Why should I study in Belgium?

The capital of Europe, beer, chocolate, waffles and french fries...

How to Study in Belgium

Belgium is one of the smallest countries in Europe but nevertheless it has a huge amount of fascinating and divers places to discover. Situated in Western Europe, Belgium borders the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France as well as the North Sea. Thereby, Belgium not only has urban cities but also beautiful beaches. One remarkable characteristic of Belgium is that most people in the Northern part speak Dutch and the majority in the Southern part French.

The Belgian Higher Education System

The Belgian higher education system is divided into universities and universities of applied sciences. As usual in the European Union, the degree-structure is three-tiered: bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.

There are currently 65 Belgian higher education institutions, of which 30 are private. In 2016, approximately 500,000 students were enrolled at Belgian universities. In general, the study programmes are structured by academic years.

Belgium’s Higher Education System in International Comparison 

In this section, we highlight the overall performance of Belgian universities on the institutional level per U-Multirank dimension. The table below shows the national breakdown of Belgian universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), versus below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture on the country’s strengths and areas for improvement.

It becomes apparent that in general Belgium’s higher education institutions perform strongest in U-Multirank’s research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagements dimensions.

National performance: Belgium

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 23.68421052631579% 26.31578947368421% Research 4.878048780487805% 82.92682926829268% Knowledge Transfer 21.05263157894737% 69.73684210526316% International Orientation 9.803921568627452% 82.3529411764706% Regional Engagement 11.11111111111111% 59.25925925925926%

How much does it cost to study in Belgium?

In general, the amount of fees depends on whether you are an EU, EEA, and Swiss citizen or a non-EU citizen. As a standard tuition fee in the academic year 2016-2017 a maximum of 835 Euro was charged. Non-EU students have to pay an additional amount of fees between 2,000 and 4,000 EUR per academic year, but not more than five times the amount of the ordinary fee. For more information about the tuition fees in Belgium, click here.

What are the entry requirements for Belgian Universities?

If you are coming from an EU country, from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and have a school-leaving certificate that qualifies you for higher education, it will usually also allow you to study in a bachelor's programme in Belgium, too. To study in a master's programme you need to hold a bachelor's degree. If you are living outside the EU and want to study in a bachelor's programme, you need a school leaving certificate that has to be translated into French or Dutch. Since each university in Belgium has its own regulatory terms, it might be a good idea to have a look at the individual university regulations.

How to get a Scholarship in Belgium?

A scholarship database can be found here.  

Do I need a Student Visa for Belgium?

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to obtain a visa, a residence permit or a work permit but they need to register with the local authorities after their arrival. Generally, all non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must have a student visa. The visa has to be obtained before traveling to Belgium. For a student visa, you have to fulfill some requirements: Your study has to be your main occupation, you need to have health insurance coverage and you must have enough resources for your stay in Belgium. For more information about the student visa in Belgium and its application process, click here.

Key highlights for students interested in studying in Belgium

Belgium’s higher education performance in U-Multirank

  1. Belgian higher education institutions perform strongest in U-Multirank’s Research, Knowledge Transfer, International Orientation and Regional Engagement dimensions.
  2. The Belgian higher education institutions with the highest number of overall top scores are:
  3. Hasselt University is among U-Multirank’s 2018 Global Top 25 Performers in Student Mobility.

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