It would be quite an understatement to say that the Overpoortstraat is defined by the presence of the university and its students. Packed with pubs and cheap eats, the street is virtually a student enclave within the city. It forms the backdrop for parties and other activities held by the dozens of student organizations from Ghent University and Colleges.
The rapid succession of generations of students in the Overpoortstraat make you forget the age of the student-like presence there, as if the university never had its student area anywhere else. Which is, of course, not true. Students in Ghent have been having nights out in the cafes and restaurants near the Aula for 150 years. During the fifties, this gradually moves to the Kuiperskaai too. The Overpoort obtains her status as a student boulevard with the arrival of new campuses and the University Hospital.
The Overpoortstraat connects these new university sites south of the city with the 'old university' in the city centre. Ghent University builds a student restaurant and three halls of residence in and around the centrally located Overpoortstraat. In the wake of the students, shops and pubs follow.