Higher education in Belgium
The Belgian higher education system comprises:
* universities and
* non-university higher education institutions.
Non-university higher education offers:
* Studies of short duration (up to 3 years of study),
* long duration studies (more than 3 years).
The latter correspond to university studies in terms of type and level.
Higher education in the German-speaking Community
In the German-speaking Community there is only a non-university higher education system of short duration.
Following political reform, higher education in the German-speaking Community has been organised since 2005 in a single higher education institution, the Autonomous University of East Belgium.
The Autonomous University of East Belgium
The philosophical basis of the AHS is articulated plurality, as it is the only school institution in the whole of Belgium that does not belong to any of the traditional teaching bodies (state, community, municipalities, provinces, ecclesiastical bodies).
At the Autonomous University of East Belgium (AHS), studies are organised in three subject areas: in health and nursing sciences, in educational sciences and in financial and administrative sciences.
Specifically, the following degree programmes are offered at AHS:
* Bachelor in Health and Nursing Sciences,
* Bachelor's in Primary Education,
* Bachelor's in Kindergarten,
* Dual Bachelor in Accounting,
* Dual Bachelor in Public and Business Administration.
For other courses, students from the German-speaking Community enrol at colleges or universities in the French or Flemish Community or abroad.
AHS also offers, at the level of supplementary vocational secondary education, a brevet course in nursing, as well as a preparatory year preparing students to take the examinations before the school's external examination board to obtain the upper secondary school leaving certificate.
In addition to initial education, the Autonomous University is responsible for:
* continuing education and the provision of supplementary education,
* external evaluation,
* research and development.
Mission statement of the Autonomous University
Four anchored goals guide the work of the AHS and apply to all staff members of the AHS as the guiding principles of their work:
* The Autonomous University in the German-speaking Community (AHS) is committed to the interests of the inhabitants of the German-speaking Community of Belgium in the field of education and health.
* The AHS responds within its means to requests from the education and health sectors in matters of education, training and research.
* The AHS makes all necessary efforts to integrate itself into the European Higher Education Area and seeks cooperation with higher education institutions from Belgium and abroad in order to provide students with a high quality education in line with European standards.
* The AHS implements its own school culture.