In the Spotlight: Harold F. D. Hassink, Professor of Business Economics

Harold_Hassink_41-300x180My name is Harold F. D. Hassink. I am 47 years old, the father of three children, a professor of Business Economics and a graduate Chartered Accountant. I am affiliated with the Accounting and Information Management Department at the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE).


A broader perspective on Finance and Control

SBE offers specialisations in Accounting and Information Management in the Bachelor and Master of Science programmes in International Business and the Bachelor of Science in International Business Economics. We are also actively involved in our part-time Master’s programme in International Business, specialisation Accounting and Control. In addition to these Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes, we offer a wide range of Postgraduate and Executive programmes.

I am involved in various capacities in several of these programmes. I am the programme director of two Executive Master’s programmes. In the Postgraduate Education (PGE) department, I am involved in the Milaan Finance and Control Campus, Milan.  This is a five-day course offered in Dutch that is especially designed for experienced (chartered) accountants and auditors who need to take annual permanent education trainings in order to keep their knowledge up to date. This programme is the result of a collaboration with the Bocconi University School of Economics in Milan, where the programme also takes place. At PGE I am further involved in the Finance for Non-Financials course (also in Dutch), a four-week and seven-session course that provides insight for non-financial managers—and also, for example, lawyers and doctors—into the financial management of their organisation.

As well as teaching, I am also engaged in academic research in the field of Financial Accounting, Auditing, and Corporate Governance. Outside of the university, I hold a number of supervisory positions. I sit on the Board of Directors of a financial institution and on a similar type of committee of an audit firm. The insights arising from my research and experience are beneficial to the educational programmes, and vice versa. Research, education and practice are closely intertwined at Maastricht University.

International orientation

Another feature which is characteristic of our university is its international orientation. This is also clearly noticeable not only in the Milaan Finance and Control Campus, but also in our international Executive Master of Finance and Control ( As part of this programme, we spend two weeks in Boston and Shanghai, where participants take courses from local professors and gain an international perspective on Finance and Control. The target group of this programme consists of financial professionals with a background in finance, accounting and information management professionals who already have some years of working experience at international firms such as DSM, Heineken, Rabobank, Shell and Unilever.

Finally, Maastricht University’s distinctive educational feature is the Problem Base Learning (PBL) methodology. This educational method places the initiative on the participants and encourages them to work together in small study groups in order to find the solution to a problem. This is a particularly effective way to acquire new knowledge, and it differs strongly from the traditional educational approach, in which students are delivered knowledge in bite-sized pieces. PBL is without a doubt mostly effective in our executive programmes, where we face participants who possess a wealth of practical experience.

The experience that the participants bring to our university’s education curriculum is at least as important as the teacher’s knowledge. We call it “Co-learning”. Participants learn from their teacher, but teachers also learn from students. And the teacher can use that knowledge to improve educational programmes. This way, the education at our university is constantly developing.

The international orientation and the educational methodology of Maastricht University work as a magnet for people worldwide. People from the Randstad, Central Europe and even China and North America choose to come and study in Maastricht. This is something that honestly makes me proud.

Additional information can be found on:

Milaan Finance and Control campus—

Courses, Financial Management (in Dutch)—


Post Your Thoughts