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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in higher education

Belgium - Flemish Community

14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.4National reforms in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023


Further implementation overview 2021


Higher education advancement fund

In implementation of the Flemish Resilience Relaunch Plan, on 26 February 2021 the Flemish Government approved the draft of the vision note 'Voorsprongfonds hoger onderwijs' . The Higher education advancement fund will make our higher education stronger, more flexible and more digital. In the future, digital will play an even bigger role in our society than today. The corona crisis has given us a golden opportunity to anticipate this. At the same time, we have become aware of the indispensable importance of the tangible and the physical in our lives. The important thing now is to use it to our advantage. We start from the opportunities that present themselves post Corona and at the same time we tackle structural challenges. We aim for innovations that give higher education a stronger labour market/social focus, a focus on lifelong learning and a 21st century, digital character. Flexibility, innovation and sustainability are paramount. To realise this ambition, we focus on 3 action lines:

  1. The development of a Flemish educational portfolio that is future-proof and flexible: Within this action line, we will focus on the implementation of trajectories that lead to a future-proof and flexible educational portfolio in all higher education institutions, the reorientation of curricula and a broad process towards a new profile of higher education in Flanders.
  2. Offer many more opportunities for lifelong learning within higher education: Within this action line, higher education institutions can develop concrete initiatives that focus on the (re)design of their educational offer to make it accessible and flexible with a view to lifelong learning. In addition, work will be done on the Flemish vision on lifelong learning in higher education
  3. Devote a great deal of attention to digital forms of education: The advancement fund wants to support educational institutions in the quality preservation of new work forms within higher education whereby an ideal mix of physical education on campus and digital education at a distance is pursued.

Extra attention for students' mental well-being

An important condition for successful study and an essential value for inclusive higher education is attention to students' mental well-being. More and more students in higher education are suffering from mental strain and the corona crisis has intensified the attention on the already dormant challenge of students' mental well-being. In this context, a project on students' mental well-being is being launched.

The project runs in 3 phases. In a first phase, which is currently ongoing (until May 2021) an up-to-date picture is drawn up via research with regard to the mental wellbeing of Flemish and Brussels students in higher education. In a second phase, running from the beginning to the end of 2021 (and thus partly running parallel to phase 1),  a Flanders-wide policy on the mental well-being of students will be develop. The third phase, which will start on 1 January 2022, will combine the recommendations from the first phase and the environmental analysis from the second phase into a set of policy measures, which will then be implemented.


Higher education study efficiency

Study efficiency in higher education is enhanced by good orientation and rapid reorientation, thus avoiding disappointment and increasing students' chances of success. The orientation is reinforced by taking into account the learner's secondary education results, the advice of the class council, the results of the Columbus exploration tool and the results of the compulsory but non-binding admission tests. Students will be reoriented more quickly if they fail after an initial evaluation period. The approach of the non-binding admission tests for higher education as a whole will be generalised.