Belgium UNIVERSITIES

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Belgium universities offer a wide range of programs. Belgium universities are known for the diversity of their educational programs, from general education to field-specific majors, academic excellence and research, providing a world-class education and training future professionals. Belgium universities also have strong ties with industry, providing students with internship opportunities, the opportunity to work on research projects with world-class faculty members, post-graduate professional training programs and career guidance. The best universities in the country are listed below. You can contact us for free preliminary information about Belgium and universities.

Study In Belgium

Belgium, or officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country located in the Northwestern region of Europe. Having neighbors like the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France on one hand and hosting the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and the European Council on the other, Belgium, though not in geographic terms, surely is the “heart of Europe”. Being one of the most important hubs for both international politics and commerce, Belgium attracts many personalities, natural or legal alike. 

However, to confine the reasons behind Belgium’s worldwide popularity merely with politics and trade would be a crime, for Belgium is also a top education provider in Europe and the world. Cities like Brussels, Leuven, Ghent, Antwerp, and Liege do not boast with hosting just the seats of major European governing bodies or headquarters of conglomerates, but world-renowned universities like KU Leuven, Ghent University, and Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) as well.

Belgium Universities

Belgium is the embodiment of multiculturalism and multilingualism, for the population of Belgium is made up of Flemish, German, and French communities. Consequently, most of the Belgium universities have a strong international outlook and welcome students from all over the world every year. In Belgium, higher education is regulated by Flemish and French communities, while the German population typically enrolls in French institutions or opts for higher education institutions in Germany. 

University Education in Belgium

When compared to other countries in Europe, Belgium does not have a common national identity. Belgium is divided into two regions, Flanders and Wallonia, with the Flemish-speaking community living in Flanders and the French-speaking community living in Wallonia. Consequently, higher education institutions are divided as well and the language of instruction differs on a university basis.

Even though the official languages of Belgium include German alongside Dutch and French, the medium of instruction in higher education institutions is either Dutch or French since higher education institutions are regulated by Flemish and French communities. However, Belgium universities offer many international programs taught in English. Education in Belgium universities is categorized under Flemish Higher Education System and Walloon Higher Education System.

Flemish Higher Education System

The Flemish Higher Education System is a binary system consisting of 18 higher education institutions which are funded by the state in large part. These 18 higher education institutions are made up of 5 universities, the oldest of which dates back to 1425, and 13 small to medium-sized university colleges known as universities of applied sciences.

Belgium universities that operate as part of the Flemish Higher Education System are research-intensive institutions and offer programs at bachelor, master, advanced master, and PhD levels in addition to postgraduate certificate programs, while universities of applied sciences generally focus on vocational education and offer programs at associate, professional bachelor, advanced bachelor levels as well as postgraduate certificate programs.

All Belgium universities and universities of applied sciences operating under the Flemish Higher Education System offer education in line with the principles of European Higher Education Area and all programs offered by higher education institutions are accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). The majority of study programs are taught in Dutch, though English-taught programs are offered at the bachelor's degree level, with more options available at the master's and PhD levels.

Walloon Higher Education System

Similar to Flanders, the French-speaking region of Belgium, known as Wallonia, has its own higher education system, which is made up of 6 universities, 19 university colleges and 16 schools of art. Belgium universities operating under the Walloon Higher Education System offer programs at bachelor, master, advanced master and PhD level as well as postgraduate certificate programs, while university colleges, universities of applied sciences and schools of art offer transitional degree programs, associate degree programs, professional bachelor's degree programs and advanced bachelor's degree programs.

Belgium universities and university colleges in Wallonia, just like those in Flanders, are accredited and offer education in accordance with the standards of the European Higher Education Area, and even though the primary language of instruction is generally French, many programs are also offered in English.

European Credit Transfer System

Both Flemish and Walloon Higher Education Systems are part of the European Higher Education area as mentioned above and higher education institutions operating as part of the European Higher Education Area, bar a small number of exceptions, use the European Credit Transfer System, i.e. ECTS. 1 ECTS credit equals 25 to 30 hours of work and a year of full-time studies at university or university of applied sciences level is generally worth 60 ECTS credits, which corresponds to 1,500 - 1,800 hours of study work. 

Bachelor’s Degree, How Long Does It Take?

Accordingly, associate degree programs (90 - 120 ECTS) can be completed in 2-3 years, while bachelor’s (180 ECTS) and professional bachelor’s (180 ECTS) degree programs in a general field of study take 3 years to complete with the exceptions of law school and medical school, which can be completed in 5 and 6 years respectively.

Master’s Degree, How Long Does It Take?

Master’s (60 - 120 ECTS) and advanced master’s (60 - 120 ECTS) degree programs in a general field of study take 1-2 years to complete. However, master’s degree and advanced master’s degree programs in the fields of law, business administration, medicine, dentistry and health sciences may take longer than 2 years to complete.

Cost of Studying in Belgium

Tuition fees in Belgium universities vary depending on the region, university and the program you are applying for. It should be noted that Non-EU/EEA nationals are required to pay higher tuition fees than EU/EEA nationals. Annual tuition fee of a full-time degree program at a university in the Flanders region may be anywhere between €1.100 and €8.100 on average, while in the Wallonia region, Non-EU/EEA nationals are required to pay €4.175 per academic year. 

Cost of Living in Belgium

Living costs, just like tuition fees, may vary depending on the region. When planning your budget, you should consider food, transportation, accommodation, social life, health insurance and similar expenses. Prospective students, who wish to apply to Belgium universities in the Wallonia region, should expect their annual total expenses to be in the range between €13.200 and €15.000.

For prospective students who will apply for Belgium universities in the Wallonia region, a breakdown of monthly expenses (accommodation not included) may be;

  • Food & Meals: ≈ €450
  • Utilities: ≈ €135
  • Course Materials, Books: ≈ €50
  • Internet & Cell Phone Plan: ≈ €60
  • Compulsory Insurance
    • Health Insurance: ≈ €30
    • Third Party Liability Insurance: ≈ €50
  • Local Transportation: ≈ €50
  • Personal Expenses and Social Activities: ≈ €60

For prospective students who will apply for Belgium universities in the Flanders region, a breakdown of monthly expenses (accommodation not included) may be;

  • Food & Meals: ≈ €450
  • Utilities: ≈ €90 - €180
  • Course Materials, Books: ≈ €50
  • Internet & Cell Phone Plan: ≈ €40 - €100
  • Compulsory Insurance
    • Health Insurance: ≈ €30
    • Third Party Liability Insurance: ≈ €50
  • Local Transportation: ≈ €50 - €100
  • Personal Expenses and Social Activities: ≈ €75

Accommodation in Belgium

Accommodation will make up the largest part of your living expenses and the total annual accommodation expenses will vary depending on your status, the length of study stay, budget, and lifestyle. For the Wallonia region, university residence halls cost anywhere between €295 and €550 on a monthly basis, while the monthly rent for a one-bedroom flat is between €600 to €950. In the Flanders region, university residence halls cost anywhere between €340 and €520 on a monthly basis, whereas monthly rent for a single-bedroom flat is between €600 and €800 and a double-bedroom flat is between €800 and €1.000.

Why Study in Belgium?

Belgium, being one of the founding members of international organizations such as the European Union, NATO, Eurozone, World Trade Organization, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the capital city, Brussels, where headquarters of many other international institutions are located, have important places in the international arena. 

Having been one of the strongest voices of multilateral cooperation throughout history, Belgium is the embodiment of internationalism and provides countless opportunities for those who are planning an international career. In addition to being a center for international organizations, Belgium is an important hub in Europe for international trade and attracts innovative talents and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Belgium's position in the Benelux politico-economic union established in cooperation with the Netherlands and Luxembourg further empowers Belgium's internationally collaborative and innovative spirit.

In addition to having a strong international image, many Belgium universities hold strong positions in the international university rankings. High-quality education, reasonable tuition fees and the fact that Belgium serves as an international hub for education, commerce and world politics are only a couple of the factors that make Belgium universities popular among international students. Cities like Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges have assumed important roles in the academic development of humanity, and this tradition still continues today in the country's world-renowned universities.

How to Apply as an International Student?

Application Deadlines

To be able to apply to universities in Belgium, international students are required to meet certain academic and language requirements. Although these requirements may vary depending on the university and the program, general admission requirements may be summarized as follows;

Admission Requirements - Academic (Bachelor’s Degree)

  • European Baccalaureate (EB) (for direct admission application)
    or
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) (for direct admission application)
    or
  • ABITUR (for direct admission application)
    or
  • Certificate of Secondary Education
    • Please note that a certificate of secondary education awarded by an institution in a Non-EU/EEA country requires an equivalency review by the relevant authorities in Belgium.

Please bear in mind that international students who are going to apply to programs that are directly or indirectly related to the fields of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, civil engineering, industrial engineering, bioengineering, mathematics, physics and pharmaceutics are required to apply and take the relevant exams administered by the governments of Flanders and Wallonia.

Admission Requirements - Academic (Master’s Degree)

  • Bachelor’s Degree (of a 3 or 4-year undergraduate program)
  • High Grade Point Average
  • To have accumulated at least 180 ECTS course credit during your university studies

Please note that you may be asked to submit GRE or GMAT test scores depending on the admission requirements specific to the program you are applying to.

Admission Requirements - Language

  • Certificate of Proficiency in English (for programs taught in English)
    • You will be asked to submit the scores of at least one of the internationally recognized proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic, CAE, CPE, etc.
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Dutch (for programs taught in Dutch)
    • You will either be asked to submit the scores of a Dutch proficiency test or to take proficiency tests like ITNA or STRT administered by language centers and institutes of Belgium universities.
  • Certificate of Proficiency in French (for programs taught in French)
    • You will be asked to submit the scores of at least one of the internationally recognized proficiency tests like DILF, DELF or DALF.

Top Universities in Belgium

Top universities in Belgium according to World University Rankings 2023

  1. KU Leuven
  2. Ghent University
  3. Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain)
  4. Université libre de Bruxelles
  5. Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
  6. University of Antwerp
  7. Hasselt University
  8. Université de Liège
  9. University of Mons

Scholarship Opportunity

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)

0 likes Quality Score: 77

Belgium

City: Leuven
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 7
Undergradute Fee: 1.343 EUR

Master Program: 64
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

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Ghent University

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Belgium

City: Ghent
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 106
Undergradute Fee: 1.092 EUR

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 2

Popular Universities

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Ghent University

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Belgium

City: Ghent
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 106
Undergradute Fee: 1.092 EUR

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 2

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Universiteit Antwerpen

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Belgium

City: Antwerp
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 34
Undergradute Fee: 3.100 EUR

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 6


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Université libre de Bruxelles

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Belgium

City: Brussels
ESL Offered: YES

Master Program: 41
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 5

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Carnegie Mellon University

0 likes Quality Score: 86

Malta

City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 76

Master Program: 53
Status: PRIVATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 24

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Istituto Marangoni

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Malta

City: Milano
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 12

Status: PRIVATE

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Cornell University

0 likes Quality Score: 91

Malta

City: New York
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 79

Master Program: 74
Status: PRIVATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 12

Frequently Asked Questions About Belgium Universities

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