Indische ambassadeur bezoekt Howest als eerste Vlaamse hogeschool

Howest first Flemish university of applied sciences to welcome the Ambassador of India

Howest first Flemish university of applied sciences to welcome the Ambassador of India

On Friday, May 20th, Howest welcomes a highly esteemed guest. On that day, Mr Santosh Jha, the Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, will be visiting Kortrijk. With this visit, the ambassador seeks to underpin the important role of India in the digital domain. He will also visit the Barco head office. For Howest, this is a great opportunity to put their English-taught ICT and technology courses in the spotlights, as well as outline their ambition to attract more Indian students to Belgium.

India’s pivotal position in the digital domain 

The visit of the ambassador is part of the program that marks the 75th anniversary of India’s independence as well as 75 years of diplomatic ties between Belgium and India. “The ambassador selected our institute as the first university he will visit in our country, since he is really interested in our plethora in ICT and technology courses”, explains Isabelle Pertry, director of International Affairs at Howest. “Our trailblazer role in digital transformation and cybersecurity, as well as the worldwide fame of our bachelor in Digital Arts and Entertainment – three times elected best game course in the world – caught his attention. A country such as India, that outrivals so many others in the digital arena, definitely keeps a close eye on what is going on at Howest.”  

Attracting more Indian students to Belgium 

From 2012 onwards, India has been of particular interest to Howest and, ever since, we have partnered up with Indian partner universities, businesses and organisations in for example Chandigarh and Tiruchirappalli. This collaboration over the last ten years has resulted in a large number of exchanges of students and staff, traineeships in India and the annual ‘India from within’ study trip. “Our existing ties with India and our ten English-taught bachelor and postgraduate certificate programmes – mainly in ICT and creative technologies  – are great assets when it comes to attracting foreign students. Of our 9,000 students, today 6% comes from abroad. We aim to grow this share to 10% by 2028. In the case of India specifically, we hope that in due time a larger number of Indian graduates find their way into Belgian businesses and in that sense help towards the substantial shortage in ICT staff. The recent introduction of an ‘orientation year’ aimed at young graduates from other countries definitely will play a part in this also”, adds Director of Education and Internationalisation, Frederik D’hulster.

Cooperation with the (Indian) corporate world 

An additional reason for this visit is the fact Howest closely collaborates with the professional world. The ambassador will meet with Barco and Vyncke Clean Energy Technology, two important corporate partners of Howest, as well as with representatives of the Belgian-Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and with two Indian technology businesses. It’s a perfect example of the closer ties between Europe and India, which the recently launched ‘India and EU Trade and Technology Council’ envisages indeed when it comes to commerce and technology. In the afternoon, a visit of the Barco campus in Kortrijk has been scheduled.  


  • 10:00: Arrival and welcome at Howest campus The Penta by Mr Jan Durnez (president of Howest board), Mr Frederik D’hulster (vice rector of Howest) and Ms Isabelle Pertry (director International Office of Howest)
  • 10:15: Welcome words by Mr Frederik D’hulster
  • 10:20: ‘Digital India’, by H.E. Ambassador Mr Santosh Jha
  • 10:55: Meet & greet with Indian Howest students
  • 11:00: Visit of Howest campuses The Penta and The Level (Digital Arts and Entertainment, Digital Design and Development, Creative Technologies & AI, Industrial Product Design)
  • 12:00: Round table with the Ambassador, industrial partners Barco and Vyncke, the Belgian-Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Indian IT companies operating in Belgium, Howest and Ms Ruth Vandenberghe, Major of Kortrijk
  • 13:30: Visit of Barco