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High-caliber education in Flanders

The educational system in Flanders is ranked among the best in Europe and in the world. It offers excellent choices for both local citizens and expat parents as well as older students. Here’s how the system works and what makes it so outstanding.

Compulsory education, free or very low cost

Primary school

Free schooling is available to children at 2.5 years old, and compulsory education begins at the age of 5. Parents can choose between state-owned schools and private schools that are generally Catholic or government-subsidized.

Secondary school

General secondary education lasts for 6 years, and includes general and theoretical subjects. Students are generally expected to continue to university studies after secondary school.

Technical secondary education also lasts for 6 years, but subjects are usually more technical and practical. Upon graduation, students are considered ready to be employed in their specialty, but they may choose to continue their studies.

Job education is extremely practical and specific, involving 6 years of study plus a 7th year of specialization.

A variety of international schools

Are you relocating to Flanders with children? You can choose from a broad range of well-developed international schools in cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Mol and Leuven. British and American curriculums can be found alongside international and European curriculums at various schools.

Map with international schools in (the vicinity) of Flanders

International schools

2. International School of Brussels
9. ISF Waterloo International School
10. St. John's International School
11. International School of Ghent
25. International Montessori School Tervuren
27. Brussels International Catholic School
28. Acacia School
29. Alpha School
30. The International School Le Verseau
31. International School Montgomery
32. International School of Leuven

European schools

1. European School of Brussels IV
3. European School of Brussels III
4. European School of Brussels I
5. European School of Brussels II
7. European School of Mol

American schools

12. Brussels American School

Japanese schools

22. Japanese School of Brussels

Flemish-Dutch schools

6. Vlaams Nederlandse Basisschool Prinses Juliana
8. Burgemeester Marnixschool

British schools

13. Antwerp International School
14. Da Vinci International School (Antwerp)
15. DY Patil International School (Aartselaar)
16. BEPS International School (Brussels)
17. British Junior Academy of Brussels
18. British School of Brussels
19. British International School of Brussels
20. St. Paul’s British Primary School (Tervuren)

French schools

23. Lycée Français Jean Monnet
26. Lycée Français International Anvers

German schools

21. Internationale Deutsche Schule Brüssel

Scandinavian schools

24. Scandinavian School of Brussels

Higher education: some of the world’s finest institutions

Universities in Belgium and Flanders as a region, as with most European countries, follow the bachelor/master system. There are 5 universities in Flanders, located in Leuven, Ghent, Brussels, Hasselt and Antwerp. There are also 13 university colleges and schools of music, architecture and art in the region.

Globally competitive management and business schools

With prominent international players such as Vlerick Leuven-Gent Management School, Antwerp Management School and Flanders Business School, Flanders has some of the best management and business schools around the globe – as evidenced by rankings such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. 

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