International applications

International applications

International applications

General information

  • Application processing fee is 75 EUR and is fully refundable after your final registration at Howest
  • Applications for the autumn semester begin on 10th of February of the same year.
  • Application deadlines for the academic year 2021-2022 are the following: 
    •  June 30th, 2021 for students who will need to apply for a visa in order to study in Belgium
    • August 15th, 2021 for EU citizens and other applicants who don't require a visa.

The average processing time of your application is two to three weeks. Please take into account that Howest University of Applied Sciences is closed for summer recess between July 17th and August 15th 2021. During that time no emails will be answered, and no application files will be processed.

  • Our academic calendar is split up in 2 semesters. Students applying for degree programmes are only admitted at the start of the academic year, i.e. to begin their studies in the autumn semester (September). Starting classes in the spring semester is not possible, as courses in the second semester build on 1st semester curriculum. Exceptions include some Postgraduate Certificate programmes that take place in the spring semester and Advanced Bachelor of Bioinformatics
  • The information below is a summary of relevant sections from the Howest Education and Examination Code. Consult the official document in Dutch or in English.
  • For additional information you can contact our Admissions Officer Mr. Thobias Expeel at

Request the brochure

Admission requirements

Official (high school) diploma and transcript of records

When applying to one of our Bachelor programmes, you need to send us a copy of your eligible and correctly legalised diploma and its transcripts. If these documents are in a language other than Dutch, French, German or English, they must be translated by a sworn translator. 

Still in high school?

If you are in your final year of studies and only expect to graduate in the summer, you still can start your application after 1st of February. In order to do that you will need to provide us with your current transcript of records from high school AND an official document from your institution stating when you are expected to graduate and with what kind of diploma. We encourage students not to wait until the summer to apply to ensure that they can arrive to Belgium on time to start their educational journey at Howest, especially if one needs to apply for a visa. 

The following foreign study certificates/diplomas are eligible for enrolment at Howest:

  • A “European Baccalaureate” diploma, awarded by the European Schools in Belgium or abroad
  • A “Diplôme du Baccalauréat International” awarded by the Office du Baccalauréat International in Geneva
  • A diploma awarded by the SHAPE school (NATO)
  • A Luxembourg «Diplôme de Fin d’Etudes Secondaires or a «Diplôme de Fin d’Etudes Secondaires Techniques»
  • A Dutch “Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs” (VWO) diploma or a Dutch “Middelbaar Beroepsonderwijs” (MBO) diploma of at least 3 to 4 years with qualification level 4
  • A Dutch “Getuigschrift van met goed gevolg afgelegd propedeutisch examen” certificate;
  • A French «Baccalauréat» diploma (minimum score 10/20)
  • A German “Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife/Abitur” diploma
  • a legalised “High School Diploma” (USA) with a “transcript of records”, listing at least 4 Advanced Placements (APs)
  • a legalised foreign Bachelor diploma or equivalent
  • a legalised foreign Master diploma or equivalent

Different Diploma?

If you have a diploma other than the ones mentioned above, it is only eligible for enrolment at Howest if it gives access to UNIVERSITY education in the country where it was obtained. During your application online you will need to provide us with a correctly legalised copy of your diploma and transcripts of records AND have this 'access to university' document filled out and signed by one of the recognised authorities.

Need an admission examination?

If you don’t meet the conditions above, you may apply via an admission examination. For further information please visit this section of our website: special procedures for the admission examination and contact Ms Els Gobbin at

For students from Cameroon, Nigeria or Ghana. The institution where you have obtained your diploma must send us a copy of your diploma and transcript of records in a stamped and sealed envelope.

Proof of language proficiency

The minimum level required is the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference. 

The following documents are accepted as proof of English language proficiency:

  • a recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 550 points (paper-based), 213 points (computer-based) or 79 points (internet-based);
  • a recent IELTS Certificate from the British Council: minimum score 5.5;
  • a GCSE Certificate English with score A*-C;
  • one of the following certificates of Cambridge English: First Certificate in English (FCE) or Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE):
  • a certificate of the “English Test” awarded by the University Language Center (UCT) of Ghent University;
  • an attestation of CEF level B2 English (or higher) with Duolungo Language Certificate 
  • a Dutch diploma “Voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs” (VWO), or freely translated: “Preparatory Scientific Education” (VWO);
  • an International Baccalaureate diploma in English or with a minimum grade of 5 for the course English A or B high level or minimum grade 6 for the course English B standard level;
  • a European Baccalaureate diploma with English as first language and a score of at least 6, or as second language and a score of at least 7;
  • a certificate that at least a one-year full-time study programme of an English-taught study programme in secondary education or at least 30 credits English-taught course units in an English-language study programme in higher education has been completed successfully;
  • Duolingo Language Certificate with a minimum score of 105 or higher
  • IELTS Indicator: minimum score of 6.5

If you are planning to study in Dutch, the following is accepted as proof of Dutch language proficiency: 

  • a certificate that at least one full-time year of study of a Dutch programme has been followed successfully in secondary education or at least 30 ECTS credits Dutch-language course units in higher education; 
  • a certificate of CEF level B2 Dutch (or higher), being at least equivalent to the requirements set in the Profile Language Sufficiency Higher Education of the Dutch Language Union; 
  • a certificate of NT2, Vantage 1A+B or oral and written modules or ‘Richtgraad 3’ [3rd Degree] of a Centre for Adult Education; 
  • a certificate of the Interuniversitaire Taaltest Nederlands voor Anderstaligen [Interuniversity Language Test Dutch for Non-Native Dutch Speakers] at level ERK B2 (ITNA-test);
  • A NVA5 certificate of the Universitair Centrum voor Talenonderwijs of UGent.
  • A certificate Educatief Startbekwaam or Educatief Professioneel (freely translated: Start Competent for Education or Professional Competences for Education) of CNaVT. 
  • A successful Staatsexamen NTII Programma II (State Examination NTII Programme II) (issued by the College voor Toetsen en Examens in Nederlands [College for Tests and Examinations in The Netherlands]). 

Motivation letter

Your motivation letter, which should be written in English, will help us learn more about you and your motivation to participate in the programme of your choice at Howest University of Applied Sciences.

Additional requirements

  • If you want to apply to Educational Bachelor programmes/Teacher Training Programmes: Nursery Education, Primary Education and Secondary Education, you must first take the entry test (information in Dutch).
  • Chinese students must also pass the APS-screening. Read more
  • For students from Cameroon, Nigeria or Ghana. The institution where you have obtained your diploma must send us a copy of your diploma and transcript of records in a stamped and sealed envelope.

Application and enrolment instructions

Below you can find more information about the application and admission process for INTERNATIONAL students (or students with Belgian nationality but holding a foreign diploma) to Howest University of Applied Sciences.

STEP 1: Submit your online application

Applications will start on 10th of February 2021. 
To start your application, log in to the application platform

During your online application you will be asked to upload a copy of your passport/ID, legalised and translated diploma with transcript of records, Access to University form (if necessary), official English language certificate and a motivation letter. When your application is complete and reviewed, you will receive the Certificate of Acceptance with a link to Howest pre-registration form and instructions on how to fill it in. 

STEP 2: Send your documents to Howest

After you have submitted your application online and once you have your final diploma and transcript of records, you need to send us a legalised copy of those documents (with translation if applicable) per post. 

Please send the documents to:

Howest University of Applied Sciences
International Admissions Office (Attn. Mr. Thobias Expeel)
Marksesteenweg, 58
8500 Kortrijk

*Photocopies or digital versions of certified copies are not accepted.

STEP 3: Complete Howest pre-registration form

Pre-registration will open on 6th of March, 2021. This online registration will help ensure your final registration runs smoothly.

STEP 4: Final enrolment

From Saturday, June 26th, 2021 you can complete your registration at Howest. This can be done either online or by appointment at the student secretariat (Monday to Friday, business hours).


Open our tool for online registration and check whether all the necessary documents have been uploaded.  This includes a copy of your ID card or passport, Certificate of Acceptance and a copy of your visa or permit for residence that gives you right to stay in Belgium.

If you are not in possession of a valid visa yet, you will be able to upload it later. After that your enrolment will be finalised.

Select your study programme and sign it. After that your file will be processed and checked by Howest student administration office.

Then you will receive your contract, the request for payment of the tuition fees and any additional study costs be delivered electronically.


Would you rather make your final registration at the student secretariat? Make sure you have uploaded all the necessary documents first. To do this, open our tool for online registration

Then make an appointment at one of the campuses below. During your appointment, your contract will be drawn up and you can pay the tuition fees and any additional study costs on site by Bancontact. 

Study programmes in Bruges:
Campus Brugge Station - BST5
Rijselstraat 5, 8000 Bruges

Make an appointment

Study programmes in Kortrijk:
Campus Kortrijk Weide - The Penta
Sint Martens Latemlaan 1B, 8500 Kortrijk

Make an appointment

STEP 5: Pay the tuition fee

Enrolment will be complete after payment of your tuition fee, which can be done by a bank transfer or on campus by Bancontact.

Frequently asked questions

How much is the application fee? Do I have to pay the application fee if I am an EEA citizen?

The application fee is applicable to both EEA and non-EEA citizens and amounts to 75 EUR. You will need to pay this fee for your application to be processed. If you meet all the general requirements you will be accepted to Howest, and this amount will be deducted from your tuition fee.

When is the application period?

Applications start on 1st of February 2021 and run until 30th of June 2021 for the students who require visa to study in Belgium and 15th of August for EEA students and other students who don’t require visa. The student kick-off week for academic year 2021-2022 is scheduled for Monday 13th, 2021.

How and where can a get a legalized copy of my diploma?

You can check this list to view which legalisation method applies to your documents. 

Is there a maximum number of students accepted to Howest?

Howest does not have a student quota for admission of new students to their programme of choice. If a student meets the general requirements and is motivated, the admission is valid and will be successful.

I don’t have my diploma yet. Can I apply for admission?

If you are in your final year of studies and expect to graduate in summer, you can start your application before that. During your application you will need to provide us with your current transcript of records from high school and an official document from your institution stating when you are expected to graduate and with what kind of diploma. After your documents (along with an English-language certificate) will be checked, you will be granted a Provisional Certificate of Acceptance. It will be exchanged to the Certificate of Acceptance once you provide us with your dully legalised and translated diploma.

I am a foreign student with a Belgian passport/ I am a Belgian student with a foreign diploma. How can I apply?

It does not make a difference for the admissions procedure whether you have Belgian nationality or not. If you have a diploma obtained abroad, you must apply as an international applicant. Our Admissions Office has to verify whether your diploma gives the right for enrolment at Howest or not.

How much is the tuition fee?

The tuition fee at Howest is combined from two parts: a fixed part and a variable part (price per ECTS). The tuition fees for academic year 2021-2022 are the following: 

  Fixed part Variable part
(per ECTS)
(for 60 ECTS Bachelor programme)
(for 30 ECTS Bioinformatics@home programme)
Belgian and EEA students* EUR 247,90 EUR 11,90 EUR 961,90 EUR 604,90
Non-EEA students** EUR 1081,90 EUR 98,00 EUR 6961,90 EUR 4021,90

Belgian and EEA students

Belgian and EEA students have the choice to follow classes in either English or Dutch. The tuition fee for a full-time EEA student for both study programmes is 961,90 EUR for the academic year 2020-2021. Please note that the tuition fee can be subject to change and annual inflation rate increase.

Non-EEA students

Non-EEA students can also choose to follow classes either in either English or Dutch. The tuition fee for a full-time Bachelor programme for non-EEA student is 6961,90 EUR for the academic year 2021-2021. If the student choses a programme that is only available in Dutch, the regular tuition fee will apply – see above. Please note that the tuition fee can be subject to change and annual inflation rate increase.

Other costs

Books and other school materials are costs that are not included in the tuition fee. Depending on the programme that you choose, you might have an additional annual study/software cost.  Please note that the additional cost can be subject to change. 

  Extra Study/Software Cost
Cybersecurity EUR 95
Digital Arts & Entertainment (DAE) EUR 288
Digital Design & Development (DEVINE) EUR 148

Extra study cost of other programmes

EEA students*

EEA students are students with a nationality from a country from the European Economic Area (the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).  The EEA includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (including Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion and Saint-Martin), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (incl. Madeira and the Azores), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Non-EEA students**

If you do not hold the nationality from one of the countries of the European Economic Area, then you are a non-EEA student, and must pay the non-EEA student tuition fees. Students from candidate EU member states pay the same tuition fee as other non-EEA students.

For English-taught postgraduate certificate programmes there is a fixed fee of 1000 EUR per programme/semester for all nationalities. 

The tuition fee for Postgraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity (1 year, 60 ECTS) is a fixed amount of 2500 EUR for all nationalities.

Does Howest have scholarships for foreign students? Am I eligible for scholarships as a non-EU citizen?

Student grants from Howest STUVO 

Howest does not have merit-based or need-based scholarships. After successfully passing the first year of their studies, both EU and non-EU citizens can apply for an interest-free loan from STUVO based on their individual file. For more information, please contact Howest STUVO .

Student grants of the Flemish Community

Certain categories of students staying in Belgium can be entitled to a student grant of the Flemish Community, provided that they fulfill the pedagogic and financial conditions as stipulated in the legislation:

Children of citizens of a member state of the European Union who are working in Belgium or who have worked here and who are under art.12 of the E.E.C. Regulation 1612/68 of the Council of 15 October 1968 regarding the free movement of workers within the European Union• Students with a foreign nationality having a permanent residence permit• Refugees and their children, whose request for asylum has been declared admissible

Student grants from your own government

Student grants are also awarded by the student’s own government. The appropriate authorities in the student’s country should be contacted by the student themself.

Can I pay my tuition fee in instalments?

It is possible pay your tuition fee in instalments. If you wish to do so, please contact for more information.

What is the cost of living for students in Belgium?

The living cost depends on your personal lifestyle. It ranges on average between 700 – 1000 EUR per month and includes the total expenses per month, covering accommodation (300-500 EUR), public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet, mobile phone), medical insurance, books and groceries. A lot of restaurants, cafes, sports facilities, hairdressers, and other places offer student discounts.

It is essential that you have sufficient financial resources. In order to get a student visa, you have to provide proof of sufficient means of subsistence. You can check the minimal amount on the website of the federal immigration office

Does Howest provide student accommodation?

As a student at Howest you have a choice of living in a student dorm or renting a student room (or apartment) on a private market. The price for student housing ranges between approximately 300 – 500 EUR per month depending on the type of housing you are looking for.

For more information: 

When does the school year start? When are the holidays?

You can consult our academic calendar.

Please keep in mind that some programmes have (non-mandatory) introductory courses before the start of the academic year. The general kick-off week for international students is 13th of September 2021 for the autumn semester or 31st of January 2022 for the spring semester. 

How can I prove that my diploma gives access to university studies? Who can sign the ‘Certificate of Access to University studies’?

If you live in a country where the diploma has been obtained, please refer to the Ministry of Education or the local department of education, or any university (Admissions office, professor,…) to have the form signed and stamped. Alternatively, you can provide us with an Acceptance letter from a university, stating that you have been accepted as a student to a Bachelor-level programme at a university (in the country where the diploma has been obtained, for example, a German diploma – a German university. If a student follows international curriculum in another country he can provide us with an acceptance letter from a university in a country either a) where the diploma has been obtained, or b) which curriculum has been followed. For example, if an applicant studied at an American school in Switzerland, he can apply to either a Swiss or American university. The letter of acceptance from either university will be sufficient for us. 

If you live in a country other than the one where the diploma has been obtained, please refer to the respective Embassy. For example, if you are a student with a Portuguese diploma living in Spain, you can try to get the document signed at Portuguese Embassy in Spain.

How can I arrange a student visa to study in Belgium?

You have to initiate the visa application via the Belgian embassy or consulate for your country of residence. Consult the contact details of all Belgian embassies and consulates worldwide

Please note that in many cases you must make an appointment to submit your visa application and appointment schedules get full quickly in certain periods of the year. Start your visa application process as early as possible. The normal procedure can easily take up six to eight weeks.

How can I demonstrate proof of funds for visa application?

When applying for a student visa, students need to prove that they have sufficient means of subsistence to cover their living expenses, healthcare and repatriation costs. This can be proved in two ways:

  1. A commitment that charge has been taken from a Belgian or a foreign guarantor (Annex 32). In other words, if someone from your family (or a friend) has enough subsistence, they can become your guarantor. 
  2. A certificate of sufficient means of subsistence can be obtained through Howest University of Applied Sciences. You will need to transfer a specified amount to the account of Howest, where the funds will be blocked on a personal account. During the period for which you require a proof of sufficient means of subsistence, these funds will be released in monthly payments to your Belgian bank account.

Please read through this guide on how to apply for the financial certificate via STUVO Howest. More information can be consulted on the webpage of the Immigration Office

What kind of insurance do I need to study in Belgium?

Health insurance

All residents of Belgium, irrespective of their nationality, are required by law to be covered by a health insurance. You have to arrange affiliation with health insurance yourself. Students who are EEA nationals should obtain a so-called European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) proving you already have insurance coverage in your home country. This blue free card guarantees that all medical costs, including certain costs for medication, are covered by your health insurance during the first 3 months of your stay in Belgium. In order to extend the coverage for your whole stay, make sure you submit a certificate of your health insurance to the city hall when registering upon your arrival in Belgium. If you don't have an EHIC, you need to affiliate with a Belgian health insurance fund or take out a private insurance for medical costs in Belgium. 

Students who are non-EEA nationals must take out a health-insurance policy. With your proof of enrolment, you can subscribe to a health insurance policy at the insurance company of your choice. We advise Expat & Co*.  Health insurance funds will cover around 75% of the costs for doctors, hospitals and clinics; around 20% of prescription costs; basic dental costs.

Civil liability insurance

This kind of private insurance is strongly recommended. You may need it when accidentally injuring someone or damaging someone's property. We advise Expat & Co* .

School insurance

Incoming degree students that enrol at Howest are insured by Howest against physical injuries and third-party liability during educational activities, field trips and work placements. Not during their private time. More details can be found in the Education and examination Code (see Those coverages do not replace a normal health, third-party liability insurance and/or travel assistance insurance, which each Howest student needs to take. We can advise Expat & Co*

Travel Insurance

We also recommend degree students to acquire a personal travel insurance covering repatriation and/or the travel journey of a relative in case of a serious accident or sickness.  Please check whether your travel insurance also covers longer stays abroad. It is possible that this is already included in your health insurance. We can advise Expat & Co*.

Fire insurance

In case of hiring a student room, check whether fire insurance is included. If not, it is recommended and sometimes required to contact an insurance company to take out insurance for your personal belongings.

Can I combine studying and working?

As a student, you can work a few hours a week to top up your budget, but financing your education through a student job is not advisable as it could harm your study progress. More information 

Non-EU/EEA nationals in Belgium have to be a full-time students in order to get a student visa. If you have a legal residence in Belgium, having an electronic residence permit or an appendix 15 (if you received this document while awaiting for your residence permit) is sufficient. Since January 1st, 2019, residence permits given to non-EEA citizens studying in Belgium mention extra information about working possibilities. With this residence permit, you can work for any employer in Belgium, considering the following specifications:

  • You can work during the period of validity of your residence permit.
  • During the academic year, you can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. During official holiday periods (i.e. winter, spring or summer holidays), you can work more than 20 hours per week.
  • You can’t work when you are supposed to be attending classes or other activities related to your study programme.
  • You are not allowed to work during the summer before the start of your first academic year in Belgium. 
  • For more information please contact Howest STUVO:
Document Checklist for Application
  1. A legalised copy of your (high school/university) diploma and transcripts
    • The diploma and its transcripts must also be translated by a sworn translator into either Dutch, French, German or English, if they were drafted up in any other language. 
  2. Proof of proficiency in the English/Dutch language
  3. ‘Access to university’ certificate (if applicable)
  4. Copy of your passport
  5. Motivation letter
  6. Additional: APS screening for Chinese citizens
  7. For students from Cameroon, Nigeria or Ghana. The institution where you have obtained your diploma must send us a copy of your diploma and transcript of records in a stamped and sealed envelope