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Higher education in Belgium

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Since Education has become a competence of the 3 federated entities within the federal state of Belgium, we no longer talk about Higher Education in Belgium, but in Flanders. The Flemish Community, or Flanders, being one of the 3 federated entities within the country.

Situated at the crossroads of Europe, higher education within the Flemish Community has always been open to foreign students from all over the world. A large number of foreign students are participating in one of the many European exchange programmes, in which Flemish participation is prominent. Student mobility has been stimulated by the introduction of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and the Diploma Supplement. In addition, a number of foreign students are taking the full programme.

Students participating in one of the any European exchange programmes have access to Flemish studies based on these programmes and the corresponding contracts.

The general admission requirement for higher education studies is the Flemish Diploma van secundair onderwijs (secondary school leaving certificate). Entry examinations must be passed by any student (Flemish or other) who wants to take up study for the programmes of Civil Engineering, Civil Engineering-Architect, Dental Sciences, Medical Sciences, Nautical Sciences and Fine Arts.

If your foreign diploma is recognized based on a Flemish decree, a Belgian law, a European Directive or an international conviction, you will have direct access to higher education. Admission may also be granted to students, after individual assessment of their secondary education diploma, if it gives access to higher education in the student’s country of origin.

Academic recognition of your foreign higher education diploma may allow you to obtain a reduction of the total study load for a programme.

Continuing education in Hogescholen and Universities comprises a broad range of courses, life-long learning, education in brand new and/or fast developing fields of study, in-service training, additional or specialist training. The duration of and the admission to these programmes is very flexible.

Hogescholen and Universities offer higher education. A diploma of ‘Secondary Education’ grants access to both ‘hogescholen’ and universities. A hogeschool offers Bachelors and Masters.

For more information on Flanders, living in Flanders, its education system and study possibilities for foreign students visit the Study in Flanders website.

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