Ghent Recognised for Outstanding Erasmus Efforts
|10 May, 2023
A Flemish Belgian city, Ghent, has been announced as the winner of the Erasmus Destination of the Year 2023 after being voted for by representatives of the student network involved in the scheme, among other stakeholders.
Ghent beat out other leading cities, including Padua in Italy, Toulouse in France, Valencia in Spain, and Vienna, Austria’s capital.
This accolade recognises the city's success in promoting student mobility, its commitment to supporting the Erasmus programme, and its innovative approaches to enhancing student experiences.
Yasmine Collier, a local representative of Erasmus Student Network Gent, expressed her excitement and gratitude for winning the Erasmus Destination of the Year 2023 award, acknowledging that it motivates them to improve their mobility support continuously.
ESN Gent was founded during the early years of the Erasmus scheme, and the city initially had only 33 students in its mobility programme.
Ghent has been gaining popularity in the tourism sector because of its proximity to the capital and as a university town that hosts four university colleges and two universities.
The Destination of the Year initiative aims to showcase the best practices in supporting student mobility at the city level, highlighting the efforts of local student associations like ESN Gent in making their cities better mobility destinations.
The decision-making process for selecting the winner involved considering factors such as collaboration with key HEIs, correspondence with the city, and ensuring high-quality student mobility.
Nikolina Đurić, a board member at ESN International, expressed her excitement about how this initiative can inspire new practices among stakeholders involved in student mobility. She commented that the Destination of the Year award is an opportunity for them to celebrate the hard work that has been done in creating a more diverse and inclusive global student community.
The decision to name Ghent as the destination of the year for 2023 was made during ESN's Generation Meeting in Bucharest, Romania, in April. Although the decision was not solely based on a student vote, it was made by representatives from the European Commission, EAIE, the Academic Cooperation Association, the Youth Forum, and the European Students’ Union.