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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice

Belgium - German-Speaking Community

7.2.First-cycle programmes


Last update: 27 November 2023

Branches of Study  

There is only one short course non-university in the German-speaking Community, and it only offers the following three subjects:

  • medical and health care sciences: training to become a nurse.
  • education sciences: Pre-school and primary school teacher training.
  • Finance and business administration: Accounting

If students wish to follow other courses, they have to do so at other colleges/universities in Belgium (in French and/or Dutch) or abroad.

Admission Requirements

General admission requirements

  • The student must hold a certificate of upper secondary education or a higher education certificate or an equivalent document.
  • Foreign language speakers must provide a sufficient knowledge of the German language to study in the Department of Health and Nursing Sciences and a thorough knowledge to study in the Department of Education Sciences (see Article 3.11 of the decree of 27.06.2005.).
  • An extract from the judicial record is submitted to clarify the reputation and trustworthiness.

Admission procedure

In the Department of Education Sciences, the decree of 27 June 2005 provides an admission test in the subjects German, French and mathematics. The admission test is organized for all candidates who want to register for preschool and primary school teacher training. The Administrative board of the higher education institutions has decided to establish a maximum number of places in the first year.

In the two other faculties there is no specific admission procedure.


In principle, every school authority is free to prepare and specify their curriculum while taking into account pedagogical projects at the institution, local events, the current economic situation and the job market. There is no unified, stipulated basic education at college level. Colleges have complete academic freedom and autonomy, so they themselves - in the GC within a general structure provided by the decree of 27 June 2005 for creating the Autonome Hochschule - are responsible for their curriculum.

However, there are national requirements within the medical and health care sector as stipulated by the Ministry of Health, which must be taken into account when training health care workers.

Curricula must be submitted for approval by the Minister.

Curricula at the Autonome Hochschule in the GC: see study guides and summaries at

  • Curriculum for Teacher Training
  • Curriculum for Health Care Worker Training
  • Curriculum for Accountant: will be provided during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Teaching Methods

The constitution guarantees educational freedom, so there are no centralised methodical instructions for all colleges. Within the scope of any guidelines that the school authority may have put into effect, every teacher is free to use the methods suitable for his or her class.

Teaching activities include theoretical courses, application phases, practical work, lab work, a thesis and internship in the corresponding professional world.

Since internships have many educational advantages, intensive cooperation between the college and the corresponding professional world is desired. As the entire training - both teacher training and health care worker training - is based, in principle, on the connection between theory and practice, the courses are designed so that students not only learn the art of their occupation, but also become theorists of their relevant occupational experience.

The methodology is taught during the three years of training through the presentation and preparation of the typical structure of work and/or care, practical practice in groups or individual work and through internships in the respective schools and/or in various hospitals. The number of internship hours is progressively increased over the years of training.

The Autonome Hochschule is responsible for the distribution of course units and internship weeks during the academic year. Each field has its own teaching method and organises their own projects (e.g. visiting historical establishments, museums, landscapes, exchange programmes with other countries, language internships during the teacher training).

Progression of Students

At the end of each academic year, the student must pass the exams before they can progress to the next year. The testing process is determined by a series of administrative and organisational measures that are to be adhered to.

The following measures are the most important:

  • two examination periods are to be organised per academic year;
  • the student is not allowed to take the same examination before a college Board of Examiners more than twice per academic year;
  • the student submits their examinations in all subjects in the first session, except in the case of force majeure;
  • the student has passed, according to the Board of Examiners, if they have at least 50% of the total points in individual examinations and a total of 60% overall;
  • a student can be excused from any examination in the second session if they completed the first examination session with at least 60%;
  • the Board of Examiners can allow the students to progress to the next year if they have at least 60% in the examinations taken, even if they did not pass the academic year. The student receives an exemption for a class and examination;
  • the Board of Examiners can also allow the student to take part in training activities in the academic year in which they are registered and pass the respective examinations.


The bachelor’s degree awarded by the Autonome Hochschule provides the recipient with the basic right to work in Belgium - and according to European directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications in other EU countries as well.

Degrees in health care are signed by the Minister of Education and Minister of Health and are then federally registered. After this registration by the federal authority, a visa is provided on a provincial level.

Studies at the AHS are strongly job-related: in all courses and academic years, extensive internships are required in schools, hospitals and businesses. Students receive a solid connection to the working world from the very start thanks to these internships during their studies.

The AHS has been offering a special course for those starting work in education sciences for several years.

Student Assessment

Each individual college instructor evaluates student performance according to criteria that they themselves have determined in their syllabus. Normally, it concerns normative performance assessments. Internships are assessed by both the college instructor as well as internship mentors.

In addition to the evaluation of the final year project (including the internship), the results of the examinations taken in all subjects each year carry the most weight. In addition, two examinations sessions are organised; the first session in January and June, the second in June and August. Examinations can be written, oral or practical. The oral tests are public, except in health care courses if the examination requires the presence of a patient or those seeking advice. The grades received over the year can be calculated with the examination results if this is expressly approved by internal school regulations.

To successfully complete an academic year, the student has to pass all the individual examinations with at least 50% of the points and have at least 60% overall, as well as in the final exam. Each test is worth 20 points. To establish the final grade, the grades from various courses and activities are multiplied with a weighting coefficient that is calculated according to the number of teaching hours of the respective subject. This weighting coefficient is automatically provided by the number of ECTS point that are available for the course.

Each student has the right to two examination sessions per year. There is a Board of Examiners for each examination session; each college instructor participating in the student training process is a member of this Board, and is entitled to vote. Upon request of the school authority, external people can also be a member of the Board of Examiners. The director presides over final examination session.

In the third academic year, the thesis is to be written and submitted. The objective of this is that the students should, relatively independently, explain a topic that they have chosen that is associated with their vocational training.

In addition to the examinations and the thesis, practical-related performance (practice hours and internship) are very important during the normative assessment. The results from assignments written over the course of the year can also be taken into account during the calculation of the final grade - within the framework of the restrictions determined in the school regulations.

Even formative evaluation has a role in college assessment. It enables both the college instructors as well as the students themselves to form a better picture of the their personal development. It is applied, for example in - very important in teacher training - evaluating the educational practice and language mastery, both in German as well as in French: Only the targeted progress is evaluated at the end of the academic year.


Students who pass the final examination are awarded with a degree. In addition to the final examination in all subjects, the evaluation of the thesis and/or final project also forms part of the final grade. The topic of this work must relate to the objective of the studies and be approved by the Director of the college. The students may only be issued with the degree once a representative of the Minister has signed it and it has been embossed with the Ministry's seal. The degree becomes nationally recognised with this seal, also in both other Communities. The degree states the occupational title acquired.

The following college degrees are awarded in the German-speaking Community:

  • Bachelor in medical and health care sciences: Health care worker
  • Bachelor in education sciences: Preschool or primary school teacher
  • Bachelor in finance and business administration (will be awarded as of 2014): Accountant