Hasselt University was officially established in 1971 as ‘Limburgs Universitair Centrum’ (LUC), but it was not until 1973 that the university – literally – opened its doors and welcomed its first students. Over the past 40 years Hasselt University has grown into an innovative and dynamic university with 2 campuses (Diepenbeek and Hasselt) and 7 research institutes.
Hasselt University’s growth came very steadily.
Until 1991 the university was, in fact, an undergraduate level university institution with two faculties: the Faculty of Medicine-Dentistry and the Faculty of Sciences (with study programmes in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Biology). In 1991 the university expanded the reach of its curriculum by transforming the Limburg Business School (Economische Hogeschool Limburg), an independent university college which was located on the same campus in Diepenbeek, into the Faculty of Applied Economics. At the same time, Hasselt University became entitled to organize postgraduate programmes and award doctoral degrees in its three faculties.
In 2001 the Flemish and Dutch Ministers of Education signed an International Treaty by which the transnational University Limburg (tUL) was founded. Academic staff from Hasselt University and from nearby Maastricht University (in the Dutch Province of Limburg) since then jointly undertake research activities and offer degree programmes in Life Sciences and Computer Sciences.
In 2002 Hasselt University, together with Hogeschool PXL established the Limburg Association of Higher Education (AUHL). The AUHL was founded to enhance cooperation between higher education institutions in the region.
In the past decade Hasselt University has expanded its curriculum thoroughly. Since September 2004 the university offers a unique programme (bachelor and master) in Transportation Sciences. A bachelor programme in Law was established in September 2008, in cooperation with Maastricht University and KU Leuven. Three years later a master programme in Law was created.
2012 proved to be a new milestone in the university’s young existence, with the inauguration of the ‘city campus’ in Hasselt. The complex consists of three buildings, located near each other: the Vice Chancellor’s Office Building, the Faculty of Law and the ‘Oude Gevangenis’ (the renovated ‘Old City Jail’). The former city prison provides a new home to primarily law students, with several study rooms and two auditoriums. The Student Service Center, where enrollment of new students takes place, is also located in the ‘Oude Gevangenis’.
Higher education reform
In September 2013 four new (bachelor and master) programmes were added to the university’s curriculum: Architecture, Interior Design, Rehabilitation Sciences & Physiotherapy and Industrial Sciences. This expansion also entailed the creation of two brand new faculties: the Faculty of Architecture & Arts and the Faculty of Engineering Technology. That brings the total number of faculties to six, alongside the Faculty of Business Economics, Faculty of Medicine & Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Law. In 2014, the School of Transportation Sciences was established.
Hasselt University is home to about 6,000 students and 1,100 academic, administrative and technical staff members.
Vision & Mission
Hasselt University is an independent innovative university which is regionally anchored and has a pronounced international orientation. The university stands for excellence in education, top research in spearhead fields and active engagement in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The overall objective is to combine academic excellence with economic and social relevance.
The university aims to widen participation, addressing all talents, and inspires its students and staff to develop their full potential in a dynamic environment.
Hasselt University targets students with attractive undergraduate, graduate and PhD programmes which are research-led and characterised by a high academic level and the integration of lifelong employability skills. The programmes are supported by a range of innovative and effective teaching and learning forms.
University research policy is directed at top research in spearhead fields in a number of domains (electronic materials, ICT, life sciences, clean tech, biostatistics, traffic safety and mobility, open innovation and small businesses). In those multidisciplinary domains, the research institutes of Hasselt University combine fundamental and applied research, including contract research for regional and international industry and organizations. A fully staffed Technology Transfer Office is responsible for valorisation of research results and takes the lead in starting up several spin-off companies per year. The university assumes an active role in stimulating innovative economic activities in the region, including the co-ordination of regional thematic company clusters in domains such as life sciences, renewable energy and clean tech.
Hasselt University has an extensive international network and develops joint programmes with universities in Flanders and The Netherlands.
Hasselt is a Belgium city and municipality, and capital of the province of Limburg. The Hasselt municipality includes the original city of Hasselt, plus the old communes of Sint-Lambrechts-Herk, Wimmertingen, Kermt, Spalbeek, Kuringen, Stokrooie, Stevoort and Runkst, as well as the hamlets and parishes of Kiewit, Godsheide and Rapertingen.
On 31 December 2007 Hasselt had a total population of 71,520 (34,951 men and 36,569 women). Both the Demer river and the Albert Canal run through the municipality. Hasselt is located in between the Campine region, north of the Demer river, and the Hesbaye region, to the south. It is also situated in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion.
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