International applications

International applications

General information

  • Applications for the autumn semester begin on 15 January of the same year.
  • Application deadlines for the academic year 2023-2024 are as follows: 
    • 1 June, 2023 for students who will need to apply for a visa in order to study in Belgium
    • 1 July, 2023 for EU citizens and other applicants who do not require a visa.
  • The application processing fee is 50 EUR and is non-refundable.
  • The good news is that there is no limit on the number of admitted students. If you meet the diploma and language requirements, you will be accepted.

The average processing time for applications is two to three weeks. Please take into account that Howest University of Applied Sciences is closed for summer recess between 17 July and 15 August 2023 During that time no emails will be answered, and no applications will be processed.

  • Our academic calendar is split into two semesters. Students applying for degree programmes are only admitted at the start of the academic year, i.e. the autumn semester. Starting classes in the spring semester is not possible, as courses in the second semester build on first semester curriculum. 
  • Tuition at Howest is a combination of a fixed fee and a variable fee (price per ECTS). Tuition fees for academic year 2023-2024 are as follows:
      Fixed fee Variable fee
    (per ECTS)
    (for 60 ECTS bachelor's programme)
    (for 30 ECTS Bioinformatics@home programme)
    Belgian and EEA students €282,10 €13,50 €1092,10 €687,10
    Non-EEA students €1104,10 €99,80 €7092,10 €3546,10
  • Postgraduate Certificate Programmes have a fixed price for all nationalities:

Global Business Management - 2.000 EUR/year

Migration and Refugees - 1000 EUR/semester (only for EEA candidates) or 1500 EUR/year (includes internship) for both EEA and non-EEA candidates

  • For further information please read the FAQ below. 
  • The information below is a summary of relevant sections from the Howest Education and Examination Code. You can consult the official document in Dutch or in English for further details.
  • For more information on provisions for students with disabilities please contact student services

Request the brochure

Admission requirements

Diploma requirements

Every admission file is assessed on its own merit.


  • A secondary education diploma that gives access to higher education in the country where the diploma has been issued.

Short-track, advanced bachelors or postgraduate certificate programmes

  • At least a bachelor's degree. Additionally, you need to meet specific diploma requirements indicated on the programme pages

If these documents are in a language other than Dutch, French, German or English, they must be translated by a sworn translator. 

Still in secondary school?

If you are in your final year of secondary studies, you can still start the application process after admissions open. You will need to provide us with your current secondary transcript 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 and apply as early as possible. This will ensure that they can start looking for accommodation, arrange visa on time and arrive to Belgium worry-free to their academic journey at Howest.

Applying from The Netherlands?

•    a Dutch Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) diploma
•    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

If you are in possession of one of these diplomas, you do not have to apply for admission and you can enroll directly via this link.

French or German-speaking Communities in Belgium?

You do not need to submit an application for admission. Your diploma gives access to our bachelor's programmes, provided you can submit a proof of meeting the language requirement (Dutch or English, depending on the programme you choose). Send a copy of your diploma and proof of language proficiency to If you meet the language requirements, you will receive a ‘Certificate of Acceptance’ and you can register directly via this link

The following foreign study certificates/diplomas are eligible for enrolment in associate degree programmes at Howest:

  • all diplomas listed under diploma requirements for our bachelor's programmes.
  • a Dutch diploma ‘Hoger algemeen voorgezet onderwijs (HAVO)’. This diploma gives direct access to our associate degree programmes. You do not have to submit an application for admission. You can enrol directly via this link
Admissions examination

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

Language requirements

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 Cambridge English certificates: First Certificate in English (FCE), Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE):
  • a certificate of the English language Test awarded by the University Language Center (UCT) of Ghent University;
  • a Dutch diploma “Voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs” (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;
  • proof that you have successfully completed at least one year of a full-time English-taught study programme in secondary education or at least 30 credits of an English-taught study programme in higher education have been successfully completed;
  • a Duolingo Language Certificate with a minimum score of 110 or higher; or
  • IELTS Indicator: minimum score of 6.5.

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

  • proof that you have successfully completed at least a one year of a full-time Dutch-taught programme in secondary education or that at least 30 credits of a Dutch-taught study programme in higher education have been obtained;
  • a CEF certificate for level B2 Dutch (or higher), equivalent to the requirements set forth in the Proficiency Profile for Higher Education by the Dutch Language Union; 
  • an NT2 certificate, Vantage 3.1+ 3.2  (speaking and writing) from a centre for adult education; 
  • an Interuniversitaire Taaltest Nederlands voor Anderstaligen (ITNA) certificate at level B2;
  • an NVA5 certificate from the Universitair Centrum voor Talenonderwijs of UGent.
  • Educatief Startbekwaam or Educatief Professioneel certificate from CNaVT; or
  • proof of successful Staatsexamen NTII Programma II (issued by the College voor Toetsen en Examens in Nederlands [College for Tests and Examinations in The Netherlands]). 

Motivation letter

Make sure to write the motivation letter in the same language as the language of instruction of the program you have chosen.

Additional requirements

  • To apply for Howest's Bachelor of Educational/Teacher Training Programmes (Nursery Education, Primary Education and Secondary Education), you must first take the entry examination (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.

There is no portfolio requirement for our creative programmes. 

Application and enrolment instructions

Below you can find more information about the application and admission process for International students (holding a foreign diploma) .

STEP 1: Submit your online application

Applications start on 15 of January. 
To start your application, log in to the application platform

During the online application you will be asked to upload several documents:

  • a copy of your passport/ID;
  • a copy of your diploma with transcript of records (translated if necessary); or transcript of records and expected graduation document from your school
  • an official English language certificate;
  • a motivation letter.

Additional step for those requiring visa 

[STEP 1.1.]:  Pay the first installment (for non-EEA students only)

Once your application has been reviewed and your file approved, you will receive an invitation to pay the first installment of your tuition fee (1100 EUR).

[STEP 1.2]: Blocked Account

Along with your Provisional Certificate of Acceptence you will receive instructions on arranging a blocked account at Howest. This will be obligatory for your visa application as a proof of financial means to support your stay in Belgium. For the academic year 2023-2024 you will need to transfer 11.000 EUR as a proof of solvency (to cover your cost of living in Belgium for 12 months).

‘Provisional Certificate of Acceptance’. With this initial registration certificate and the financial certificate from Howest (blocked account), you can start your visa application 

STEP 2: Provide your final documents to Howest (digitally)

After you have received your final diploma, please resubmit your application online with a digital copy of it. Also, ask your secondary/higher institution to send an email to (with a stamp and signature) confirming that you have graduated (incl. the date of graduation and the official name of your diploma).

After we have received and verified those documents, you will receive a ''Certificate of Acceptance".

STEP 3: Final enrolment

In the Certificate of Acceptance you will receive a link that will allow you to finalise your enrolment at Howest University of Applied Sciences. 

During this step you will need to upload your Certificate of Acceptance, your ID/permit for residence or visa that allows you to stay in Belgium, and sign your study contract.

STEP 4: Pay the tuition fee

Enrolment will only be considered complete after payment of your tuition fee has been received. 

Frequently asked questions

Application Process

When is the application period?

Applications start on 1st of  January and run until 1st of June for the students who require visa to study in Belgium and 1st of July for EEA students and other students who don’t require visa.

The student kick-off week for academic year 2023-2024 is scheduled for Monday September 11, 2023.

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 student will be accepted.

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 50 EUR. You will need to pay this fee for your application to be processed and it is non-refundable.

This money is used to contribute to the vibrant international community life at Howest.

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 (this does however influence the tuition fee). 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.

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’ with a link to Howest pre-registration form and instructions on how to fill it in. With this certificate, you can start you visa application, but you cannot yet finalise your registration at Howest University of Applied Sciences. 

Once you have provided us with your legalized and if necessary translated copy of your diploma and after the authenticity of this document has been checked, you will receive a ‘Certificate of Acceptance’, which will allow you to finalise your enrolment at Howest University of Applied Sciences. 

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. All diplomas from outside of the EU have to be legalised. With the exception of diplomas that can be verified via online databases (such as, for example IB diplomas).

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

If your diploma does not give direct access to Howest, you will be informed about it by an Admissions Officer and asked to provide a Certificate of Access to University Studies. You will need to 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 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.

What should my motivation letter include?

Your motivation letter should reflect what are your career aspirations, why you have chosen this specific programme, and also what have you already done in the domain that you want to pursue.

For example, projects that you did at school or on your own, games, hackathons,  extracurricular courses etc. Show us anything that gave you a taste of the study programme already and proved that you are motivated to become a professional in that domain.

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 at B2 level
  3. ‘Access to university’ certificate (if requested by Admissions Officer)
  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
How do I finalise my enrolment?

From Saturday 1 July you can complete your final registration. This can be done online (you will receive a link in your Letter of Acceptance) or by appointment at Student Administration.

Which documents do I need to upload when registering online?

•    A copy of your identity card (front and back) or passport
•    Visa to study in Belgium or residence permit
•    Letter of Acceptance

If you opt for online registration, you will receive a payment proposal electronically.  If you complete your final registration on campus, keep in mind that the payment can only be done on site with Bancontact, no cash or credit cards are accepted. 

Exemptions and customised programmes.
You can apply for exemptions during the final registration. When you do so, the course counselor will automatically receive a notification about your request, and will follow up with you. 
Once this is done, your contract, the request for payment of the tuition fees, and any additional study costs will be delivered to you electronically. 

It is also possible to get exemptions even after you have signed already your study contract for the full 60 ECTS.  This is possible until the end of the second week of the academic year.  In that case, Student Administration will takes care of the necessary reimbursement.


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 2022-2023 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 282,10 EUR 13,50 EUR 1092,1 EUR 687,10
Non-EEA students** EUR 1104,10 EUR 99, 8 EUR 7092,1 EUR 4033,60

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 1092,1 EUR for the academic year 2023-2024. 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 7092,1 EUR for the academic year 2022-2023. 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 cost of other programmes

EEA students*

European Economic Area nationality: 27-EU member states + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. 

Non-EEA nationals with a residence permit for reasons other than work or study are considered EEA nationals with regards to the tuition fee.

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.

Postgraduate Certificate Programmes have a fixed price for all nationalities.

  • Global Business Management - EUR 2.000 (year programme)
  • Migration and Refugees (Howest Bruges) - 1 semester EUR 1.000 (for EEA nationals only) or sem1 + sem 2 (incl.insternship) = EUR 1.500
Does Howest have scholarships for foreign students? Am I eligible for scholarships as a non-EU citizen?

Unfortunately, Howest does not have any scholarships for international students. Below are some supplementary options for financing that could be used for some groups of students.

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 loans from FINS

Any EU student who wants to study in EU can apply for a loan via Fins company. Students can loan up to 25.000 EUR during their Bachelor’s studies to cover the tutiton fee and/or living expenses. Keep in mind that it is a commercial organisation and they have high interest rates: 8 – 12 % . There is a grace period of 6 months after graduation to start repaying the loan. For more information, please read the presentation.


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 (for a small amount) from STUVO based on their individual file. For more information, please contact Howest STUVO at

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 850 – 1000 EUR per month and includes the total expenses per month, covering accommodation (350-500 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. For the academic year 2023-2024 the amount requested is 11.000 EUR for 12 months.

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:


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 350 – 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 11th of September 2023. Students should be present during the kick-off week to receive introductory information about studying in Howest.

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

Via the Howest insurance policy incoming international students will be covered for third-party liability and physical accidents DURING the school related activities and on their way to and back from the campus or work placement.

However, this insurance does NOT cover all risks, such as activities during PRIVATE time and travel insurance (covering repatriation and/or the travel journey of a relative in case of a serious accident or sickness). Hence, all incoming students need to arrange themselves sufficient health, medical and travel assistance insurance, including repatriation of corpse.

All non-EU students MUST take out the 'Full Coverage' of ‘Student Insurance’ of Expat & Co before they travel to Belgium since this extensive insurance complies with the very strict guidelines of the European Commission’s Erasmus programme.

NB! This document will be required to finalise your enrolment in Howest.

All EU-students are strongly advised to take the 'TOP-UP' option from Expat&Co (if they have already another European health insurance).

The ‘BASIC’ formula of the Expat & Co ‘Student Insurance’ covers:

- Medical treatment costs: this part of the insurance covers your hospitalization costs, treatment costs, urgent dental care, dental care, dental surgery following an accident and psychological help after trauma
- Assistance abroad: such as repatriation or evacuation, forwarding essential medications, legal assistance abroad
- Accidents: permanent disability or death due to an accident
- Non-contractual liability in private life (= third-party liability)
- Option: Sports (winter and underwater sports and speleology)

This BASIS formula can be taken out in a ‘Full Cover’ package that will reimburse you from the very first € or can work as a ‘Top-Up’ plan which is complementary to a European health insurance.

After admission, Howest will send you the link to the Expat&Co web tool where you will be able to calculate your quote or buy online the insurance at a discounted student rate as a Howest student.

Attention! For non-EU students. If you need to provide a proof of insurance for your visa application, you can extend the standard duration of 10 months (that covers an academic year) to the dates that are needed for your traveling and visa pplications. In case you don't get a visa, the insurance can be canceled. 

The full Expat & Co brochure can be found here.

For further information, you can contact Expat & Co:

By phone: +32 (0)2 463 04 04

By e-mail:


Student Visa

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. 

The preferred way to do that (which will also increase your chances of getting a Belgian visa), is via Blocked account

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. These funds will be released in monthly payments to your Belgian bank account to cover your cost of living. This amount does not include the tution fee.

You will receive instructions on the exact procedure to follow once you are accepted to Howest. The amount for the blocked account in 2023-2024 amounts to 11.000 EUR. 

NB! Please keep in mind that because of beauractatic procedures it can take up to 3-4 months to register in the city hall, open your Belgian bank account and get access to your blocked account money. Therefore, it is important to have extra means (cash, credit card etc) to be able to bridge this period until the blocked account money can be released.

Can I stay in Belgium after I graduate?

Yes. Since recently all non-EU students are able to apply for a permit for residence for the so called ‘orientation year’  - to be able to look for a job in Belgium. For more information please refer to Study in Flanders website.