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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: 27 November 2023

Definition of the target group(s)

The Flemish government also provides additional funding by giving extra weight to the following target groups when determining the level of operating funds for universities and university colleges (factor 1.5 instead of 1)

  • scholarship students, being a student who receives a study grant from the Flemish Community,
  • students with disabilities, i.e. students who have opened an entitlement to an allowance with the Flemish Agency for Persons with Disabilities;
  • working students, being a student who meets all the following conditions :
    • they are in possession of a certificate of employment in an employment contract of at least 80 hours per month, or he is in possession of a certificate of job-seeker entitled to benefit and the training fits within the pathway to employment proposed by a regional employment service;
    • they do not yet hold a second-cycle or master's degree;
    • they are enrolled in a study programme registered in the Higher Education Register.

For students from disadvantaged or vulnerable families, who have an increased risk of problematic school careers and who are in need of role models, student tutoring projects may be awarded grants.

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.