Design Museum Gent
  • Ghent City Museum
  • Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen Nature Reserve
  • Blaarmeersen Recreation Park
  • Huis van Alijn
  • Saint Michael’s Church
  • Ooidonk Castle
  • Museum of Industry, Work and Textiles
  • Citadelpark

Ghent offers all of the world-class urban infrastructure, high public safety levels and top-ranked educational facilities that western Europe is well-known for, and international students will surely enjoy their time in the Belgian city.

See all universities in Belgium.

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