Artevelde University College presents 'Gentlestudent' during EHEA Ministerial Conference in Paris

gentlestudent Artevelde university college

On Thursday 24 and Friday 25 May, the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference will take place in Paris. Artevelde University College will attend the prestigious congress to present the project Gentlestudent. With this initiative, our university college wants to bring the students and residents of Ghent closer together.

Right now, there are about 74,000 students in Ghent. Not bad for a city with 260,000 inhabitants. In order to bring both groups closer together, Artevelde University College is building the online platform Gentlestudent. "On this platform, residents and organisations in the area can post very concrete ideas and needs, ranging from homework assistance for children from vulnerable families to making events accessible to people with disabilities, buddy projects with refugees ... Ghent students will see the call appear on the platform or via beacons, smart devices that are scattered throughout the city and send out a signal to their smartphones. Afterwards, they can offer help in setting up a creative solution or action to support the local residents", explains Dries Vanacker, project member of the Office of Educational Development and Internationalisation.

Better atmosphere and dynamics

Gentlestudent will allow students and local residents to get to know and understand each other better, by working together for a socially relevant purpose. "This will create a better atmosphere and positive dynamics," Dries continues. "Different needs from the area will be addressed and at the same time, students will also get the opportunity to develop their talents in an original and social way." And all of this will happen in a setting that promotes digital literacy among students and citizens.

Worldwide attention

The platform will be launched in September, but the innovative initiative is already attracting worldwide attention. Colleague Lore Demedts of the Office of Educational Development and Internationalisation will visit the EHEA Ministerial Conference in Paris this week to present the platform in La Sorbonne. In this way, our university college participates in the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Sorbonne Declaration, which formed the basis of the European higher education system.

From 20 to 22 June, we will be present in Valencia to present the project in detail during the International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd'18).

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