Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Ongoing reforms and policy developments

Belgium - Flemish Community

14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

Last update: 27 November 2023

This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2021.

The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels: Early childhood education and care; School education; VET and Adult learning; Higher education; and Transversal skills and Employability. Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.

Overall national education strategy and key objectives

On Wednesday 2 October 2019 a new Flemish Government took office for a five year administrative period (2019-2024). Mr Ben Weyts was appointed Flemish Minister of Education.

At the beginning of a new legislative term the Flemish Minister of Education formulates the key objectives for education in a policy paper, which is presented to the Flemish Parliament.

On November 21 2019 the Flemish Parliament took note of Mr Weyts ' 'Policy Paper on Education 2019-2024', which contains the following strategic goals:

  • Achieve top-quality education with maximum learning gains for all learners

  • Attract and retain strong, professional and motivated teachers by giving the profession the appreciation it deserves

  • Give every child the right place in our education and provide the necessary guidance

  • Invest in learning and working environment with sufficient capacity (i.e. places) for every learner

  • Keep higher education at the top of the international level, but set limits to excessive flexibility

Overview of the education reform process and drivers

Within the Flemish Government the Minister of Education is responsible for nearly all aspects of the Flemish educational policy, ranging from early childhood education and care to higher education. Only the pensions of the educational staff, the establishment of compulsory education and the minimum requirements of diplomas are decided at the federal Belgian level. 

The education reform process is initiated by the Flemish Government, who formulates draft proposals to be presented to the Flemish Parliament. The Parliament takes a decision after consulting the mandatory advice issued by the Flemish Education Council.

The Flemish policy domain of education and training consists of the following entities:

  • The Flemish Minister of Education, who enters into strategic consultation with leading senior officials in the Governing Council.
  • Four autonomous entities which together constitute the Flemish educational administration:
    • the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training, consisting of three entities:
      • The Department of Education and Training, in charge of policy preparation, evaluation, communication and support;
      • Two internal autonomous agencies in charge of policy implementation: AgODi (Agency for Educational Services) and AHOVOKS (Agency for Higher Education, Adult Education, Qualifications and Study Allowances).
    • AGIOn, the Agency for School Infrastructure, which subsidises and funds the purchase, construction and renovation of school buildings for compulsory education and university colleges. (see 2.8.4.);
  • The Flemish Education Council (VLOR), which functions as a strategic advisory council. All preliminary draft parliamentary acts must be submitted to the VLOR for a formal opinion. In practice they are also submitted to the Council of State and the Flemish Social and Economic Council (SERV).

The various agencies described above are led by the Flemish Minister of Education via a management agreement.

The education inspectorate (see also is an autonomous service within the policy area of Education and Training.

The policy domain of education co-operates with several other Flemish policy domains., in particular with ‘Welfare, Public Health and Family’ and ‘Work and Social Economy’.

For more information on educational governance in Flanders, see 2.6.2 At the start of the policy-making process the Flemish government can submit a concept note. This note describes the existing regulation for a particular problem or points to a gap in this regulation. The note then indicates the problems which could arise and continues by sketching the broad outlines of a new regulation which should offer a solution to these problems. In a next phase of the policy making process the ideas put forward in the concept note are further examined and developed before they can possibly be transformed into legislative documents.