The University of Mons, abbreviated to “UMONS”, is a French-speaking university in the province of Hainaut, Belgium, near the French-Belgian border. It is approximately 50 kilometres from Brussels, the capital of Europe.
UMONS was created in 2009 following the merger between the University of Mons-Hainaut and the Faculty of Engineering of Mons, the university’s oldest faculty which was founded in 1837.
A decree reorganising the structure of higher education was implemented at the end of 2013. This decree initiated the creation of an organisation in the province of Hainaut, called the "Pôle hainuyer", which comprises 3 universities, 3 "hautes écoles" (institutions of higher education), 3 art schools and around 40 institutions of continuing education. UMONS is jointly responsible for heading up this organisation, along with the president of one of the participating institutes of higher education.
Before the adoption of this decree, UMONS had already established agreements with 5 "hautes écoles". Together, these institutions have 22,000 students and offer more than 250 degree programmes.
UMONS has around 40 different degree programmes on offer at Bachelor, Master and PhD level in fields as diverse as Law, Psychology, Social Sciences, Biomedical, Economics, Electricity, Management, Material Sciences, Mechanics, Urban Planning, Information Technology, Architecture, Interpretation, Linguistics, Physics, Speech-Language Pathology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Translation, Education, Biology, Geology, Medicine, and many more.
Accommodating students in a learning environment characterised by a human dimension is a priority of UMONS. Education aims to develop students’ and researchers’ intellectual, cultural and human experiences in order to become responsible by promoting critical thinking, open-mindedness, tolerance, responsibility and autonomy.
Assisting new students with the smoothest of transitions from secondary education to university is also a priority. For improved student success, UMONS offers remediation, tutoring, mentoring, improvement of working methods and mock exams.New IT is incorporated into the education service, such as online courses and distant learning. E-learning also offers many innovative and effective teaching solutions for students, for example self-evaluation, voting systems and video streaming.
The university offers three levels of education: Bachelor, Master and PhD. Classes take place mainly during the day but evening classes are also held at the Charleroi campus.As a pioneer in the field of further education in evening classes, UMONS has welcomed adults returning to education for nearly 30 years, thus contributing to the improvement and development of their Professional careers.
Several types of educational training are offered:
A constant concern of UMONS is being able to provide appropriate courses which reflect current challenges and which are also in close collaboration with research. The university guarantees the education of Young students and adults by upholding scientific and academic teaching through programmes rooted in the human and societal difficulties of the 21st century.
As part of its Charter for Quality, UMONS works towards developing quality education in its home province of Hainaut. The skills conveyed to students are aimed at promoting the economic and social restructure of the local community.
Scientific research is now one of the pillars which our society can depend on to meet the social and economic challenges facing it, in order to improve the quality of life and to alleviate threats to the environment while allowing our economies to remain competitive.
With more than 700 researchers, research objectives in UMONS are pursued both regionally and internationally. The common goal of all UMONS researchers is to develop expertise on a large scale, subsequently benefiting society, particularly the region.
The expertise of the University’s researchers is internationally acknowledged. To demonstrate this, three from the chemistry and materials domains have been recognised and classified among the Top 100 Global Researchers who have been most influential in their disciplines over the last decade, on account of their publications (classified by the Thomas-Reuter Agency for 2001-2010). UMONS also holds the European label for “Research in Excellence”.
Through its research and close links with industry, UMONS is also actively involved in regional development. It maintains close links with scientific research centres, as well as university spin-off and start-up companies that surround the university, the majority of which are located on the outskirts of the town centre.
Since 2012, the University of Mons has restructured its research activities via 10 research institutes that characterise the university with 50 to 100 researchers.
Consequently, the University is able to consolidate the excellence of its basic research by supporting the merging of research teams from its various faculties within crossdisciplinary themes that distinguish the University’s leading solid research points.
UMONS has also paid particular attention to knowledge transfer in order to serve society by striving to maintain the close relationships with its socio-economic environment in a number of areas in which it excels.
The Department for Research Support and Technology Transfer (AVRE) of UMONS supports researchers in their missions, both in the preparation phase (setting-up and financing) as well as in the final phase of their projects (intellectual property rights, partnership agreement, licensing agreement and assisting the setting-up of university spin-off companies). AVRE also offers its services to companies who are in need of particular scientific expertise so as to initiate research assignments.
Since its creation, through its research and close ties it has forged with industry, the University of Mons is the perfect partner for the redevelopment and economic recovery of the region.
Its Research centres, Multitel, Materia Nova and Belgian Ceramic Research Centre, which belong to the university, as well as university spin-off and start-up companies that surround it, are mostly located in the Initialis Science Park on the outskirts of Mons.
This geographical proximity and the small size of its enterprises allow the university to maintain many valuable exchanges with them.
In late 2011, UMONS and ULB set up a medical Imaging centre located in the Gosselies Aeropole, a suburb of Charleroi.
Services to society provided by UMONS also cover a wide range of concrete actions through studies which aim to, for example: forecast floods in the Haine Basin or underground and karstic collapsing; find iguanodon skeletons buried in Bernissart; carry out energy audits of buildings, or, foresee the SEVESO safety measures in high-risk companies.
In addition, UMONS actively participates in touristic and cultural development of the region through activities coordinated by the non-profitable organisation, Extension UMONS, which organises prestigious conferences, language courses or specific training sessions for outsiders. Other organisations, such as Carré des Sciences and ApplicaSciences, as well as Espace Terre et Matériaux, undertake actions of popular science suited to a large young audience. UMONS is also committed to the organising team of Mons European Capital of Culture in 2015, or as a partner of La Maison de l’Entreprise, to stimulate entrepreneurship or the spirit of innovation.
As a pioneer in the field of further education in evening classes, UMONS has welcomed adults returning to education for nearly 30 years, thus contributing to the improvement and development of their professional careers.