Hasselt University in action for refugees

Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


Hasselt University wants to put its back into the numerous initiatives in Limburg designed to deal with the recent refugee crisis. On this page you can find out what you can do and how!

Do you want to take action? Do you have suggestions or ideas? Do not hesitate to contact us:

Lia Van Hoef
Staff member International Office 

How can you help?


1. Financial support

The refugee shelters are continuously looking for extra financial means in order to be able to provide the increasing flow of refugees with proper care and guidance. You can deposit a donation on the account number below, using the reference 'vluchteling'. In cooperation with the Limburgs Platform Vluchtelingen (LPV), Hasselt University ensures that the means arrive at their proper destination.

UHasselt - Universiteitsfonds
IBAN: BE36 4532 5278 1181

Donations of a minimum of 40 Euro on an annual basis are subject to a tax reduction of 45% of the actual donated amount. The donor receives a fiscal certificate from Hasselt University if the donation is at least 40 Euro.

2. Volunteer work

Do you wish to work as a volunteer and provide guidance to refugees by teaching language classes, organise entertainment for children, furnish rooms or coach children and young people in doing their homework? 
Do not hesitate to register with the Limburgs Platform Vluchtelingen (LPV).
This platform coordinates all operations via the website Limburg gastvrij.

3. Hasselt University joins Science4Refugees

Besides meeting refugees' most urgent needs such as accommodation and food, there is a need to help improve their long-term situation, including by helping them to find employment. The European Commission had launched the Science4Refugees initiative to help refugee scientists and researchers find suitable jobs that both improve their own situation and put their skills and experience to good use in Europe's research system.

Science4Refugees matches talented refugees and asylum seekers who have a scientific background with positions in universities and research institutions that are 'refugee-welcoming organisations' and that have suitable positions available, including internships and part-time and full-time jobs.

Science4Refugees is accessible to refugees and institutions through the EURAXESS - Reserachers in Motion portal, a pan-European initiative providing access to a complete range of information and support services to researchers wishing to find jobs and pursue their research careers in Europe.

Recently Hasselt University joined the Science4Refugees initiative. Click here for more information.

 4. Awareness

Throughout the academic year 2016 - 2017, the Internationalisation Office (DIOS) will organise a diverse range of activities (lectures, debates,...) surrounding current social themes. The theme of refugees will also be part of these activities. 

For more information about these events: awareness.

5. Online module Arabic-Dutch 

Monday June 20th – World refugee day – Hasselt University launched her online language module Arabic-Dutch. Using this interactive package, refugees are able to learn Dutch (for free) in a relatively short period. The module was developed by the UHasselt research institution Centre for Linguistics and its spin-off CommArt International.

The idea for the Arabic-Dutch module arose during the peak moment of the refugee crisis, in the autumn of 2015. Students from Syria, Morocco, Iraq and Palestine collaborated on voluntary basis for the development of the  self-study package. The module presents itself as an efficient way to learn the basics of Dutch within a short period of time.

The multimedia package uses audio fragments, illustrations and pictures to support the dialogues, the necessary explanation on words and grammar, information on culture, a specific dictionary and exercises. The module covers a wide range of theme’s: shopping, food and drinks, going to a bar, meeting people, the weather forecast … A simple internet connection is sufficient to use the cloudpackage.

For more information and access to the module you can send an e-mail to

6. Diverse awareness actions 2015-2016

During the academic year different initiatives arose to sensitize students, personnel and external persons to raise awareness and inform on the recent refugee crisis.

Solidarity choir KATIKUNE presented GRENZE/OOS, a jubilee concert with music and songs from all continents. The proceeds from this fundraiser concert will directly support Limburgs Platform voor Vluchtelingen. More information on:

In December 2015 ‘Treasure Exhibition’ took place. A photo exhibition of Sarah Rombouts, a designer from Limburg, in collaboration with ‘Studio Refugee’. This exhibition showed the portraits of Afghan, Syrian, Kosovan and Iraqi refugees who sought refuge in Belgium. These portraits were made by UHasselt exchange student, Weinchien Chan.

On March 1, 2016, ir. Architect Kjell Keymolen was invited for a guestlecture on the innovative project: the Maggie-shelter. Engineer and architect bureau DMOA Architecten designed a new type of tent for refugee camps. The construction, called ‘Maggie’, is specifically designed to give forcibly displaced people access to health, education and self-reliance.

 7. Diverse fundraising activities 2015-2016

During the course of the academic year, diverse initiatives and activities were started to stimulate students and personnel to contribute a small gesture to projects developed to support refugees.

During the first week of December a coalition of student associations (a.o. StuRa, Commeatus, Dip’s, Filii Lamberti, Hermes & Themis) organized a ‘Sinterklaas’ action. Typical products such as speculaas and chocolate were sold on the agora to support the refugees.

Also personnel of UHasselt received a delicious treat for ‘Sinterklaas’. The International Office sold speculaas made by Daycentre De Wroeter, a Centre for adults with a mental or social disability. Various institutions and faculties of Hasselt University contributed. This action raised more than € 1.250 and not only supports the refugees, but also Centre De Wroeter and above all made a wonderful Sinterklaas gift for the personnel of UHasselt. A good deed in threefold!

Colleague Serkan Mitis also contributed by selling a wonderful self-painted canvas (90-90 cm – oil paint) in favour of the refugees. The auction ended on January 15, 2016, and the highest bid, € 260, was made by a colleague of CENSTAT. The canvas will be exposed in the corridors of CENSTAT. Many thanks to both painter and bidder for your kind gesture.

The meaning of the picture is completely related to the refugee crisis: ocean crossing, kids, tears, helping hands, shields (protection refugees and own nations), grey guns (not worth a colour), claws (symbolising those in power who are responsible for the crisis), …

8. Handing over donations


The final amount raised during the academic year in support of refugee projects in Limburg amounted to € 8.150. On June 22, 2016, Vice-rector of Research Paul Janssen handed it over during a visit to one of the projects of vzw Masala in Sint-Truiden. The collected money was donated to organisations concerning various projects, including homework guiding, extra training and language classes for refugee children and adolescents. That way the money was divided between Limburgs Platform voor Vluchtelingen vzw, vzw Masala Sint-Truiden, De Oever – Fonto Nova, and Red Cross shelters in Heusden-Zolder, Lanaken and Overpelt.