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The interdisciplinary course Globalisation and Sustainable Development, formerly North-South, consists of a series of lectures and debates by (international) experts on contemporary topics in a variety of domains. These topics are approached from a global relations perspective and focus on 3 concepts: globalisation, sustainability and development.

The lectures make attendants aware of the importance of context, culture, history and experience in knowledge creation and (inter)national development strategies and practices.  The course aims to provide a broad, multidisciplinary understanding of contemporary global issues while at once stimulating students’ (self)reflective and respectful attitude towards other cultures. In an ever globalising world, these are important social but also employability skills.







This year, the course includes lectures and debates by selected experts who will introduce you to relevant issues in different societal fields, with a focus on the "Global Commons". A first introduction will guide students through the background of the 3 concepts of globalisation, sustainability and development. This session is followed by a general introduction on the commons and several highlighted topics from different disciplines: energy, human rights, heritage, health. A workshop on e-waste as a wicked problem (the “Wicked Problem Plaza”) and a wrap up workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals end the series.

This course is an elective course open for all students. Also external people can join the sessions, free of charge.


All lectures take place at UHasselt Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan, Building D, from 5-7 pm.



Introduction on globalization, sustainability & development


Prof. Wim Lambrechts

Aula H2


Commons: citizens take matters back into their own hands

Dirk Holemans (Coordinator Oikos. Think tank for social-ecological change)

Aula H2


Sustainable energy


Aula H2


Co-development of sustainable energy solutions in Africa

Prof. Wim Deferme (Institute for Materials Research Hasselt University, chair ‘Students for Energy in Africa)


Status of renewable energy uptake in Kenya – The case of biogas production and utilization

Prof. Robert Kinyua (head Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya)  


Human rights and environmental law


Aula H2


Rethinking the legal protection of the commons

Prof. Bernard Vanheusden (head research group Government and Law, researcher Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University)


The environment as a human rights issue? Challenges and opportunities

Prof. Daphina Misiedjan (Lecturer and researcher at The Hague University of Applied Sciences &

Researcher at the Utrecht Center for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law)


Preservation of heritage


Aula H2


Adaptive reuse of religious heritage: (re)connecting church and community

Dr. Bie Plevoets (research group ArcK, Hasselt University)


The social involvement in the preservation of the heritage in the south of Ecuador

Prof. Fausto Cardoso (Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo , research group Ciudad Patrimonia Mundial, UCuenca, Ecuador)


Air pollution and health


Aula H2


Air pollution and health over the life course

Prof. Tim Nawrot (researcher Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University)


Health effects of air pollution in low- and middle-income countries: current evidence and case study from Sub-Saharan Africa


Dr. Patrick de Marie Katoto (PhD fellow, Centre for environmental health, KULeuven; Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine and Expertise Centre on Mining Governance (CEGEMI), Catholic University of Bukavu, Congo)


World Evening Cultural evening with appetizers and workshops from all over the world

For students who take the GSD course for credits, attending World Evening is mandatory but free of charge – you don’t have to subscribe separately at the world evening website in this case. If you want to prepare appetizers, keep an eye on your email.




Workshop Wicked Problem Plaza

This workshop can only be attended by UHasselt students that take the GSD course for credits (mandatory)



Writing reflections

Prof. Wim Lambrechts This session is a preparation of the examination.

Aula H2


Workshop SDG’s and the global commons

Peter Wollaert (Managing Director CIFAL Flanders)




Structure & language

The course consists of interactive lectures and workshops by guest speakers specialized in different areas of study. Every lecture will foresee the possibility of interaction between the speaker and the audience. UHasselt  students are expected to submit a question on the topic prior to each lecture, based on articles on Blackboard. All lectures will be in English.


Target group

  • AUHL students:
    - Hasselt University: Students in their third bachelor year and master students can register for the course (1955) with the approval of their faculty.
    - PXL: Students can register for the course with the approval of their department.
  • Others: The lectures are open to all interested people, free of charge.



  • Attendance at all lectures is required.
  • Participation in the discussions during the lectures is encouraged and is supported by the mandatory submission of a question on the topic, prior to the lecture.
  • The exam consist of a written exam on the sessions and a reader provided in Blackboard, in combination with a reflection assignment.


Sofie Ignoul


Academic coordination

Prof. dr. Patrizia Zanoni
Prof. dr. Paul Janssen
Prof. dr. Wim Lambrechts

Administrative coordination

Sofie Ignoul