Update in March :
The Government of the French Community adopted on 29th September 2022, in its last reading, the draft Decree relating to the introduction of an entrance examination for the medical and dental courses from the academic year 2023-2024.
The agreement offers the guarantee to all students, already in the curriculum, to have an INAMI number as well as an objectification of the needs in doctors on the ground of the French Community. The competition will take place in a single session between 16th and 31st August preceding the academic year in question in order to allow students to prepare effectively during the summer, but also to give time to candidates who are not selected to reorient themselves before the start of the academic year. From an organisational point of view, the main principles of the current examination are retained. Thus, the eight subjects on which the examination will be based are the same as those of the current entrance examination, in order to respect the options that may have been taken by students at the end of secondary school wishing to go into the medical or dental sciences. As it is already the case, candidates will have to choose the university where they will start their studies when they register for the competition. They will be ranked in the order of their marks. The maximum number of successful non-resident students will be reduced from 30% to 15% in order to guarantee a sufficient supply of health care for the population and to fight possible shortages linked to practitioners who leave the territory after completing their studies and therefore do not contribute to the renewal of the workforce. The text adopted also defines the formula for calculating the number of eligible students.
The Government of the French Community validated, in first reading, the list of authorisations linked to the implementation of the reform of the initial teacher training which will come into force in 2023. As a reminder, future teachers will henceforth be trained via a co-diplomation between University Colleges (Hautes Ecoles), Universities and Arts Colleges. The list of these joint courses, as defined in the decree on the reform of initial teacher training, was approved on 29th September 2022. This agreement marks another important step towards the implementation of the reform, the aim of which is to contribute to the improvement of our education system, which requires a high level of training for future teachers. As already provided for in the decree of February 2019, the training of all core teachers will be extended from 3 to 4 years from the start of the next school year. The text also specifies the areas of cross-cutting skills to be developed, regardless of the course of study, by all future French-speaking teachers, making it possible to meet the needs of the implementation of the Pact for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, students will henceforth be required to complete a long-term placement during the school year. The objective is to offer future teachers a gradual, supervised and accompanied entry into their profession, while in the French Community, nearly 25% of teachers leave the profession at the beginning of their career. This internship - which will count for a significant part of the study credits dedicated to practice - will preferably take place within the same institution. It will allow the student to develop autonomous work and to prepare the beginning of his/her teaching career through hours of practice in the classroom but also, for example, in the framework of collaborative work within the educational team of the placement institution.
E-Landscape : fewer procedures for students and better management of higher education for the actors
The Government of the French Community approved, in third and final reading, the draft decree establishing the computerised and centralised data platform "E-Landscape” (“E-Paysage"). It will be operational from the academic year 2023/2024. E-Landscape, launched in February 2016, will allow administrative simplification for students and institutions as well as the collection of objective data on higher education, all in strict compliance with data protection rules.
- Administrative simplification for students and institutions ;
- Objective data on the management of higher education ;
- Enhanced privacy protection ;
- Thanks to E-Landscape, French-speaking higher education is entering the digital age.
Update in September :
The Government adopts the modalities of the entrance exam for medicine and dentistry in second reading
The Government of the French Community adopted at second reading the preliminary draft decree relating to the introduction of an entrance examination for the medical and dental fields from the academic year 2023-2024.
This entrance examination will give students who pass it the certainty of being able to practice their profession and benefit from quality training. It will also guarantee that the population will have access to medical services that correspond to the needs of the field.
Moreover, the agreement also provides for a guarantee to all students, already in the course, to have an INAMI number as well as an objectification of the needs in doctors on the territory of the French Community.
From an organisational point of view, the main principles of the current examination were retained. Thus, the eight subjects on which the competition will be based are the same as those of the current entrance examination, in order to respect the options that may be taken by pupils at the end of secondary education wishing to choose medical or dental sciences.
The ranking of candidates after the competitive examination for selection will be in two separate streams : medicine on the one hand and dentistry on the other.
As far as non-residents are concerned, the Government envisages a reduction in the maximum number of non-residents from 30% to 15% in order to guarantee a sufficient supply of health care for the population and to limit the risk of shortages linked to practitioners who leave the territory at the end of their studies and therefore do not contribute to the renewal of the work force.
European recovery plan : inter-university research infrastructures to promote green innovation
On the initiative of the Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Government of the French Community approved the establishment of five inter-university research platforms designed to promote green innovation and fight climate change. These platforms will be endowed with an initial amount of 22,400,000 euros from the European funds allocated to Belgium within the framework of the European Recovery Fund.
These investments will enable the universities of the French Community to be provided with advanced equipment to carry out scientific research in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energies, security of supply and the reduction of greenhouse gases. The objective is to rely on the work and collaboration of French-speaking researchers to promote the necessary energy transition of our society.
The research infrastructures will be accessible to researchers from all universities. The facilities will also be accessible to other higher education establishments, enabling creative energies to be brought together in one place and ensuring a "lever effect" on the essential themes for the future. This system will also make it possible to accelerate the process of valorization of results and to attract high-level international researchers within the institutions of the French Community, allowing the universities to be part of collaborations with an international scope. Finally, these research infrastructures will also allow students and professors to have access to advanced learning material.
European recovery plan: 35 million euros will be invested in university buildings
The Government of the French Community has validated the list of projects that will be supported via the European Recovery Fund (Next Generation EU) and dedicated to the renovation of ten university buildings on French-speaking campuses. These sums will make it possible to modernise existing infrastructures in a sustainable manner, to make French-speaking campuses more attractive to students and to contribute to the necessary energy transition.
In concrete terms, it is currently planned that at least 34,000 square metres of buildings will be renovated by 2026. Half of this area will have to reduce its primary energy consumption by 30% and the other half by at least 15%. The renovations will make it possible to offer buildings that are welcoming and in line with changing educational practices (digital evolution, accessibility of public buildings to all). Financial resources are also provided for renovations at universities, art colleges and social advancement education institutions as part of the school buildings project.
European Recovery Fund : 21 million euros for digital development in higher education and social advancement education
On 21 April 2022, the Government of the French Community validated the list of projects that will be supported, via the European Recovery Fund, and devoted to the development of the digital strategy in higher education and social advancement education.
These amounts will make it possible to support and strengthen the efforts already undertaken by institutions, for example in terms of overall digital strategy, the loan of equipment to students and training - in particular through the hiring of techno-pedagogues.
Almost 19 million euros (€18,643,716.82) will be allocated to higher education. For social advancement education, more than €2 million (€2,250,260.34) will be allocated to the 123 participating institutions. In addition, a call for collaboration, with a budget of €131,009.20, will make it possible to increase the number of online teaching resources available and to ensure that they are shared between social advancement education institutions. 41 projects will be supported in this framework.
An initial estimate indicates that more than 180,000 students and learners will benefit from the European funds provided for the digital transition.
The Government of the French Community has given the green light to the launch by ULiège of a Master's degree in Sociology taught in English from 2022.
Higher education: the fight against sexual harassment and violence is included in the Landscape Decree
The Government of the French Community decided to include the fight against discrimination, harassment and sexual violence in the Landscape Decree (Décret Paysage). A new chapter will be devoted to this, which includes the information, prevention, awareness-raising and training missions that must be carried out by institutions on these important issues. Among the tasks that institutions will now be required to carry out are, for example :
- To provide adequate information on the measures, support services and legislation in place to fight discrimination, violence and harassment, as well as on the organisations that can help victims, in particular via a contact point identified within the institution ;
- Prevent and raise awareness among staff and the student community through specific actions ;
- Ensure that training is provided for staff and students.
Finally, a vast study - with a budget of 150,000 euros - is going to be launched in order to have an inventory of situations of violence and harassment in higher education and social advancement education in the French Community. It should make it possible to evaluate the measures already in place to combat the phenomena of harassment and violence, and to analyse whether and what additional measures could be adopted.
March update :
02/12/2021 The decree modifying the decree of 7 November 2013 defining the landscape of higher education and the academic organisation of studies ("Landscape decree") was passed on 02/12/2021. This reform restructures the pathway of students, accompanying them in their success and towards obtaining a degree. The reform structures in a clearer way the pathway of the students, with a specific attention paid to the acquisition of the 60 ECTS of Bac1 which must be passed in priority. It allows students to acquire a solid pedagogical foundation from the very beginning of their studies, and to be able to remedy any shortcomings early on. The reform also makes it possible to make the conditions of financeability (the right to re-enrol in an institution) clearer. Students will have five years to obtain their bachelor's degree. These structural changes are accompanied by increased support for success, targeted at students who are experiencing difficulties, in order to guide them towards success and graduation. The annual budget dedicated to support for success has been increased from 83 million euros to 89 million euros. In addition, before the beginning of each academic year, institutions will have to draw up a strategic success support plan listing the remedial activities they are putting in place and the financial resources that will be allocated to them. Particular attention should be paid to students who have difficulties in passing the first 60 ECTS of their Bachelor's degree.
28/10/2021 The Government of the French Community adopted in fourth and final reading the draft decree reforming the initial training of teachers. The objective of this reform is to contribute to the improvement of our educational system, which requires a high level of training for future teachers. As already foreseen in the decree of February 2019 (currently under moratorium), the training of all core teachers will be increased from 3 to 4 years, and future teachers will be trained via a co-diploma between universities, colleges and art schools. The text also specifies the generic areas of competence to be developed by all future French-speaking teachers, regardless of the course of study, in order to meet the needs of the implementation of the Pact for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, students will henceforth be required to undertake a long-term placement during the school/academic year. It is crucial to allow future teachers a gradual, supervised and accompanied entry into their profession. This internship will enable the student, through hours of internship in the classroom, but also, for example, in the context of collaborative work within the educational team of the internship institution, to move towards autonomy and to prepare as well as possible the beginning of his or her teaching career.
14/10/2021 The Government of the French Community adopted in third reading a draft decree containing structural measures aimed at widening the number of students eligible for a grant. These measures make it possible to broaden the target audience of existing support measures and to counter the negative socio-economic impact of the health crisis on students.
September update :
02/09/2021 As of the beginning of this academic year, an inter-university training course dedicated to children's rights will be offered in the French Community : a Master's degree in children's rights. Thus, an important measure of the Action Plan on the Rights of the Child is being implemented.
02/09/2021 The Government of the French Community adopted in third reading the preliminary draft decree reforming the initial training of teachers. The text now introduces a long-term internship for future teachers - intended to promote their integration into their professional environment. This internship will enable students to combine practice in schools with reflective feedback from professional trainers and teachers.
02/09/2021 Reform of the Landscape Decree : better structuring of the students' pathway to promote their success. The Government of the French Community approved in second reading the draft decree modifying the decree of 7 November 2013 defining the landscape of higher education and the academic organisation of studies ("Décret Paysage"). The adopted reform supports students, accompanies them in their success and towards obtaining a degree. The structural elements of the reform are maintained, namely :
- Better structuring of the beginning of the students' course ;
- Clearer conditions of financeability (right to re-enrol in an institution)
- Strengthen success support activities.
20/05/2021 Higher education: the number of beneficiaries of study allowances will be increased to facilitate access to higher education. The Government of the French Community adopted in first reading conjunctural and structural measures aimed at increasing the number of beneficiaries and simplifying the system of study allowances. For the academic year 2021/2022, the income ceiling to benefit from a lump sum will exceptionally increase from 150% to 300%.
30/04/2021 On the proposal of the Minister of Higher Education, the Government of the French Community approved, on first reading, the draft reform of the landscape decree. The aim is to "correct some perverse effects of this decree", starting with the extension of the average length of studies linked to the possibility for students to carry over credits not passed from year to year. In order to move on to the next year, first-year baccalaureate students will now have to pass 60 credits. If the student passes between 45 and 59 credits, he or she will have to pass the credits not passed first, but will be able to carry forward credits from the next year. If the student passes between 30 and 44 credits, he/she will remain enrolled in his/her year and will have to register the credits not acquired in his/her yearly programme. With the agreement of the jury, he/she may anticipate some credits provided he/she has the necessary prerequisites. A student who passes less than 30 credits will automatically repeat the year and will have to follow remedial activities, and a student who does not pass any credits will have to reorient himself/herself. Another major change in the draft decree is that students will have to pass their baccalaureate in a maximum of 5 years. They will have two years to pass the 60 credits of block 1 and four years to reach 120 credits of their curriculum. Students who do not meet these conditions will lose the possibility of being financed by the French Community. The student who is reoriented will however benefit, during the cycle, from an additional year in terms of financeability, which will bring the total number of years to pass a bachelor's degree to a maximum of 6 years. This reform of the landscape decree will make it possible to limit the duration of studies but also to make the rules of financeability more readable. Furthermore, the reform of the landscape decree will require higher education institutions to establish, before the beginning of each academic year, a 'success support plan' listing the remedial activities they are putting in place.
29/04/2021 The Government of the French Community adopted in second reading the preliminary draft decree reforming the initial training of teachers. The objective of the reform is to contribute to the improvement of our educational system, which requires a high level of training for future teachers. An important new feature is that in the final year, students will be able to start working as student teachers. The aim is to facilitate the entry into the profession for young teachers. In addition, and as already provided for in the decree of February 2019, the training of all core teachers will be increased from 3 to 4 years. In addition, future teachers will now be trained through collaboration between colleges and universities. The axes of the reform are :
- Common competences for all French-speaking teachers ;
- Practical learning to support entry into the profession ;
- A dialogue between higher education and compulsory education ;
- A financially sustainable reform.
22/4/2021 The Government of the French Community approved in first reading a preliminary draft decree allowing the organisation, from the beginning of the school year in September 2021, of a Master's degree specifically dedicated to dance. Unprecedented in French-speaking Belgium and eagerly awaited by the sector, this course will offer future choreographers, dancers, stage designers and other dance-related specialities a dedicated training framework offering cutting-edge expertise in the field. This postgraduate course will complement the various artistic courses already in existence. The Master in Dance and Choreographic Practices will be organised on the basis of a partnership between several higher education institutions.