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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Higher education funding

Belgium - German-Speaking Community

3.Funding in education

3.2Higher education funding

Last update: 10 June 2022


The mechanisms described for the lower levels of the education system are fundamentally the same for the post-secondary system in BE de. Since the only college in the BE de, the Autonome Hochschule (AHS), not only provides students with their initial professional training, but is also responsible for further education and research, the AHS annually receives a special subsidy negotiated with the government for its functional costs. In addition, the college has the right to not fill part or all of a position to use the money elsewhere. However, the money must be used to employ guest lecturers.

Financial autonomy and control

The Autonome Hochschule is subject to BE de financial regulation and, like all other schools, must submit an annual budget to the government to be adopted by the parliament.

Fees within public higher education

  • Higher education provision exists only at the first cycle and only in one higher education institution. All students have to pay a registration fee of EUR 100 per academic year. In addition, the higher education institution may charge each student up to EUR 370 tuition fees per academic year. In practice, all students pay the same amount of EUR 450, as this is the amount that the higher education institution has defined.  

  • There is no official part-time student status.  

  • There are no short- or second-cycle programmes.  

  • International students, defined as students from outside the European Union, pay the same fees as Belgian and EU nationals. In case of exchange students, however, no fee is charged. 

Financial support for learners' families and/or learners

  • Student grants are need-based. Parental income and students’ age (max. 35 years of age) determine eligibility. Students must hand in their application annually. Annual grant amounts, which depend on parental income and students’ academic achievement, are between EUR 362 and EUR 2 710, and are paid by the Ministry of the German-speaking Community. In 2019/20, 14.38 % of first-cycle full-time students received a need-based grant; and the most common amount granted to students studying in the German-speaking Community was EUR 663. There are no merit-based grants.  

  • The German-speaking Community of Belgium does not provide publicly-subsidised loans. However, students studying in the Community can take out loans managed by the Province of Liège of the French Community of Belgium.   

  • Heads of family receive tax benefits which depend on the number of dependent children and relatives, including higher education students under 25 with no income. The tax-free minimum earnings threshold is increased by EUR1550 for one, EUR3980 for two, EUR8920 for three, EUR14420 for four, and + EUR5510 for each subsequent child.  

  • Family allowances: as of 1 January 2019, a new flat rate system of EUR 157 per child applies to all dependent children (until 25) in the school system, including current higher education students. The student should have no paid employment other than a student job for more than 50 days in a year. 

Financial support for learners

See above.

Private education

There is no private post-secondary education in the German-speaking Community.