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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of post-secondary non-tertiary education

Belgium - Flemish Community

6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.10Organisation of post-secondary non-tertiary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

The one-year programmes secondary-after-secondary (Se-n-Se) are part of the structure of secondary education. The programmes are strongly vocationally oriented. They comprise a relevant part of work-based learning with learning activities aimed at the acquisition of general and/or vocational competences. When successfully finishing a programme, a certificate is granted.

Approximately 3.000 youngsters, or 0,75% of pupils in secondary education, are enrolled in a Se-n-Se programme.

Types of institutions

Se-n-Se programmes are organised by institutions for fulltime secondary education.

Collaboration is crucial here. For the organisation of a Se-n-Se an institution for fulltime secondary education can cooperate with:

  • one or more institutions for secondary education, Adult Education Centres or university colleges;
  • one or more public providers of vocational training for adults;
  • other companies or organisations from the public or private sector.

Daily cooperation must allow amongst others to hire expertise or to make use of up-to-date material and infrastructural facilities, but also to organize part of the programme in another institution. The organisation of the programme is the exclusive right of the institution for fulltime secondary education, which is also the coordinating institution. Only the coordinating institution is competent and responsible for the enrolment of pupils, programming, assessment, certification and quality assurance. Only the stipulations laid down in parliamentary acts and the regulation applicable to the coordinating institution are valid for the financing of a Se-n-Se.

Geographical accessibility

See first stage.

Admission criteria and choice of school

In order to be granted access to a Se-n-Se programme a pupil must hold a Secondary Education Certificate, awarded in a course of study in the same field of study to which the Se-n-Se programme belongs. The admissions committee can decide to allow a change of field of study. It can also grant access on the basis of an entrance test or on the basis of prior learning competencies or qualifications. To conclude the committee also decides on the entrance of pupils who transfer directly from a non-Flemish education institution (school abroad, French- or German-speaking school in Belgium).

Since Se-n-Se programmes only take one year and have a very specific character a late entrance is not recommended. Study changes after 30 September are only allowed in exceptional circumstances.

Age levels and grouping of pupils/students

The Se-n-Se programmes have a duration of two semesters.  

Organisation of the school year

See first stage.

Se-n-Se programmes can start on both 1 September and1 February, depending on the decision of the school board. The double starting date allows youngsters who drop out another programme, who do not find a job or who have deliberately acquired some working experience first, to enroll in a Se-n-Se programme.

In the future Se-n-Se programmes from one or three subsequent semesters will be possible.

Organisation of the school day and week

See first stage.