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.
The Decree of 1991 assigned great autonomy to the university.
The past 200 years, Ghent University employed many eminent scientists such as Nobel Prize winners Corneille Heymans and Maurice Maeterlinck, Leo Baekeland, Joseph Guislain, Walter Fiers, Marc Van Montagu, Peter Piot.