Equivalence of qualification
Have you qualified from secondary school education abroad? You will need to request acknowledgement of equivalence of qualification or alternatively pass the admission exam for 1st cycle higher education studies. This is because in order to access a Bachelor’s degree course (1st cycle studies) in French-speaking Belgium, you must have a certificate of secondary education that is recognised as equivalent to a certificate of upper secondary education (CESS) issued in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
To obtain acknowledgement of the equivalence of your secondary school diploma or certificate, you will need to file an application between 15 November and 15 July before enrolling. It must be filed with the Service des Équivalences du Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and at the same time, you will need to pay the relevant fees (between €65 and €200, depending on the country where the certificate was issued). If these administrative fees are not paid, the file will not be processed. Please also note that if the foreign certificate is obtained after 10 July, the time for such filing may be extended until 14 September that same year, i.e. at the time of registration at the latest. The higher education institution will not be able to register you without this document, it must be sent to them before the registration deadline.
Please note that, for quota studies, you must prove that the equivalence has been requested before 15 July in the application form.
- an extract from the original birth certificate;
- a letter explaining your reasoning, on a model format, detailing the studies the applicant wishes to pursue;
- original proof of payment of the administrative costs;
- a copy (or the original, depending on the country) of the certificate of completion of secondary education;
- a copy (or the original, depending on the country) of the report card;
- a certified true copy (or the original, depending on the country) of the document proving access to higher education in the country where secondary education was completed. Equivalence may be expanded.
If you are a national of Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), China, Morocco, Guinea (Conakry), Senegal, Rwanda, Romania, Poland or Bulgaria, you must provide the original documents.
- A school leaving certificate issued by a European school.
- A school leaving certificate issued by the International Baccalaureate Office.
- A school leaving certificate issued by the SHAPE international school.
- A certificate issued by a Belgian curriculum school abroad.
For it to be valid, you need to submit your application for acknowledgement of equivalence by recorded delivery post or delivering the complete file directly, by the prescribed deadline, to:
Direction générale de l’enseignement obligatoire Service des équivalences
Rue A. Lavallée 1
In certain study areas, like schools of art, engineering sciences, veterinary medicine, medicine and dentistry, you will also need to pass an admission examination or a competitive entry test. If you would like to enrol on a Bachelor’s degree course to become a primary school teacher, preschool teacher or certified lower secondary education teacher, you will need to prove that you have a sufficient mastery of French.