- Admission and enrolment
- The student visa
- Equivalence of qualifications and degrees
- Tuition fees
- French language proficiency
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The admission requirements depend on the chosen academic level and field of study.
To be admitted to an undergraduate degree program (a Bachelor’s degree), you must hold a secondary school leaving certificate that is recognised as equivalent to the certificate of higher secondary education issued in Wallonia-Brussels. Students who hold a foreign certificate of secondary education must therefore submit an application to obtain a recognition of the equivalence of their secondary school leaving certificate to the Equivalences Department of the Ministry of Federation Wallonia-Brussels in order to be able to gain access to the Bachelor’s degree study programs.
Please note: In certain fields of study, as is the case for Belgian students, the foreign student must also pass an entrance examination (art school, engineering) or a competitive examination at the end of a first year of studies (medicine or dentistry).
If you wish to undertake an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree), you must choose a specific course of training and get in touch with the university, institute or art school of your choice to find out all the terms and conditions of admission.
To be admitted to a graduate degree program (Master’s degree), the foreign student must generally hold an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree, obtained generally after 3 years of study) in the same field. A personal or professional experience validated by the Admissions Panel of the institution according to a specific evaluation procedure can also be accepted to gain access to a graduate degree.
Holders of a certificate of higher education obtained abroad who wish to undertake a graduate degree in Wallonia-Brussels generally do not need to obtain a recognition of equivalence of their diploma from the Ministry of Federation Wallonia-Brussels. We advise you to get in touch with the higher education institution of your choice to check the terms and conditions of admission.
To be admitted to the Complementary Master’s degree (CM), the student must hold a graduate degree delivered by a higher education institution (Master’s degree) corresponding to 300 ECTS credits (generally acquired in 5 years of study).
Admission to postgraduate studies (doctorate) is reserved to students who hold a graduate degree corresponding to 300 ECTS credits (generally acquired in 5 years of study) or a graduate degree comparable and estimated at 300 ECTS credits by the Admissions Panel of the institution.
It is important to keep in mind that a doctoral thesis is written under the guidance of a supervisor (tutor). To apply for a doctorate, the student must submit a draft thesis that is sufficiently defined and obtain the written agreement of a supervisor.
If you wish to study for a doctorate, the first step is therefore to identify a professor working in your field of study and to contact him in order to present your research project for approval. To do so, we advise you to consult the universities websites. To find out more about postgraduate studies, consult the Doctoral Studies section.
If your admission application is accepted, a last step remains to be completed before gaining student status: enrolment with the institution of your choice.
To be properly enrolled, the student must:
* fulfil the admission requirements
* pay the tuition fees.
Each higher education institution has its own admissions and enrolments department. We advise you to get in touch with this department in order to obtain precise information on the admission and enrolment procedures you have to follow.
Students from the People’s Republic of China must obtain an academic evaluation certificate issued by the Academic Assessment Centre (APS) before being authorised to enrol in a higher education institution, a language course or other preparatory course in Belgium.
This APS certificate is also required to obtain the study visa for Belgium. The examination consists of a technical assessment of your diploma and of an interview. In certain cases, you can be exempted from this interview. To find out more, we recommend that you get in touch with the institution of your choice in Wallonia-Brussels and with the APS Centre based in Beijing:
Akademische Prufstelle Kulturreferat
Deutschen Botschaft Buro 0311 Landmark Tower 2 8, Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang Bezirk Beijing 100 004
Tel: 010/ 6590 0624 Fax: 010/6590 7140 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Nationals of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and of the European Economic Area do not need a visa to reside and study in Wallonia-Brussels.
On the other hand, if you are a national of a non-Member State of the European Union, you may need a visa to gain entrance to Belgian territory.
You must contact the Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of origin in order to find out whether a visa is necessary.
The procedure to obtain a visa varies according to your status - student, intern, researcher - and the duration of your stay - short: under 90 days, or long: over 90 days.
You will find more information about the procedure to be followed to apply for a visa on the website of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.
For the contact details of the Belgian embassy or consulate in your country, consult the website of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.
The contact details of the diplomatic missions of your country in Belgium can also come in useful upon your arrival in Belgium.
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Equivalence is a process that sets out to assess the similarity of studies (or parts of studies) completed abroad with studies (or parts of studies) organised in educational institutions in Wallonia-Brussels.
Foreign students who wish to enrol in the first year of studies in a university college or art school or in one of the years of the undergraduate study programs in a university must obtain the equivalence of their certificate of secondary education with the corresponding diploma issued in Wallonia-Brussels.
The application for obtaining this equivalence must be sent to the Equivalences department of the Ministry of Federation Wallonia-Brussels. All the information related to this procedure can be obtained on the website of the Equivalences Department.
For students who already hold a foreign higher education degree and who wish to pursue their studies in Wallonia-Brussels (graduate or postgraduate course of study), the equivalences are established by the university, university college or art academy to which they have submitted an admission application. We advise you to get in touch with the admissions and enrolments department of the university, university college or art academy of your choice in order to obtain precise information about the admission and enrolment procedure to follow.
Please note: An equivalence is a procedure which allows the recognition of a qualification obtained abroad.
An equivalence is based on different criteria, in particular:
- the recognition of the qualification by the competent authorities of the country in which the diploma was issued;
- the length of studies;
- the contents of the program of study (courses, internships, thesis).
You should therefore contact the university, university college or art academy of your choice as early as possible in order to find out if you need to obtain the equivalence of your qualification or degree.
Deadlines example for obtaining equivalence: if you need to obtain the equivalence of your certificate of secondary education in order to enrol in September in a higher education institution, your equivalence application must be submitted no later than July of the same year to the Department in charge of the Equivalence of Secondary Education.
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If you wish to study in a university in Wallonia-Brussels:
The basic tuition fees for one year of main studies for the academic year 2013-2014 amount to 835 euros.
In addition to the basic tuition fees, students from outside the European Union are required to pay additional fees. For the academic year 2013 – 2014, the amount of these fees varies between 1,923 euros and 3,845 euros.
The exact amount is stipulated to the student in the letter authorising him to enrol with the institution of his choice.
Please note: the amounts indicated here-above only concern the academic years 2013 - 2014 and are subject to change.
If you wish to study in a university college or art academy in Wallonia-Brussels:
The tuition fees vary according to the type of education (short or long study program) and the chosen year of study:
- for long study programs (undergraduate and graduate: Bachelor’s and Master’s): 455 euros for the final year and 351 euros for the other years of study;
- for the short study programs (undergraduate only: Bachelor’s): 228 euros for the final year or for a year of specialisation and 175 euros for the other years of study.
Additional fees may be applicable.
Specific tuition fees may also be due.
Please note: the amounts given here-above only concern the academic year 2013-2014 and are subject to change. To find out about the exact amounts of the tuition fees that you have to pay, you are advised to get in touch with the admissions and enrolments department of the university, university college or art academy of your choice.
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French is the language of teaching of most courses, which is why a satisfactory level of this language is required for most of the fields of study.
Proficiency in the French language is required in particular for:
* Bachelor’s degrees (undergraduate courses)
* Master’s for didactic purposes (graduate courses)
When enrolling for a program of study taught in French, the student must provide proof of a sufficient knowledge of the French language.
It may be necessary to pass a French language proficiency examination to enrol with certain programs of study.
All information can be obtained from the enrolment services of the higher education institutions.
Some programs and courses are also taught in another language (in particular in English). The students are informed upon their application for enrolment.
English-speaking students who have not had the opportunity to learn French can undertake a doctoral study program without difficulty as well as certain specialisation programs. Once in the country, they can learn basic French.
During the school holidays or throughout the academic year, higher education institutions organise French language courses targeting foreign students who have difficulties learning this language.
The majority of universities have a language centre which organises courses in French as a foreign language. See Learn French.
Study in Wallonia-Brussels is an excellent opportunity to improve your French language skills.
French is spoken by almost 220 million people on five continents. French is also an official language of the United Nations, of NATO, of the European Union or of the International Red Cross.
In order to improve the language skills of foreign students, higher education institutions organise French language courses during the summer holidays or throughout the entire academic year.
The majority of universities have a language centre which organises courses in French as a foreign language.
French conversation groups are also organised by various student associations. Information can be obtained from the enrolment departments of institutions.