Hasselt University awards honorary degree to Jane Goodall

Hasselt University awards honorary degree to Jane Goodall
10/01/2020 Webmaster
On 12 March 2020, Hasselt University will award an honorary degree to Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE.
By bestowing her this honorary degree, Hasselt University wants to honour the impressive career of this world-renowned British anthropologist and biologist. On the same day, Dr. Goodall will be a guest at the 30th anniversary celebration of Regional Landscape Kempen en Maasland. She will visit the Hoge Kempen National Park and the Hasselt University Ecotron, where the university is conducting a research on the impact of climate change on our natural environment. In the evening, she will close her visit to Limburg with a public event/lecture in the Limburghal.

“With this honorary degree, we want to pay tribute to Dr. Goodall’s work and boundless commitment to nature conservation and animal welfare,” says Luc De Schepper, rector of Hasselt University. “Dr Goodall not only inspires our students and colleagues in the field of biology, her work is an inspiration to all scientists. The 40 years she has spent studying the social behaviour and family life of chimpanzees have been absolutely ground-breaking and the research methods she developed, have become the standard.”

For nearly half a century, Dr Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute have been committed to nature conservation. In jam-packed auditoriums, lecture halls and conference centres all over the world, she talks about environmental crises that threaten nature and brings a message of hope that – despite everything – we must continue taking action to solve these issues. The Institute has 28 Chapters worldwide, including Jane Goodall Institute Belgium, which help bring to life Jane’s dream to live in harmony with nature through its key actions, tree planting and youth activities in Belgium and chimpanzee protection in Africa.


Visit to Ecotron

“Dr Goodall inspires both young and old, and makes people aware that every individual matters when addressing global challenges such as biodiversity loss and climate change. We are therefore very honoured to welcome her to our Hasselt University Ecotron in the Hoge Kempen National Park” says Luc De Schepper. “The Ecotron consists of 13 high-tech ecosystem chambers in which we imitate future climate. They offer us an insight into the true impact climate change will have on our natural environment.”

Focus on nature conservation

The organisation Regional Landscape Kempen en Maasland is also delighted that Dr Goodall will be visiting in honour of their 30th anniversary. “Jane Goodall is a leading lady, a world authority on much broader matters than her own specific field of expertise. She successfully convinces people that by protecting nature, we are also protecting ourselves,” says Ignace Schops, director of the NGO Regional Landscape Kempen en Maasland. “This is the message we, Regional Landscape Kempen en Maasland, have been promoting for the past 30 years: investing in the green region of Limburg more than ever offers opportunities for a resilient and healthy society. Therefore, we are very proud to welcome Jane to the 30th anniversary celebration of Regional Landscape Kempen en Maasland.”

“It is a great honour that our founder is selected for an honorary degree from the university of Hasselt. She has been speaking out for animals all of her life, and we are grateful for the acknowledgment of her work. There is still so much in the world fighting for. There are so many young people dedicated to making this a better world, and we should take inspiration from them that there is still hope that it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part.” said Anouska Plasmeijer, Executive Director of the Jane Goodall Institute Belgium.



Practical information about time and place to follow.


For more information:

Koen Santermans (UHasselt): 0473 26 53 10

Thomas Vandenreyt (UHasselt): 0499 21 80 51

Anouska Plasmeijer (Jane Goodall Institute Belgium): 0487 23 56 43

Ignace Schops (Directeur RLKM): 0477 43 56 33

Photo credits: Vincent Calmel