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History

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The State University of Ghent was established in 1817. As of 1835 the Faculty of Sciences organised the education in Arts et Manufactures, l’Architecture Civile, les Ponts et Chaussées. In 1957 this institute was converted into the Faculty of Applied Sciences, with a department of Civil Engineers Architects. During the first two years (the so-called ‘kandidaturen’) the study programme leading to the title of Engineer-Architect ran parallel to the general study programme leading to the title of civil engineer. The actual study programme leading to the title of architect took place during the last three years (the so-called ‘proeven’). During the mid seventies, the study programme was reorganised for the first time, and the subject ‘architectural design’ was introduced in the first year of the so-called ‘kandidaturen’.

In October 1988, a second study programme in architecture, organised by the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning, was started, evenly distributing the study load across three pillars (theory and history of architecture, design and construction techniques): the Licentiate in Architecture. This concretely resulted from the fact that the study programme in architecture at the Ghent Academy had been abolished in the framework of a rationalisation process of architectural education in Flanders. During the first year of the new study programme, 45 students graduated. The department was headed by Firmin Mees, who was later succeeded by Charles Vermeersch, Emiel De Kooning, Bart Verschaffel, Pieter Uyttenhove and as of 2010 by the present Head of Department Arnold Janssens.

Since its reorganisation in 1988, each new academic year, the study programme leading to the title of civil engineer-architect, has started with a higher number of students. In the academic year 2008-2009, no less than 220 students started in the first bachelor. Also the research activities have increased year by year. As of the year 2000, ten PhD studies have been submitted at the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning. Graduated engineer-architects have grown into a new generation of trend-setting Belgian designers. Countless Belgian and foreign architects, critics, historians and engineers have lectured at the department. The publications and research considerably contributed to the growth of an architectural culture in Belgium and Europe, also by cooperating to exhibitions. The distinct research units also developed an international academic network, resulting, among other things, in the organisation of numerous symposiums and the publication of articles, monographs and reference works.