Hasselt University

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Hasselt University
UHasselt logog.png
Motto'Knowledge in Action'
Established1971 (UHasselt since 2005)
Budget89.6 million euro (2016)
RectorBernard Vanheusden (2020 - now)
Administrative staff
± 1,296 (2017)
Students± 6,395 (2016-2017)
CampusDiepenbeek and Hasselt

Hasselt University (Dutch: Universiteit Hasselt) is a public research university with campuses in Hasselt and Diepenbeek, Belgium.[1] It was officially established in 1971, as the Limburgs Universitair Centrum (LUC). In 2005, the university changed its name to Hasselt University.

Hasselt University is an innovative university which has a pronounced international orientation. It stands for excellence in education, top research in spearhead fields and active commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. This is reflected by its ranking amongst the best 10% universities worldwide in U-Multirank 2019. The overall objective is to combine academic excellence with economic and social relevance. Hasselt University has an extensive international network and is a partner in a variety of international research and education projects.[2]

Hasselt University is ranked 65th in the Times Higher Education-ranking of universities younger than 50 years.[3] According to Times Higher Education Ranking 2020 University of Hasselt is among the top 351 - 400 universities worldwide.[4] Currently, the universities of Hasselt and Maastricht work together as the Transnational University Limburg (tUL). Together with Hogeschool PXL, it established the Limburg Association of Higher Education (AUHL).

The rector of the university currently is Prof. Bernard Vanheusden, the vice rectors are Prof. Wanda Guedens and Prof. Ken Haenen.


Hasselt University - Oude Gevangenis

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. 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.

Briefly Hasselt University is a young university that has achieved enormous growth in the past four decades.

1973 The Limburg University Centre (LUC for short) – the predecessor of Hasselt University - officially opens to students in Diepenbeek, two years after the legal authorisation of the creation of an autonomous university institution in Limburg. LUC starts with six programmes: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, dentistry and medicine.

1991 Limburg Economic University College is integrated into LUC and becomes the Faculty of Economic Science (now the Faculty of Business Economics).

2002 LUC and Maastricht University jointly establish the Transnational University of Limburg (tUL) – an internationally unique partnership of two universities in two countries. The computer science, statistics and biomedical sciences programmes are organised under the tUL umbrella.

2003 LUC and the Limburg university colleges PHL and XIOS (which have since merged to form PXL University College) together form the Limburg University and Colleges Association (AUHL).

2004 The Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in transportation sciences – the only ones of their kind in Flanders – are added to the curriculum.

2005 The Limburg University Centre is renamed Hasselt University, or UHasselt for short.

2008/2011 Hasselt University launches its Bachelor of Law degree, a collaboration with Maastricht University and KU Leuven. Three years later, a Master’s programme in law follows.

2012 Hasselt University opens a second campus: the ‘urban campus’ in the centre of Hasselt. Hasselt Campus includes the Rectorate Building, the Law Faculty building and – right at the centre – the Oude Gevangenis (Old Prison). This is the place where law students attend classes and where new students must register.

2013 Four new programmes are introduced in Hasselt University in the academic year 2013-2014: • architecture • interior architecture • engineering technology • rehabilitation sciences and physiotherapy

At the same time, two new faculties are established: • Faculty of Architecture and Art • Faculty of Engineering Technology

This increases the number of faculties from four (Business Economics, Medicine and Life Sciences, Law and Sciences) to six.

2014 Hasselt University establishes the School of Transportation Sciences and the Hasselt University School for Expert Education (UHasselt SEE).

2015 The Faculty of Business Economics launches the business administration programme.[5]

International collaborations[edit]

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.

Limburg Association of Higher Education[edit]

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.

Cycling path towards campus Diepenbeek

New city campus[edit]

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.

Higher education reform[edit]

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 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 1,200 academic, administrative and technical staff members.


Universiteit Hasselt - Campus Diepenbeek

Campus Hasselt[edit]

The head office of Hasselt University is located at campus 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’.

Campus Diepenbeek[edit]

Since 1973 Hasselt University is located on the Campus Diepenbeek, which occupies a 75-acre site. Moreover, several institutes for applied research, an incubator for starting small enterprises, and several small businesses interacting with the research activities of the university are located on campus Diepenbeek. Building D includes the agora, the student restaurant and the library.


Faculty Bachelor's programmes Master's programmes
Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Physiotherapy
  • Biomedical Sciences
    • Molecular Mechanisms in Health and Disease
    • Clinical Biomedical Sciences
    • Environmental Health Sciences
    • Bioelectronics and Nanotechnology
  • Physiotherapy
Faculty of Sciences
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer Sciences
  • Statistics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Sciences
  • Statistics
  • Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Technology
  • Industrial Sciences
  • Construction
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Electromechanics
  • Energy
  • Electronics-ICT
  • Nuclear technology
  • Packaging technology
Faculty of Business Economics
  • Applied Economics
  • Business Economics
  • Business Engineering
  • Business Engineering in Management Information Systems
  • Applied Economics
  • Business Engineering
  • Business Engineering in Management Information Systems
  • Master of Management
Faculty of Law
  • Law
  • Administration of justice
  • Government and law
Faculty of Architecture and Arts
  • Architecture
  • Interior architecture
  • Architecture
  • Interior architecture
School for Transportation Sciences
  • Transportation Sciences
  • Road Traffic Safety
  • Mobility Management


Student population:[6]

  • 2008-2009: 2,628 students
  • 2009-2010: 2,886 students
  • 2010-2011: 3,084 students
  • 2011-2012: 3,310 students
  • 2013-2014: 5,500 students

In 2016, 15% fewer students enrolled for the new academic year, with just 1,250 freshmen starting.[7]

Staff population: On February 1, 2014, 1,100 staff members were employed at Hasselt University.[8]

Academic Profiles[edit]

University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[9]601-700 (2020)
CWUR World[10]815 (2020-21)
CWTS World[11]888 (2020)
QS World[12]456 (2021)
THE World[13]351–400 (2021)
USNWR Global[14]789 (2021)

The university is included in major world university rankings, e.g. that of the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Times Higher Education World University Rankings and U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking.


Hasselt University has six research institutes:

Student organisations[edit]

The most important student organisation is the Student Council or StuRa. This body of 14 elected students makes sure the student's rights are respected in every way. The chairman also has a seat in the university's Board of Governors.

Other student organisations at Hasselt University are:

Honorary Degrees[edit]

Over the past four decades, Hasselt University has bestowed 66 honorary degrees. In 2013, Martin Cooper - also known as 'father of the mobile phone' - joined the UHasselt Honorary Doctors. He was nominated by the Student Council.

University medal

Honorary Doctors Hasselt University[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History".
  2. ^ "International rankings".
  3. ^ "International rankings".
  4. ^ "Hasselt University". 10 August 2021.
  5. ^ "History".
  6. ^ "Cijfers rond onderwijs".
  7. ^ "200 inschrijvingen minder aan UHasselt na gehypete opleidingen".
  8. ^ "Cijfers rond personeel".
  9. ^ "ARWU - Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". Shanghai Ranking. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  10. ^ "World University Rankings 2020-2021". Center for World University Rankingsg. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  11. ^ "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020 - P(top 10%)". CWTS Leiden Ranking. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  12. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2021". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  13. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  14. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2021". US News & World Report - Education. Retrieved 7 March 2021.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°55′31″N 05°23′27″E / 50.92528°N 5.39083°E / 50.92528; 5.39083