Why would you want to study abroad in Belgium? Honestly, for many people, it is an exciting question because there are many colleges in Belgium for international students. It makes the chance of studying abroad in Belgium really high.
The Belgian education system does not introduce entrance exams and limits on the number of students for most programs. Thus, the concept of “competition for a place” is practically absent, and each applicant has the opportunity to enter the undergraduate university or college.
The situation is different from medicine and dentistry. The entrance exam, which includes a text on knowledge of sciences, abstract thinking and a psychological inclination towards the profession, can be passed to a fairly small number of applicants (about 12%).
The rigor of the exam is caused by high competition – no more than 1230 people have recruited annually for medical areas throughout the country. Entrance exams are also provided at art colleges, engineering universities in the French region and management schools.
Study Abroad Programs in Belgium – Undergraduate
The undergraduate program in Belgium offers students quality education in a vibrant European country. Local universities and colleges attract applicants from all over the world, and especially those who speak French or Dutch. The rich history and culture, as well as the developed university system of Belgium, provides the unforgettable experience that everyone expects to receive from studying abroad.
With the exception of some courses (medicine, art, engineering, management), for admission to the undergraduate degree, entrance examinations are not provided, a certificate of completion of a school that has passed the recognition procedure in Belgium is enough.
The training program, as in many other countries in Europe, lasts three years. A feature of the educational system of Belgium is the subdivision of undergraduate into professional, with a more practical orientation, and academic, providing access to further studies in the magistracy and doctoral programs. Both types of undergraduate programs are available both at universities and university colleges.
Another feature of the Belgian system is the way it is managed. The organization of the educational process is not the responsibility of a single authority, but of the French and Flemish communities, which provide education in the French and Dutch-speaking regions of Belgium (Wallonia and Flanders), which ensures greater flexibility of the educational system. German-speaking Belgians choose to study at one of the universities of the French-speaking part of the country or go to study in Germany.
Study Abroad Programs in Belgium – Masters
Masters in Belgium is one of the most sought after in Europe due to the high level of student training and fairly affordable prices. Admission to the magistracy is open to both graduates of Belgian universities and foreigners, therefore, any candidate with a bachelor’s degree has the opportunity to obtain a degree in one of the most developed countries in Europe.
In Belgium, a master’s degree significantly increases the chances of finding a job, which explains a large number of graduate students: 43% of undergraduate graduates in Belgium continue to study at the post-graduate level.
Masters in Belgium are trained by universities and university colleges. As a rule, a master’s course lasts one or two years, with the exception of veterinary (3 years) and medical (4 years) areas. For admission to the Belgian master’s program, you need a bachelor’s degree in a field that fully or partially corresponds to the chosen direction. In some cases, experience in this specialty is also taken into account, which is sometimes even regarded as the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.
As in other European countries, the master’s program in Belgium involves the calculation of 60 ECTS points per year. The peculiarity of the Belgian system is that if all the requirements for a package of documents are met – notarized recognition of a degree, payment of a fee, and successful completion of a language test – the university does not have the right to refuse admission to an applicant.
Thus, the process of enrolling in masters in Belgium is simpler than in several other countries: if you managed to collect all the necessary documents, then study in Belgium is already guaranteed.
Foreign language proficiency
The master’s program in Belgium primarily attracts students with knowledge of French and Dutch, despite a large number of English-language programs. For admission to any master’s specialty, a certificate is required confirming a good level of language proficiency of the selected program.
The type of certificate depends on the language: it will be TOEFL or IELTS for English-language masters programs, DALF or DELF – for French-speaking, ITNA and others – for Dutch.
To receive any of these certificates, the student must independently pass a standardized test, which assesses reading, writing, speaking, and understanding a foreign language. It should be noted that there are no excessive requirements for language proficiency, and for many programs B2 is sufficient.
In Belgium, a master’s degree significantly increases the likelihood of employment: an average of 1.5-2 times compared with the chance of a bachelor. The highest level of general unemployment is demonstrated by Flanders, the lowest in the Brussels region. Nevertheless, in the whole country, the unemployment rate is at an acceptable level (8.6%), and a master’s job will not be a problem in any region.
Belgian doctoral studies are quite in demand: more than 30% of masters who have completed the second stage of higher education in Belgium continue their studies in doctoral studies. At the same time, about a third of doctoral students are foreign students. Therefore, if a student has established himself well during the master’s course, he can continue his research at the doctoral level and begin an academic career.
Universities in Belgium – QS Ranking
According to the QS rating, the top 150 universities in Europe and the top 300 universities in the world include four schools in the Flemish region of Belgium: Leuven Catholic University (82nd place), Ghent University (124th place), Free University of Brussels (194th place) and the University of Antwerp (208th place in the world).
In total, among the country’s universities, seven are in the world top 300. The ranking places only 5 Belgian universities in the top 300 but puts Leuven Catholic University in 35th place. We must say that with regard to the territory and population of Belgium, such indicators can be considered very high. Thus, if you rely on official ratings, study abroad in Belgium can be called one of the priority options when choosing a country of study.