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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in higher education

Belgium - Flemish Community

12.Educational support and guidance

12.5Support measures for learners in higher education

Last update: 9 June 2022

Definition of the target group(s)

In higher education, the following target groups are given extra weighting when determining the amount of the operating funds of universities and university colleges (a factor of 1.5 instead of 1):

  • students on grants, i.e. receiving a study allowance from the Flemish Community,
  • students with functional disabilities, i.e. who have established a right to a contribution from the Flemish Agency for Disabled People;
  • working students, i.e. those who meet all the following conditions:
    • they hold proof of employment in a position of at least 80 hours per month, or proof that they are a job-seeker entitled to benefits, and the higher education programme is part of a pathway into work defined by a regional employment service;
    • they do not yet hold a second cycle degree or Master’s degree;
    • they are enrolled on a study pathway that is registered in the Higher Education Register.

Students with a functional disability can receive extra support in higher education.

For the description of the target group for integrated education and inclusive education see 12.1.1.

For students from disadvantaged or vulnerable families who are at increased risk of problematic school careers and need role models, subsidies can be allocatedto student tutoring projects (Decision of the Flemish Government, 19 September 2011).

Specific support measures

The Flemish Community has also established an Incentives Fund in higher education [see also 3.2-1 Funding]. Its resources are used by the university colleges and universities to promote equal opportunities and diversity, and more specifically to take measures that promote the intake, progress and graduation of students from population groups which are underrepresented in higher education. The Flemish Community enters into management agreements over several years with each institution wishing to participate in the Incentives Fund. These define what measures the institutions will take for which target groups.

In addition to the Incentives Fund, annual diversity projects were subsidised between 2008 and 2011, specifically focusing on the teacher training programmes (in both higher and adult education). These projects focus, like the Incentives Fund, on encouraging participation in higher education by students from population groups which are underrepresented in higher education.

With specific regard to students with functional disabilities, a number of the support measures for compulsory education also apply to higher education. For instance, integrated education support is possible in the university colleges, and university colleges and universities can seek support from the special educational resources unit. The student participates in mainstream university college education with the necessary adaptations and integrated education support provided by special secondary education.

Students on the higher vocational education nursing programme are also entitled to two years of integrated education support.

The Flemish Community has also created theCentre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO).This aims to support institutions in higher education with the defining of a care policy for students with functional disabilities. Students with functional disabilities can also contact it for advice and help

Students with a functional disability and students facing financial obstacles will be given extra financial support to study abroad.

Student tutoring projects aim to increase the study or social skills of students from disadvantaged or vulnerable families, improve their study motivation, self-image and future prospects counter social segregation.