Evangelina Olajumoke Owokotomo from Nigeria had just embarked on her PhD at the Centre for Statistics at Hasselt University. By her second week, she was already loving the experience.
“Our learning environment is great. We can email the professors anytime – they are always willing to give answers to my questions,” Owokotomo says.
Hasselt University’s smaller size makes this possible. “You will find that if you want to talk to us about the course material or about your professional career, you can easily access us, unlike in the larger universities where sometimes approaching the teachers is much more difficult,” says Dr. Tomasz Burzykowski, Professor of Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics.
That is not only the reason why over 6,800 students chose this Belgian university. The diversity of the student body and staff on top of the internationality of Hasselt City and reasonable tuition fees — ranging from 979 to 2,209 euros — are highly attractive factors for international students like Tooba Batool from Pakistan who is pursuing her PhD in Transportation Sciences.
“I especially enjoy working in the mobility management research group because it is very multicultural and I feel at home because our Belgian colleagues are very supportive,” she enthuses.
Naveed Iqbal, a fellow Pakistani attending the Master of Interior Architecture programme particularly enjoys the family-like atmosphere of the studio, thanks to the ready cooperation among his peers who come from various countries.
Anson Yip from Hong Kong had a similar experience with her Master of Management programme. “All my classmates have a different nationality – we can learn about their culture and language so we can have a truly international business environment to grow our mindset,” she says.
In fact, 15% of Hasselt University’s students — and 47% of the 734 PhD students — are international. That highly cosmopolitan aspect was exactly what Dr. Burzykowski wants to emphasise. “When you come here, you are not a stranger,” he says. “You will have many people from different countries with different dialects of English so you will feel comfortable.”
Hasselt City is equally exciting. Martijn Rubbrecht, a Belgian Master of Management student, loves how it has a vibrant nightlife and shopping scene, yet with enough greenery for walking, biking and hiking.
Apart from the global community and location, the following five master’s programmes – taught in English – are thoughtfully designed for international students to advance in their careers. They include sufficient exposure to real-life applications of classroom theories.
The one-year Master of Management trains students to analyse complex strategic and organisational business problems and engineer suitable, high-quality solutions. Students can look forward to interactive teaching methods and close interactions with faculty.
Many graduates of the two-year Master of Statistics and Data Science programme — offered on campus, online or paired with work — become experts in data analytics. Accredited by the UK Royal Statistical Society, the programme includes several specialisations such as bioinformatics, biostatistics, data science and quantitative epidemiology.
For the highly research-oriented Master of Biomedical Sciences – completed within two years — three focus areas are offered: Bioelectronics and Nanotechnology, Environmental Health Sciences or Molecular Mechanisms in Health and Disease. The programme offers two major perks — you will be trained in scientific English, in experimental work and grant proposal writing; and complete two internships with top-level research groups.
The Master of Interior Architecture, has a special concentration area: adaptive reuse – which teaches how to transform and adapt the built environment through preserving rather than the traditional conserving and restoring. These students have the added bonus of learning within the Hasselt region which is well-known for historical sites.
Finally, the multidisciplinary Master of Transportation Sciences introduces students from different complementary backgrounds to fundamental concepts in behaviour, infrastructure, policy, technological advances and transportation modelling. They are challenged to immediately apply what they have learned to the case of an international mega-city. Thereafter, they can major in either Traffic Safety or Transport Policy and Planning, and participate in a 10-week internship.
Whichever programme they choose, students are guided by world-renowned professors. Dr. Geert Molenberghs, a well-known researcher within the Master of Statistics and Data Science programme, is currently active in investigating the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Tom Brijs is the chairman of the Master of Transportation Sciences and conducts lots of research in the area of traffic safety.
With such multiracial campuses, affordable fees, innovative master’s programmes, dynamic conversations, and experienced professors, it is little wonder that Hasselt University is ranked #53 among the world’s young universities (Times Higher Education Rankings, 2022). The university is counted among the top 2% higher education institutions worldwide in the European Commission’s (U-Multirank) as well.
For more information on Hasselt University’s application process, click here.