As a recently graduated student of architecture, MaHS has helped define my identity as a designer, and in a way restored my love for the discipline! The international atmosphere, and the multi-faceted manner in which we were encouraged to tackle any challenge were especially important in shaping my career in researching the built environment in my country.
Joud Khasawneh, Lecturer at the department of architectural engineering at the Applied Sciences University (Jordan) - MaHS 2004-05
What i have learnt during the MaHS program is the patience needed to really understand people that think completely differently than I would. I think that might be the most valuable skill I have learned during the MaHS program, not only for my career but very much also for my personal life. From a professional perspective, the ability to grasp the larger picture, have a vision for it and develop a strategy to get there has helped me in post-disaster deployments as well as in my current more applied research oriented position.
Cecilia Braedt, Coordinator of IFRC-Shelter Research Unit (Luxemburg) - MaHS 2005-06
The critical way we learnt to look at and deal with societal challenges and related design issues, provides me with a firm and integral framework to tackle design assignments in my job today. During the MaUSP programme I had the chance to meet, work and discuss with professors, students and guest critics from all over the world. This has provided me with a strong international network that I can still rely on for interesting work-related events, for keeping up to date with the most recent research developments in designerly research and for wonderful and surprising opportunities to exchange knowledge within and out of Belgium.
Laura Nagels, designer at Maat Ontwerpers / Design instructor at University of Antwerp, MaUSP 2009-2011
The MaHS provided me with a strong foundation on architecture for the ‘underprivileged’. The theme of housing and development has remained a catch phrase for me and an issue which remains relevant to date. Housing continues to be a developmental issue, especially with the disparity between the rich and the poor widening even further.
Stephen Diang’a, Jomo Kenyatta University of Architecture and Technology (Kenya) - MaHS 1982-84
The MaUSP programme and its teaching team provided me with a wonderful approach that inspires and follows me in my everyday practice. The programme comprised high quality courses and a thrilling lecture series combined to challenging design studios. Moreover, the renowned reputation of the MaUSP offered incredible professional opportunities as my current invovlement in the city of Charleroi exemplifies.
Géraldine Lacasse, Architect and urbanist at the Charleroi Bouwmeester (Belgium) - MaUSP 2010-2012
I recently received my MaHS diploma from the KU Leuven and I can only express my profound gratitude for the amazing opportunity given me. I can say I have become a better person and the things I have learnt during the past year have been of tremendous help to me since my return to my home country Ghana, where I hope to do my best.
Patricia Bosu, MaHS 2014-15
I entered MAHS with a broad background: an interdisciplinary degree combing construction technology and social science. The approach at MAHS gave me new lenses; my lecturers and my peers showed me what the value and importance of space is. I developed a passion for space that remains to inspire the teaching and research work that I am doing now on urban planning and development issues.
Saskia Ruijsink, Urban Planning and Policy Specialist & Researcher at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (The Netherlands) - MaHS 2004-05
Attending the MAUSP and the EMU experience was extremely enriching: an international working group, a broad choice of courses, a beautiful environment. An approach to urbanism hard to find anywhere else, where social aspects are strongly intertwined in the investigation and design aspects.
Giulia Testori, PhD candidate in Urbanism at the IUAV (Italy) - MaUSP 2011-13
The experience of attending the MaHS was an important landmark for me: it made me grow both as a human being and as a professional thanks to the progamme’s multi-disciplinary and holistic perspective.
Sara Rivas, Universidad Mayor de San Andres (Bolivia) - MaHS 1994-95
During the MaUSP I got to explore the most interesting landscapes and cultures. From the climate change sensitive Mekong delta in Cantho, to the economic and socially neglected neighborhoods in Baltimore and the reconstruction of a refugee camp in Nahr el Bared. Every time we dove into the site with an international group of students and local stakeholders. This way of working revealed that every spot in the world has to deal, in its own personal way, with common challenges like climate change and socio-economic transitions. Urban designers, architects and planners can be a part of this problem-solving process when they are sensitive to a locale's particular dynamics. This understanding continues to inspire my job as an urban designer today.
Sven Augusteyns, Architect-Urban Designer at Stramien and Ringland (Belgium) - MaUSP, 2009-11
The MaUSP reshaped the way I think of the urban environment and the landscape; it broadened my horizons on the beautiful and rich ways of reading the city and the landscape. Furthermore, as an active member of society and an architect who is always thinking of possible ways to reach to a more equitable world, the MaUSP offered me fertile academic grounds to think of important activism tools that I had never considered before.
Lyne Jabri, freelance architect/ urbanist and member of LilMadina (Lebanon) - MaUSP 2010-12
The intensive MaHS programme broadened my understanding of the various streams that feed into Human Settlements work. This in turn helped me to narrow in on newly found interests in the development arena. The MaHS programme went even further in supporting me to pursue those interests by linking me to an internship with UN-HABITAT which has led to my current work in the non-profit sector in my home country.
Selamawit Wondimu, Senior Analyst for Tony Blair African Governance Initiative (Ethiopia) - MaHS 2012-13
The MaHS was the backbone of my career. My use of knowledge accrued then continues to bear its fruits in my daily activities. I am a community architect as a result of my experience in Leuven.
Anna Shayo, Housing Program Officer for WAT-Human Settlements Trust (Tanzania) - MaHS 1992-93
The MaHS program has given me the opportunity to work together with colleagues from all continents and to learn from their culture, know-how and professional experience, widening my vision on urbanism and on how to positively contribute to the development of cities. The program definetively moulded the path to becoming a researcher.
Ana Beja da Costa, Landscape Architect and PhD candidate at the University of Lisbon - MaHS, 2007-08
My experience in Leuven has been like a window opening to the world. The international approach of the program gave me both an excellent background and a powerful incentive to explore the other side(s) of the planet!
Christian Nolf, Lecturer at Xi'An Jiatong Liverpool University in Suzhou (China) - MaUSP
The MaHS programme builds upon an extensive tradition and network in human settlements world-wide. Critical review of theory and practice, grounded in intensive on-site fieldwork, were an intrinsic component of the courses that enabled me to develop new insights. Working intensively with a variety of nationalities and people from different professional backgrounds was furthermore an enriching experience allowing for a multi-dimensional approach in studying complex urban issues. The opportunities MaHS offerred to enhance professional encounters and further academic knowledge were decisive in the continuation of my research activities in Latin America and current engagement in local capacity building in Ecuador.
Olga Peek, teaching assistant at the University of Guayaquil (Ecuador) - MaHS 2011-12
The MaHS programme has taught me to apprehend the complexity of cities and societies.
Isabelle Verhaert, urbanism consultant at the City of Antwerp - MaHS 2004-05
The MaUSP programme is a turning point that will simply change you forever. It was probably the best decision that I have taken, and even some years after graduation, the approach to urban transformation that I learnt during the MaUSP continues to challenge my personal and professional principals. Moreover, the skills and relationships that were built during my participation in the programme, extend way beyond holding any post-graduate degree.
Ana Sabrina Martínez Feria, Co-founder of Antrophoscene (Mexico City - Antwerp - Bucharest) - MaUSP 2011-2013
The in-depth perspective of urbanity and on issues of housing, building and planning in a context of developent under scarcity and pressing environmental constraints that I gained during the MaHS has been highly inspirational. It has provided me with a greater sense of direction in my own professional career. On my return to South Africa, as part of an urban design company, we have been fortunate to expand our portfolio to include some of the most important post-apartheid urban designs. Central to this success has been the grounding received at KU Leuven.
Ludwig Hansen, Urban Solutions / University of Witswatersrand (South Africa) MaHS 1995-96
The MaUSP program has not only opened my eyes towards the world and the problematic of contextual design for human settlements, but it has also provided an exceptionally stimulating environment to learn by doing, by drawing, by reading and by exchanging experiences. Today the research by design methodology learnt during the MaUSP provides a stable support to my professional development and is a constant trigger to sharpen my insight vis-à-vis all the complexities of the built environment.
Annelies De Nijs, designer at Agence Ter, Paris - MaUSP 2011-2013
The role of MaHS in introducing the notion and complex nature of human settlements, habitat and housing is indispensable. The MaHS opened my eyes and heart to community-based planning and deisign paradigms.
Johannes Widodo, National University of Singapore / Director of Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture – MaHS 1986-88