Hasselt University

Hasselt University (UHasselt) is a young and innovative university with 6100 students, of which 13% are international, and 1200 staff members, of which 12% international. The triple mission of UHasselt concerns: 1) excellence in teaching, 2) top research in spearhead domains and 3) an active involvement in innovation and entrepreneurship. This is reflected by its ranking among the best 4% universities worldwide in U-Multirank 2017. In the “Times Higher Education ranking of universities less than half a century old”, UHasselt ranks at number 73 and in the “Times Higher Education ranking for best small universities”, UHasselt is ranked 15th on the list.

The overall objective is to combine academic excellence with economic and social relevance. UHasselt has chosen to organise most of its research activities in institutes where fundamental and applied research are combined, including contract research for industry and non-profit organisations. UHasselt has a broad international network and works with other universities, research centres, businesses and organisations across the globe to achieve excellent education, science sharing and a global mindset. Moreover, UHasselt participates actively in research and education projects at European and international level (including Erasmus+).

The Transportation Research Institute IMOB, founded in 2003, is one of the research institutes of Hasselt University. IMOB works on sustainable solutions for problems within domains of tourism, transportation, road safety, behavior, road design and autonomy. Currently, about 50 permanent staff members are employed, of which the majority as researcher, Ph.D. student or teaching assistant. Research on tourism is embodied in the Centre for Travel and Tourism Research within IMOB. It addresses the question how to strive towards sustainable, high quality and accessible tourism. In particular, sustainable tourism development within protected areas is one of its main research fields.

IMOB has developed various digital applications for example tracking hiking routes within the national park , mapping travel behavior to school, and assisting persons with a disability to travel
independently. In terms of education, a bachelor (in Dutch) and master program (in Dutch and English; and on-campus as well as by distance learning) in Transportation Sciences is offered to 120 students. Moreover, training programs have been set up with the South on Road Safety in Low and Middle Income Countries. Finally, IMOB and Hasselt University have invested in innovative and promising educational projects such as Hasselt University’s first MOOC.