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Belgium (Flemish Community)


Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education †
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition



INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS

Types of higher education institutions:

Universiteit (University)

Hogeschool (University College)

 

School leaving and higher education credentials:

Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs

Gegradueerde

Kleuteronderwijzer

Maatschappelijk Assistent

Onderwijzer

Vroedvrouw

Geaggregeerde voor hetSecundair Onderwijs - Groep 1

Kandidaat

Bachelor

Apotheker

Architect

Arts

Bio-Ingenieur

Burgerlijk Ingenieur

Burgerlijk Ingenieur-Architect

Dierenarts

Gediplomeerde in de Voortgezette Studies

Handelsingenieur

Industrieel Ingenieur

Interieurarchitect

Meester

Tandarts

Licentiaat

Geaggregeerde voor het Secundair Onderwijs - Groep 2

Gediplomeerde in de Aanvullende Studies

Gediplomeerde in de Gespecialiseerde Studies

Master

Subsequent Bachelor

Doctor

Subsequent Master

 

 

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 6

Age of exit: 18

Structure of school system:

Pre-Primary

Type of school providing this education: Pre-School Education Schools (most of them are incorporated in Primary Schools)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 2 to: 6

Elementary

Type of school providing this education: Primary School

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 6 to: 12

Certificate/diploma awarded: Getuigschrift van Lager Onderwijs (Primary Education Certificate)

General Secondary

Type of school providing this education: General Secondary Education (ASO)

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 12 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs (Secondary Education Diploma)

Specialized Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Artistic Secondary Education (KSO)

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 12 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs (Secondary Education Diploma)

Technical

Type of school providing this education: Technical Secondary Education (TSO)

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 12 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs (Secondary Education Diploma)

Vocational

Type of school providing this education: Vocational Secondary Education (BSO)

Length of program in years: 7

Age level from: 12 to: 19

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs (Secondary Education Diploma)

Professional

Type of school providing this education: Part-Time Education Centres (CDO)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Apprenticeship

Type of school providing this education: Retailer's Training Centres

Age level from: 16

School education:

Primary education lasts for six years and leads to the Getuigschrift van Lager Onderwijs (Primary Education Certificate). Secondary education is provided for young people aged 12 to 18 in four branches: ASO (general), TSO (technical), KSO (artistic) and BSO (vocational), each divided into three 2-year periods. Pupils study as many subjects as possible during basic education. From the third and fourth year of secondary education, pupils can opt for a certain branch of study within ASO, TSO, KSO, or BSO. They may also follow a 7th year after the 6th TSO, KSO or BSO year, or study for a 5th year after the 4th BSO year. In the fifth and sixth years of secondary education pupils are offered either occupational training or higher education training. From age 15/16, pupils may also attend from 1 day/week to 15 weeks/year part-time secondary education, while having signed a part-time labour or apprenticeship contract. General, vocational and technical secondary education lead to the Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs.

Higher education:

Universities and university colleges (in Flemish: "Hogescholen") offer higher education programmes; transfer from one type to another is possible thanks to bridging courses. Entrance examinations exist only for Civil Engineering, Architecture, Dental Sciences, Medical Sciences, Nautical Sciences and Fine Arts. For the Flemish Community, the most recent amendments linked to the Bologna Process are specified in the Higher Education Act of April 4, 2003. The degree structure from 2004/2005 is based on three main cycles (Bachelor-Master-PhD). The transitional period should end in 2006 and in 2010 for some programmes. A credit system based on ECTS has been applied since 1991 in universities and since 1994 in university colleges. The new Act endorses the compatibility of the existing credit system and the ECTS. Universities and University colleges have been delivering diploma supplements since 1991 and 1994 respectively.They are now adapted to the international one and all students can obtain a free English version of their diploma supplement on request. The Flemish community is a member of ENQA (European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) through the VLIR (Flemish Interuniversity Council) ) and the VLHORA (Flemish Council of University Colleges). The concept of accreditation has been integrated into the Higher Education Act. Private non-state higher education institutions can become registered institutions subject to the accreditation procedure.Before the academic year 2004/2005, university colleges used to offer both short-term (one cycle) three-year programmes and long-term (two cycles) four-to-five year programmes. As from 2004/2005, profession-oriented Bachelor's degrees are offered only in university colleges and two-tier Bachelor's and Master’s degrees are offered in Universities and University colleges in an association framework. Thanks to associations allowed by the new Act, holders of a profession-oriented Bachelor's degree have access to Master programmes.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Higher Education Act Year: 2003

Concerns: Higher Education in Flanders

Decree: Higher Education Act Year: 2004

Concerns: Flexible organisation of Education

Academic year:

Classes from: Sep to: Sep

Languages of instruction: Dutch, English

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level: Profession-oriented bachelor level:

Studies at university colleges are divided into one-cycle and two-cycle programmes. One-cycle studies last for three years and prepare students for professions in Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Health and Rehabilitation, Social Work, Teaching, Informatics, Applied Arts or the Media. Two-cycle studies are divided into two periods of a minimum of two years each and cover more or less the same sectors as one-cycle higher education. These studies are more academic. After the first cycle, the qualification of Kandidaat is awarded. One-cycle programmes lead to such titles as Gegradueerde,Maatschappelijk Assistant (Social Worker) or Vroedvrouw (Midwife). Two-cycle programmes lead to the Licentiaat or the titles of Industrieel Ingenieur, Architect or Meester. Postgraduate studies in university colleges leading to the Gediplomeerde in de Voortgezette Studies are open to holders of a degree of higher education. From 2004/2005, only university colleges offer profession-oriented bachelor programmes.

 

University level studies:

University level first stage: Kandidaat and Bachelor's degree:

Before 2004/2005: Kandidaat cycle. A Kandidaat degree was obtained after two- to three-year basic university training. In the fields of Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law the degree conferred was the Baccalaureus.From 2004/2005, the academic bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) prepares students for advanced studies at master's level.

University level second stage: Licentiaat - Master's degree:

The second cycle at universities requires another two to three years, although studies may take even longer in some branches. The degree awarded - Licentiaat or professional qualification of Ingenieur, Apotheker, etc. - entitles one to either enter the labour market or to carry out research.From 2004/2005, the master programme in at least one year (60 ECTS) was introduced.

University level third stage: Doctoral studies:

The Doctor's Degree (Doctor) can only be obtained by publicly defending a doctoral thesis at least two years after obtaining a final university degree (e.g. Licentiaat) or, in some cases, a specific final Hogescholen degree of academic level (e.g. Handelsingenieur). The Doctor's Degree is required to be appointed a member of the academic staff.From 2004/2005 Doctor is the highest level of specialisation in a specific field of study. The diploma is only awarded by universities.

 

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

A one-cycle teacher training course of three years' duration (180 ECTS) leads to the degree of Onderwijzer (Bachelor from 2004/2005 onwards) which entitles the holder to be a primary school teacher. At pre-school level, a one-cycle teacher training course of three years' duration (180 ECTS) leads to the degree of Kleuteronderwijzer (Bachelor from 2004/2005 onwards) which entitles the holder to be a pre-school teacher.

Training of secondary school teachers

Lower secondary education teachers follow a three-year (180 ECTS) one-cycle teacher training course leading to the degree of Geaggregeerde voor het Secundair Oderwijs - Groep 1 (Bachelor from 2004/2005 onwards). Upper secondary school teachers follow a two-cycle programme (master from 2004/2005 onwards) at a university or a university college where they obtain a Qualified Teachers Degree (Geaggregeerde voor het Secundair Onderwijs - Goep 2).

Training of higher education teachers

A Doctor's Degree is required to be appointed member of the academic staff.

 

Non-traditional studies:

Lifelong higher education

Access to part-time education for every kind of course is available. Next to regular studies, one can obtain qualifications of continuous education such as the Getuigschrift Posthogeschoolvorming (Certificate of Post-Hogeschool Studies) at university colleges and the Getuigschrift Postacademisch Onderwijs (Certificate of Post-university Studies) at universities.

 

 

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Departement Onderwijs, Ministerie Vlaamse Gemeenschap (Education Department, Ministry of the Flemish Community)

Hendrik Consciencegebouw
Koning Albert II-laan 15
1210 Brussels
Belgium

Tel: +32(2) 5535070

WWW: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/

 

 

NARIC-Vlaanderen, Administration of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Ministry of the Flemish Community

Head: DaniŽl De Schrijver, Coordinator

Hendrik Consciencegebouw, Toren A 7, Koning Albert II-Iaan 15
1210 Brussels
Belgium

Tel: +32(2) 5539819/ 5539818

Fax: +32(2) 5539845

EMail: daniel.deschrijver@ond.vlaanderen.be; lut.vleeracker@ond.vlaanderen.be

WWW: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be

 

Role of governing body: Administrative, supervisory and advisory role.

 

Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad - VLIR (Flemish Interuniversity Council)

Administrative officer: Anne-Marie De Jonghe, Algemeen Directeur

Egmontstraat 5
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Tel: +32(2) 5501594

Fax: +32(2) 5122996

EMail: secretariaat@vlir.be

WWW: http://www.vlir.be

 

 

Vlaamse Hogescholenraad - VLHORA (Flemish Council of Hogescholen)

Administrative officer: Luc Van de Velde, Secretary-General

Wolvengracht 38
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Tel: +32(2) 2114190

Fax: +32(2) 2114199

EMail: luc.vandevelde@vlhora.be

WWW: http://www.vlhora.be

 

 

Vlaamse Onderwijsraad - Vlor (Flemish Educational Council)

Head: Mia Douterlungne, Administrator General

Leuvenseplein 4
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Tel: +32(2) 2194299

Fax: +32(2) 2198118

EMail: info@vlor.be

WWW: http://www.vlor.be

 

Role of governing body: Gives advice on all projects of decree of the Flemish Minister of Education and on educational themes.

 

 

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs

For entry to: All non-university higher education institutions

Entrance exams required:

Entrance examinations must be sat for Nautical Sciences and Fine Arts

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs

For entry to: All universities

Entrance exams required: Entrance examinations must be sat for in Civil Engineering, Civil Engineering-Architect, Dental Sciences and Medical Sciences.

Other admission requirements: Entrance examinations must be sat for Dental and Medical Sciences.

Foreign students admission

Admission requirements: Foreign students who can justify having obtained a secondary school leaving certificate giving access to higher education in their country may start higher education in Flanders. Foreign students also have to pass the entrance examinations for Nautical sciences, Fine Arts, Dental and Medical sciences. Foreign students holdinga higher education diploma may obtain a reduction of the total study load of a programme.

Language requirements: Students must be proficient in Dutch for undergraduate studies. Candidates may be required to sit for a language test. The universities organize language courses during the summer.

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): The concept of accreditation has been incorporated into the Higher Education Act 2003. The accreditation system is organised in close cooperation with the Netherlands by an independent Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Body (Nederlands-Vlaams Accreditatie Orgaan - NVAO) which was set up in September 2003.The accreditation system is based on internal quality control carried out by the higher education institutions and a compulsory external quality control comprising a self-assessment report and a site visit by a panel of peers and international experts.

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

NARIC-Vlaanderen, Department of Education, Higher Education Administration, Ministry of the Flemish Community

Head: DaniŽl De Schrijver

H. Consciencegebouw, Toren A 7, Koning Albert II-Iaan 15
1210 Brussel
Belgium

Tel: +32(2) 5539819/ 5539818

Fax: +32(2) 5539845

EMail: daniel.deschrijver@ond.vlaanderen.be; lut.vleeracker@ond.vlaanderen.be

WWW: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be

 

Services provided & students dealt with: Formal recognition of foreign higher education qualifications and advice on admission to higher education programmes.

 

Other information sources on recognition of foreign studies: University Colleges and Universities deal with credential recognition for access to higher education.

Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention)

Year of signature: 2005

Name of agreement: European Convention on the academic recognition of university qualifications

Year of signature: 1972

Name of agreement: European Convention on the equivalence of diplomas leading to admission to universities

Year of signature: 1955

Name of agreement: European Convention on the equivalence of periods of university studies

Year of signature: 1972

Name of agreement: European Convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education in the European region

Year of signature: 2000

Name of agreement: European Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees Concerning Higher Education in the States Belonging to the European Region

Year of signature: 1986

Name of agreement: Protocol to the European Convention on the equivalence of diplomas leading to admission to universities

Year of signature: 1972

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: Higher Education in Flanders

Publisher: Ministry of the Flemish Community, Department of Education

Year of publication: 2001

 

STUDENT LIFE

Main student services at national level

VVS - Vlaamse Vereniging van Studenten

Zavelput 20
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Tel: +32(2) 5020122

Fax: +32(2) 5117806

EMail: vvs@vvs.ac

WWW: http://www.vvs.ac

 

Student expenses and financial aid

Student costs:

Home students tuition fees: Minimum: 80 (Euro)

Maximum: 524 (Euro)

Foreign students tuition fees: Maximum: 5600 (Euro)

Publications on student services and financial aid:

Title: Study Abroad 2005-2006

Author: UNESCO

Year of publication: 2005

 

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES

Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes

Name of exchange programme: ASIALINK

Name of exchange programme: ERASMUS MUNDUS

Name of exchange programme: ERASMUS/SOCRATES

Name of exchange programme: LEONARDO

Name of exchange programme: LINGUA

Name of exchange programme: PETRA

Name of exchange programme: TEMPUS

 

GRADING SYSTEM

Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: a 10-20 grading scale, with 10 as the pass level.

Highest on scale: 20

Pass/fail level: 10

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: met voldoening: satisfactory; met onderscheiding: distinction (70%); met grote onderscheiding: high distinction (80%); met grootste onderscheiding: highest distinction (90%).

Highest on scale: met grootste onderscheiding

Pass/fail level: met voldoening

 

NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

 

 

Data for academic year: 2005-2006

Source: IAU from NARIC-Vlaanderen, Ministry of the Flemish Community, Department of Education, 2006



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