Hasselt University is a young, dynamic centre of expertise for teaching, research and service provision. It regards it as its social responsibility to contribute actively to a sustainable and innovative region. It aspires to be a hub in this innovation web. Hasselt University therefore attaches great importance to cooperation with other centres of expertise, companies, government agencies and organisations in Limburg and beyond.
As one of the drivers of regional innovation, Hasselt University focuses specifically on:
● educating students so that they become highly skilled, employable professionals;
● conducting applied and fundamental research in specific fields
● and encouraging practical applications from that research;
● spreading its knowledge and expertise through collaboration with industry and other external partners;
● developing foreign partnerships.
● Basic principles in the implementation of these key roles are academic and scientific freedom, social engagement, attention to ethical standards and awareness of wider implications – without ideological discrimination.
For Hasselt University, the development of the human potential of all its students and staff comes first.
1. Active education tailored to the student
Hasselt University educates its students to become highly skilled, employable and enterprising professionals who can make a significant contribution to the knowledge economy with their knowledge and skills. The university therefore attaches the utmost importance to providing high-quality programmes with solid scientific content that meet the current needs of the region/Euregio.
Students are central
Hasselt University puts the student at the centre of its educational model. From the beginning, students are coached in independent learning, so that they evolve step by step towards completely autonomous study.
Hasselt University uses a blend of teaching methods in which students actively process the material: lectures, question and answer sessions, practical exercises, group work, individual assignments, practicals, projects, internships, excursions, seminars... The teaching is characterised by the interaction between students and teachers, and among the students themselves.
The programmes at Hasselt University are designed to be flexible and offer students the opportunity to create a customised programme. The Bachelor’s programmes with flexible learning pathways give students the best possible preparation for a wide range of Master’s programmes both at Hasselt and at other universities in Flanders and the Netherlands.
Emphasis on both knowledge and skills
In its education, Hasselt University places emphasis not just on the active use of knowledge, but on the acquisition of skills that are useful and necessary in the job market and in society – the so-called ‘lifelong employability skills’. Hasselt University has formulated five core competencies that every graduate must have:
● self-directed action and learning;
● multidisciplinary teamwork;
● communication and presenting;
● stakeholder awareness;
● ethical thinking and acting.
Hasselt University attaches great importance to the quality of its education. Programmes are therefore regularly evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted. In addition, the university works with modern technologies such as e-learning, which make courses more accessible to international students, working students and students with disabilities.
Students participate at all levels in the administration of the university and have an important voice in both the structure and the quality monitoring of education.
Every student counts
Hasselt University is open to students from all over Flanders and further afield. The university considers it a top priority to offer equal educational opportunities to young people from all social groups. It therefore works with students to improve their study approach, methods and planning in order to increase their chances of success. Particular attention is paid to young people from homes where Dutch is not spoken, or not the only language spoken.
Students and society
Hasselt University encourages its students to participate in sport, culture and other social activities. Students are also encouraged to consider the wider implications of their activities and their responsibility towards society – in a spirit of openness to all ideological tendencies.
2. Top research in key areas
Hasselt University conducts scientific research in a number of clearly defined domains with a high degree of social and/or technological relevance. These key research areas are clustered together in seven research institutes that cover the full research spectrum, from fundamental research via strategic basic research to practical and innovative applications.
Research and teaching are closely interconnected at Hasselt University. Staff members have both teaching and research roles. Even during their Bachelor’s programme, students become familiar with research, and participate actively in it during Master’s programmes. In addition, Master’s programmes receive input from the scientific expertise of the different research groups and institutes of Hasselt University and/or the university’s partners.
Within the Limburg University-Colleges Association (AUHL), Hasselt University is also creating, together with PXL College, a complete chain of fundamental and applied research.
3. Service provision
Hasselt University endeavours to optimise the process by which its knowledge and expertise flow into society. It therefore puts its weight behind the further development of cooperation between researchers, companies, centres of expertise and other economic and cultural operators in the region/Euregio. Specifically, this involves:
● building close contacts with companies, employers’ organisations, regional platforms and science parks;
● informing companies about the expertise available within the university;
● research services: responding to specific requests from the business community about the development and/or improvement of (new) products, services and processes;
● creating spin-offs and spin-ins;
● ensuring that patenting and licensing policies are consistent with the need to harness research findings;
● offering targeted training programmes for professionals in companies and organisations.
Hasselt University is also working on innovation with the other Flemish universities in a great variety of fields. For instance, they are involved in inter-university research institutes such as IMEC, iMinds and VIB.
4. International hub for the region
Hasselt University aims to be a ‘gateway to other countries’ for the region. It seeks to achieve this ambition by welcoming students and researchers from all over the world on its campuses. It also encourages the international mobility of its students and researchers in the reverse direction. In this connection, the university has exchange programmes (including within the framework of Erasmus) and cooperation agreements with numerous foreign centres of expertise.
Hasselt University explicitly presents itself as an independent centre of education, research and innovation within the leading technology region around Eindhoven, Aachen and Limburg. Within this knowledge region, it strengthens its educational and research profile through concrete cooperation with:
● Maastricht University (within the transnational Limburg University);
● Eindhoven Technical University (for the engineering programmes);
● Université de Liège and Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (to promote student exchanges, including from outside the EU).
With the internationalisation of its education and research, Hasselt University seeks not only to offer its students and researchers a window on the world, but also to consolidate its independence and growth.
HASSELT UNIVERSITY AS AN EMPLOYER
Together with its staff, Hasselt University is building an organisation where it is pleasant to work. Maximum opportunities for development, respect for the individuality of each employee, open communication, participation in governance at all levels and appreciation for people’s efforts are the hallmarks of its corporate culture. The university strives for a balance between the employee’s personal development and the efficient functioning of the organisation