News rules for Ghent Rector elections

In future only mixed-sex duos will be allowed to run in the elections for Rector at the Unversity of Ghent. The new rules were announced by the Flemish Education Minister Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat, photo above) and are intended to promote equality between the sexes at Flemish universities. However, the Rector of the Catholic University of Leuven Rik Torfs, himself a former Christian democrat Senator, doesn’t believe the new rule is a good idea.
Jasper Jacobs

At next year’s elections for the position of Rector of the University of Ghent all duos of candidate Rectors and running mates must be made up of a man and a women or a woman and man.

That is the result of modifications to the higher education decree introduced by the Education Minister Hilde Crevits. Ms Crevits says that although the new rule will only apply to Ghent University it will send out an important signal in the battle for sexual equality.

"The duo will be gender-balanced and should reflect the pluralist character of the institution. An important changes is that in from now on all members of staff and students will be entitled to vote”.

“The voter decides and not the minister”

The Rector of Leuven Rik Torfs says that it is not a good idea.

"I think that we should make every effort to get women into managerial positions. However, universities’ autonomy is incredibly important, as is democracy. At the end of the day it is the vote, at university itself, that decides and not the Minister”.