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Education in Flanders (Belgium)

A girl is 'fighting' with the lion on the Flemish flag.
A girl is "fighting" with the lion on the Flemish flag.

Even though Belgium is a constitutionally trilingual state (French, Dutch, German), which, among other factors, lead to a decentralised education system in 1989, it is still outranking most countries in international education assessments so far. For example, the OECD's 2016 annual education report "Education at a glance" states that the Netherlands and Belgium were the only European countries that ...

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... effectively met the benchmark level for the OECD sustainable development targets. However, Belgium's ongoing debates about its languages have been playing a major role in educational matters and eventually, along with the decentralisation running its course, lead to separate education systems.
Each linguistic community is therefore responsible for organising and administering their own educational systems. Nevertheless, they are arranged in a comparatively similar manner. Only the following areas remain the responsibility of the Belgian government:
1) Determining the compulsory school age (Belgium: age 6-18)
2) Determining the minimum requirements for the issuing of diploma;
3) Regulating teachers` pension scheme
Furthermore, Flanders and the German-speaking part of Belgium are obliged to make French a mandatory subject for all students aged 10 at the latest.
Like the majority of its fellow EU member states Flanders signed the Bologna Agreement and has been implementing reforms in the higher education sector accordingly since 2004.



On the occasion of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 and its guests of honour, the Netherlands and Flanders, both being linked through a shared language, Bildung Weltweit gives an overview of their educational systems. The dossier on Flanders is structured as follows:

We wish you a good time browsing these resources!

Your Education Worldwide team


General Information on Education


Belgium Eurydice is the "Network on education systems and policies in Europe". Amongst others, it provides very comprehensive country profiles on on education systems in Europe (formerly know as "Eurypedia"). All areas of education are covered from early childhood to adult education, as well as overarching issues. Each country participating in Eurydice [...]


Belgium This OECD website provides information on the education system in Belgium, on education indicators and statistics. The interactive website can be used to compare Belgium's educational data with those of the average OECD data or with the data of other countries. You can create graphs, tables and others, which can be exported as a pdf-document. [Abstract: Editors of [...]


Belgium This site provides structured information on education in Belgium in German language. The single chapters deal with school, higher education, marking systems as well as certificates, degrees and statistics.
"anabin" is an information database of the German Conference of Ministers of Education - Central Office for Foreign Education [...]


Belgium English Wikipedia article about the education system in the Flemish Community / Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. You will find the following chapters:
1 Generally
2 Networks
3 Levels
3.1 Basic education
3.2 Secondary education
3.3 Higher education
4 [...]


Belgium; Germany The website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides ample information on academic exchange and cooperation with Belgium: information on scholarships (for Germans who want to go to Belgium and the other way round), on project aids and cooperation in higher education, background information on the country, its education sector and research, as [...]


Belgium; Germany In the section "travel and safety information" / "European and foreign policy", the Federal Foreign Office of Germany provides basic information on different countries, amongst others on their education systems. This text about Belgium provides a brief overview of the education system (educational policy, school system, higher education) [...]


Educational Policy (Governmental Bodies & Official Documents)


Belgium The English website of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training mainly links you to Eurypedia information. Furthermore, it has a link to English publications by the Ministry as well as to a website for foreign students interested in studying in Flanders.
The Dutch website provides general information about the respective education networks opearting [...]


Belgium The Flemish Education Council(Vlor) is the official advisory body on the education and training policy of the Flemish Community. Representatives of all the different stakeholders in education and training meet in the Vlor. Together they look for ways to further improve education and training in Flanders via recommendations. The English website only provides basic [...]


Belgium The Flemish Council of Universities and University Colleges VLUHR is in charge of the quality assurance of higher education in Flanders. The English website provides information on the mission and goals of VLUHR, fulltext documents of manuals on educational assessment since 2005 or suggestions for a Learning Outcomes Framework. Assessment reports of single university [...]


Belgium The website of the Education Inspectorate of Flanders is not available in English. For an <a href=http://www.sici-inspectorates.eu/Members/Inspection-Profiles/Flanders target="_blank">English profile of the inspectorate of 2009</a>, please visit the website of the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates (SICI). The Dutch website [...]


Belgium; Netherlands Together, the Netherlands and Flanders run an entity for accreditation and quality assurance of educational institutions in their respective countries. The NVAO also organises the accredition of foreign qualifications. Its website provides a lot of information on the work processes of NVAO, including annual reports on accreditation processes, guidelines, [...]


Belgium The database Planipolis provides official fulltext documents on educational policy and planning from UNESCO member states. For Belgium you can find documents starting in the year 2000 - for the French and the Flemish community, not for the German community. Planipolis is provided by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). [Abstract: Editors [...]


Cooperation with the Netherlands


Belgium; Netherlands This website on international relations is provided by the Government of the Netherlands. It gives a short overview of the relations between the Netherlands and Belgium. In the third section, you will find information on cultural and educational relations which are mainly founded on the shared Dutch-Flemish language found in Flanders, one of the three [...]


Belgium; Netherlands English translation of the "Cultural Treaty" between the Netherlands and Flanders in 1995. This treaty includes the "cooperation in terms of Culture, Education, Sciences and Welfare" between the country and the region linked by a common language. A commission (CVN) was created to monitor the implementation of the treaty. The commission [...]


Belgium; Netherlands Website of the Commission in charge of the monitoring of the implementation of the <a href=http://www.bildung-weltweit.de/bisy.html?spr=1&a=8788 target="_blank">"Cultural Treaty" between the Netherlands and Flanders in 1995</a>. Unfortunately, the site is not available in English. The Dutch site informs about the [...]


Belgium; Netherlands Short article about the celebrations on the occasion of the 20 years of the <a href=http://www.bildung-weltweit.de/bisy.html?spr=1&a=8788 target="_blank">"Cultural Treaty" between the Netherlands and Flanders in 1995</a>. The article links to relevant information on the treaty, on cooperating institutions and the commission [...]


Educational Reports, Statistics, Assessments


Belgium These figures are published annually by the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training. They present the current statistical data for all education sectors in Flanders, Belgium. <a href=http://www.flanders.be/en/publications?zoekterm=Flemish+education+in+figures&publicatiedatum[from]=&publicatiedatum[to]=&uitgever=&taal=Engels [...]


Belgium The Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) provides the most recent basic data on education in Belgium. You will find information on the following issues:
* General information
* Education System
* Participation in education
* Progression and completion in education
* Education expenditures
* [...]


Belgium These reports are published annually by the Flemish Government, Department of Economy, Science and Innovation. They provide an overview of the current status of Science, Technology an Innovation in Flanders. The chapters cover STI system and organisation, funding, human resources, activities, output and result of STI research. <a [...]


Belgium Educational statistics provided by the Research Centre of the Flemish Government. Unfortunately, the website and the statistics are available in Dutch only. You can find an <a href=http://www4.vlaanderen.be/sites/svr/Cijfers/Pages/Excel.aspx target="_blank">alternative and more updated version</a> under "Cijfers" > "Onderwijs en [...]


Belgium The OECD provides some data from assessments or educational policy for Belgium that can be compared to other countries taking part in these assessments (Click on "Trend" or "Ranking" - Please note that this only functions automatically if you open the link in the same tab. Otherwise, please choose your country under "Highlighted [...]


Belgium The OECD publishes their educational news from and on a specific country in this section. You will also find publication announcements like e.g. "Education at a Glance", and other studies and reports like "OECD Reviews of School Resources: Flemish Community of Belgium 2015". [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


Belgium "A video series profiling policies and practices of education systems that demonstrate high or improving performance in the PISA tests."
"This series of videos has been produced jointly by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Pearson Foundation to present initiatives being taken by education authorities [...]


Organisations & Associations


Belgium Flemish Educational Research Forum (VFO) unfortunately doesn't have an English website. VFO is a member of the European Educational Research Association (EERA). Together with the Association for Educational Research of the Netherlands (VOR), it organizes the annual conference for educational research (Onderwijsresearchdagen). VOR's website mainly informs about this [...]


Belgium The Flemish ministry of Education provides a list of teachers' organisation for different subjects in Flanders. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


Belgium Unfortunately, the website of the Flemish Association for Teacher Educators (VELOV) is only available in Dutch. The website informs about VELOV and provides teaching material, information on professionalisation initiatives, working groups for different topics, as well as a newsletter and information on the annual VELOV congress. Every three years, this congress is [...]


Belgium "The ‘Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad’ or VLIR was established in 1976. VLIR represents the Flemish universities, serves as a platform to facilitate cooperation between the Flemish universities, and interacts with the Flemish government in all matters concerning higher education policy. Topics such as education and research policy, university management and [...]


Belgium The Flemish Council of University Colleges VLHORA "is the umbrella organization of the Flemish University Colleges which defends and promotes the mutual interests of the university colleges." The Ebglish websites provides a short overview of VLHORA's history and activities as well as a list of member universities. The Dutch website moreover provides current [...]


Belgium The website of the Flemish student organisation VVS doesn't have an English website. You can find <a href=https://www.esu-online.org/?member=belgium-vlaamse-vereniging-van-studenten-vvs target="_blank">English information</a> on the website of the European Students' Union (ESU). The VVS was founded in 1938. On its Flemish website, you can find [...]


Higher Education & Research


Belgium The website on Higher Education in Flanders is run by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). You can find the following content on this website (see also <a href=http://www.highereducation.be/short-introduction target="_blank">Short introduction</a>):
* Information on studying in Flanders
* [...]


Belgium Research in Flanders is a portal run by <a href=http://www.bildung-weltweit.de/bisy.html?a=8755 target="_blank">Flanders Knowledge Area</a>. The website offers some thematic papers on research foci in Flanders, some promotional films on research in Flanders, information on research funding and on some research institutes and centres. The website [...]


Belgium; international Flanders nowledge Area runs several portals and projects with the aim of internationalisation of higher education in Flanders. The projects and portals are created either on their own initiative or by order of the Government of Flanders or the Flemish Council of Universities and University Colleges (VLUHR). The main topics are mobility and international [...]

Last Update: 03.04.2018  -  N. Cohen ; J. Siddiquie;

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