Ghent University announced this week that it will close five campuses by 2050. The large, outdated patrimony costs too much in these times of high energy prices. Moreover, the university’s activities are now too fragmented. There will be three ‘clusters’. The University of Antwerp has no immediate plans in that direction.
READ ALSO. Ghent University closes 5 campuses and wants to bring all faculties together in 3 clusters by 2050
Ghent University now has about twenty separate campuses in the city. These are often located in historic, outdated buildings. By 2050, these will be grouped into three core campuses. Four faculties or parts thereof will be grouped together at each location. The first cluster is located in the center of the city, the second is what is today the site around UZ Gent and De Sterre, and the last is the vast zone between Zwijnaarde and Merelbeke. According to rector Rik Van de Walle, this will give the university more ‘face’ and it will also allow better cooperation between the faculties.
Antwerp has no similar plans. Peter De Meyer, spokesperson for UAntwerp: “UGent is much larger and much more fragmented than Antwerp. We now have four campuses, the City Campus, Drie Eiken, Middelheim and Groenenborger. The latter two are already connected by a footpath. You can hardly call that fragmentation. We have rationalized here and there in the past. For example, the Applied Linguistics program, the former Translators and Interpreters, has moved from an old building in the Schildersstraat to the City Campus. Further rationalization is not necessary in Antwerp for the time being.” (kvm)