About Ghent (visit the picture gallery - look at the map)

picture of ghent Ghent is an often neglected jewel when it comes to visiting Flanders, the Flemish speaking region of Belgium. Most visitors focus on Antwerp, Bruges or Brussels. But in doing so, they miss the opportunity to discover a city with a strong historical background that goes back to the Middle Ages. The city has been on the cross road of many political and economical shifts in the Western European context. Spanish, Austrian, German, Dutch, French, English,... have influenced the Ghent history and left behind traces, thus enriching a cultural heritage that reflects a unique blend of styles, traditions, architecture, and culinary trends.

The city prospered due to the textile trade, and was one of the largest cities in Western Europe. Visiting kings envied the cultural patrimony and had to cope with the stubborn nature of citizens that strongly defended their autonomy. The city has evolved from a variety of settlements on the banks of the River "de Leie" and "de Schelde".

The city nearly equals Bruges when it comes to the number of museums, canals and bars. It offers a larger variety when it comes to contemporary art, theatres, and concert halls. Your list of "things to see" should include the medieval Gravensteen Castle, the belfry, the cathedral with the famous painting of the brothers Van Eyck "The adoration of the Holy Lamb", the St. Nicolas Church, the three beguinages, monasteries, etc.

Nowadays Ghent is an economical centre due to its renowned international port and a cultural centre due to the large concentration of educational institutes, varying from the Ghent university, the largest concentration in Flanders of higher professional education institutes, to secondary and primary schools.


Ghent University

picture of boekentoren Founded as a Latin-speaking State University in 1817 by William I, King of the Netherlands, Ghent University is a relatively young university. After its independence in 1830, the Belgian State was in charge of the administration of Ghent University and French became the new official academic language. In 1930, Ghent University became the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium. The Decree of 1991 assigned great autonomy to the university.

Over the years, eminent scientists such as Joseph Plateau (physicist, considered as a pioneer in the development of motion pictures), Leo Baekeland (inventor of Bakelite), and Corneel Heymans (Nobel Prize winner in Medicine) studied and worked at Ghent University.

Today, after decades of uninterrupted growth, Ghent University is one of the leading institutions of higher education and research in the Low Countries. Ghent University is an open, committed and pluralistic university with a broad international perspective.

Ghent University offers high-quality, research-based education in all academic disciplines. Today, Ghent University attracts over 28,000 students, with a foreign student population of over 1,100 EU citizens and some 1000 students from non-EU countries.

Located in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium and the cultural and economical heart of Europe, Ghent University is an active partner in national and international educational, scientific and industrial cooperation.

The ECER conference will be organized in the recently renovated facilities of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. This faculty is one of the largest of the university (about 4500 students).

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

picture of campus The Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences is one of the 11 faculties at Ghent University. With its 4500 students it is one of the largest faculties. The faculty takes the lead in a number of academic bachelor and masters level programmes: Psychology, Educational Sciences, Social Work and teacher Education (

The variety of departments reflect the varied nature of the disciplines being taught and researched: Personnel Management, Work and Organisational Psychology, Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Clinical Consulting, Orthopedagogics, Social Welfare Studies, Foundations of Education, and Educational Studies.

The faculty started as an educational institute within the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy in 1927. This instituted evolved into an independent faculty in 1969. Most of the educational programmes were set up in a strongly interrelated way. Only in 2002 started completely independent educational programmes focusing on either Psychology or Educational Sciences. This can be considered as a result of the growing theoretical and empirical base in both scientific field and the strong focus of the Ghent programmes to be grounded in the local empirical research.

The Educational Sciences at Ghent University reflect the wide diversity of educational issues that are being studied in the field. Next to the foundations and philosophical base of education, there is a strong research focus on the history of education, special education, teacher education, ICT-based educational practices, performance indicator studies, social work, etc. Research traditions in these domains build on high level quantitative approaches, next to a strong focus on interpretative qualitative methodologies.

Address of the Conference Venue

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Henri Dunantlaan 2
9000 Gent

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Comments or questions: view contact addresses Last modified 2/07/2007
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