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Frederik D'hulster, current vice president for Education and International Affairs at Howest University of Applied Sciences, has been appointed by the board of directors to succeed Lode De Geyter as president. D’hulster will be stepping into the head role at Howest, an institution that has positioned itself as a leading partner in the Flemish higher education landscape with its strong academic programmes and innovative research, as of 1 October 2023.

It was announced several months ago that the process to appoint a successor to current President Lode De Geyter would be taking place. On Tuesday evening, 30 May 2023, Jan Durnez, chairman of Howest Board of Directors, announced that Frederik D'hulster, current vice president of Education and International Affairs, had been appointed to the position of president of Howest after a rigorous selection procedure. He will take up the position as of 1 October 2023.

Imbued with the DNA of Howest

Frederik D'hulster has a career of 23 years at Howest, starting as a lecturer and programme coordinator for Industrial Design and, since 2009, as vice president of Education and International Affairs. As a member of the management committee, he knows Howest through and through. He co-wrote important strategic texts and co-initiated the expansion of the school’s portfolio with new courses, the Howest Foundation, and the Howest Academy for Lifelong Learning. More recently, under his leadership, Howest became a member of the prestigious RUN-EU, a European network of regional universities and colleges.

D'hulster was delighted with his appointment. "I am honoured that the Board of Directors has put its trust in me. As the new president, it will be a challenge to succeed Lode De Geyter given the inspiring and entrepreneurial leader that he has been! I am passionate about our goal to maintain Howest’s role as a leading knowledge partner deeply rooted in the region’s socio-economic fabric, but also our ambition to give Howest wings to fly within the ever-growing network of international partners."

Anticipating the future, the next generation

Lode De Geyter will hand over the reins of Howest to Frederik D'hulster on 1 October 2023.

"Frederik D'hulster knows this institution inside and out. Since 2009 he has been involved in formulating Howest policy as a member of our management committee, he shares our level of ambition, he is imbued with our DNA. I am convinced that the Howest community will support and appreciate Frederik D'hulster in his new position. I will remain active behind the scenes to complete and further follow up on a number of projects. Of course, the new president can also count on me for the start of the new academic year, 2023-24," said De Geyter.

Lode De Geyter started his career in 1982 at the Provincial Industrial College in Kortrijk. In 1994, he became deputy director and helped prepare the merger of six colleges into Howest. In 1995, he became the department chair of PIH. With his team, he created innovative programmes, including the bachelor’s in digital arts & Entertainment that would go on to gain world recognition. In 2007, he was appointed president of Howest following the unexpected death of Roland Vermeersch, the first president of Howest. As an inspiring and inspirational leader, he motivated his staff to give their best. Under his administration, Howest developed into a leading knowledge partner that was recognised regionally and internationally as innovative and entrepreneurial, a university of applied sciences with charisma that has grown beyond the 10 000-student mark. "To boldly go where no one has gone before", Lode De Geyter's motto will soon be given new meaning.

Who is Frederik D’hulster?

Frederik D’hulster (°1974) holds a doctorate in engineering. He started his career at Howest in 2000 as project manager at the PIH, Howest's engineering programme, so to speak. After an exciting period as lecturer and programme coordinator for the Industrial Design programme, during which he won several international awards, he was appointed vice president of Education and International Affairs in 2009, succeeding Lucien Bollaert.

As vice president of Education and International Affairs, Frederik D'hulster has been an active member of the management committee responsible for the day-to-day operations of Howest. As such, he has also chaired the STUVO (Student Services) Council. He can already look back on an impressive track record. With his team, he developed data-driven educational and quality assurance services with integrated monitoring. He coordinated the establishment of new study programmes, including the related applications for macro-efficiency and New Study Programme assessments.

As head of International Affairs, he was involved in the launch of the Howest Confucius Institute and has been actively committed to building an impressive international academic network. Recently, he oversaw the coordination of the application leading to Howest's accession to RUN-EU, a prestigious European network of regional universities and colleges.

Frederik D’hulster is deeply rooted in the Howest community. He played an integral part in co-writing Howest’s statement of its values, mission, and vision. He has also helped in designing successive strategic plans.

Frederik D'hulster