Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis Professor Van Ranst (photo, below) and his V-neck jumpers that he has in a variety of colours have achieved something of a celebrity status.
Epidemiologists study the outbreak and spread of all kinds of viruses, not only COVID-19. Antwerp University is the only Flemish university offering a masters course in epidemiology. Despite this, the number of students currently taking the course is not very high. “Just 9 Flemish students are taking the course in Dutch, while the English version of the course is more popular with 50 students”, the university’s Peter De Meyer told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp.
The university expects that the number of those taking the course will be higher next year. "We see a spectacular rise in the number of visitors on our site, specifically with regard to epidemiology courses. The figures are more than double what they were a year ago. I looks like everyone wants to become a new Marc Van Ranst”.