The universality of student life

14 Oct 2021

The new academic year has clearly begun: students rushing to their lectures, coffee in short supply, kebabs selling like hot cakes, and ribbons characteristic of student associations are all over the streets again.

The vibe on the streets of Ghent feels a little different this year. After almost a year and a half of online lectures, the time has finally come for students to make their way back to campus. And once they’ve finished studying for the day, they can forge friendships for life just like they used to.

'The Best Days of Our Life' (1950) from the Vlaams Technische Kring, Ghent University Archives

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Things were just as convivial in the 1950s: this gem from the Vlaams Technische Kring (student association for engineering and architecture students at Ghent University) offers an insight into how students filled their days between lectures back then. You can see them playing cards and chess, and having a beer, but mainly just enjoying each other’s company. And apart from the fashions of the day, little seems to have changed in the form of entertainment since then.

We regularly choose gems like this from one of our content partner’s archives to showcase on our website. This student-oriented film comes from the Ghent University Archives (link in Dutch) and offers a glimpse into student life in Ghent over half a century ago. It’s a clip from the first feature film by the Vlaams Technische Kring, which refers to the Oscar-winning The Best Years of Our Lives by William Wyler from 1946.

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