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Building Beyond Borders

Building Beyond Borders

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The postgraduate consists of tutoring theoretical background and research, project-based learning, hands-on experiments and a real-life Design/Build project abroad. The programme is composed in such a way that interaction between these methods is achieved.

Core features of the programme are:

  • The structure and agenda transgresses from theory to practice, and from general to specific.
  • Courses cover all aspects needed to prepare participants in a substantive and practical way to work on own projects, specifically ‘beyond borders’, in their future career.
  • The work on the real-life project holds a gradual focus on exploring, designing and building.

What is the relevance of the postgraduate certificate ‘Building Beyond Borders’, and what is the call to action for participation?

The world faces environmental, social, economic and political challenges. These must be addressed at all levels through a global lens. Sustainable Development, made explicit by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Global Citizenship are essential. Global Citizenship refers to a broad, culturally and environmentally inclusive worldview that accepts the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. Borders become irrelevant and solutions to today's challenges go beyond a narrow ‘here-and-now’ vision.

Global Citizenship urges aspects of social responsibility, interculturalism and global engagement. Creating awareness, transmitting knowledge and enabling experiences with respect to these aspects is the underlying purpose of the postgraduate certificate ‘Building Beyond Borders’. As the postgraduate addresses Global Citizenship from the perspective of the sociotechnical system of architecture and the construction industry, its primary purpose is to support the development of international competences needed to build beyond borders as a Global Citizen.

By its practice-oriented set-up and approach backed by theory and science ‘Building Beyond Borders’ offers a unique possibility to contribute, now and later, to the SDGs and to enhance competences in Global Citizenship. In ‘Building Beyond Borders’, participants really explore and practice sustainable architecture abroad.

Dr. Ir. Elke Knapen, academic coordinator
Dr. Arch. Bart Janssens, academic coordinator


“As founding partner of the internationally recognized and award-winning office BC architects & studies, I have gained experience in architectural innovation, the use of local materials, new building processes, and in building beyond borders. It is a great pleasure to be part of the educational team of this postgraduate and to be the project manager of the hands-on experiments and the Design/Build projects.”

Arch. Nicolas Coeckelberghs, Design/Build project manager


What is the incentive for the faculty of Architecture and Arts of Hasselt University to set up this postgraduate certificate, and how does it fit the faculties objective?

© Bc architects & studiesThe faculty of Architecture and Arts of Hasselt University is proud to present the postgraduate certificate ‘Building Beyond Borders’, as it is in line with its objective to support Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship.

The extent of the international partners and overall network of the faculty is growing. Several international projects are completed successfully and many more are initiated. Students and staff participate in exchanges and share knowledge, insights and experiences, worldwide. Agreements with non-governmental organizations abroad provide opportunities to collaborate in local projects for the benefit of education, research and societal outreach. This network has resulted in a series of teaching and research programmes on the theme of Sustainable Development, and ultimately of Global Citizenship.

‘Think global, Act local’ is the core idea of Global Citizenship. This is embodied in the faculty’s mission on internationalisation. The postgraduate certificate ‘Building Beyond Borders’ is the next step to strengthen this mission.

Dr. Arch. Els Hannes, international coordinator
Prof. Ir. Rob Cuyvers, dean emeritus