Founded in 1817 as a Latin-speaking state university 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; French was the new official academic language. In 1930 Ghent University became the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium.
title was awarded to Paula Semer, presenter and producer of many emancipatory broadcasting programs and a Belgian "institution"; to Masatoshi Takeichi from the University in Kobe, Japan, for his pioneering work on the key role of specific intercellular adhesion in morphogenesis; to the Dutch researcher Désirée van der Heijde for pioneering work that has helped to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis; to Arnoud De Meyer, rector of the Singapore Management University; to Paul Sackett from the University of Minnesota, a leading authority in the field of human resources management; and finally to the Dutch researcher Saskia Sassen, author of the book
, a highly original sociology of globalization.