Best Universities in Belgium: A Guide for International Students

Belgium is a country known for its rich history, diverse culture, and high-quality education system. The higher education system in Belgium is highly regarded and attracts students from all over the world. The country is home to several prestigious universities that offer a wide range of programs and opportunities for international students.

The universities in Belgium are known for their strong emphasis on research, innovation, and academic excellence. With a focus on practical learning and a multicultural environment, Belgium’s universities provide a unique and enriching experience for international students.

The higher education system in Belgium is divided into two main types of institutions: universities and university colleges.

  • Universities in Belgium offer academic programs in a wide range of fields, including arts, sciences, engineering, business, and more.
  • University colleges, on the other hand, focus on providing professional and vocational education in areas such as nursing, teaching, social work, and others.

Both types of institutions are known for their high standards of education and their commitment to providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their chosen fields. With a strong emphasis on research and innovation, Belgium’s higher education system is well-equipped to prepare students for the challenges of the modern world.

Key Takeaways

  • Belgium offers a diverse and high-quality higher education system for international students.
  • The top 5 universities in Belgium are University of Leuven, Ghent University, University of Brussels, University of Antwerp, and University of Liège.
  • The ranking criteria for these universities include academic reputation, research output, international outlook, and student satisfaction.
  • University of Leuven is a leading institution known for its research and academic excellence.
  • Ghent University is a hub for international research and innovation, making it an attractive choice for international students.

Criteria for Ranking the Top Universities in Belgium

When it comes to ranking the top universities in Belgium, several factors are taken into consideration. These factors include academic reputation, research output, international outlook, student satisfaction, and more. Academic reputation is an important factor in determining the quality of a university, as it reflects the institution’s standing within the academic community and its ability to attract top faculty and students.

Research output is also a key consideration, as it demonstrates the university’s commitment to advancing knowledge and contributing to the global body of research. International outlook is another important factor, as it reflects the university’s ability to attract and support international students and faculty, as well as its engagement with global issues and perspectives.

Student satisfaction is also a crucial factor in ranking the top universities in Belgium, as it reflects the overall experience of students at the institution. Other factors that are taken into consideration include the quality of facilities and resources, the range of programs and opportunities available to students, and the university’s impact on society and the economy.

By considering these factors, it is possible to identify the top universities in Belgium and provide international students with valuable information to help them make informed decisions about their education.

Rank University Location World Ranking
1 KU Leuven Leuven 45
2 Ghent University Ghent 130
3 University of Antwerp Antwerp 190

University of Leuven: A Leading Institution in Belgium

University of Leuven

The University of Leuven is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Belgium, with a rich history dating back to 1425. The university is known for its strong emphasis on research and innovation, as well as its commitment to academic excellence.

With a wide range of programs in fields such as arts, sciences, engineering, business, and more, the University of Leuven provides students with a diverse and enriching educational experience. The university is also known for its strong international outlook, with a large number of international students and faculty members from all over the world.

The University of Leuven is also known for its strong ties to industry and its commitment to providing students with practical learning opportunities. The university has a strong reputation for producing graduates who are well-prepared for the challenges of the modern world and who are able to make valuable contributions to society. With state-of-the-art facilities and resources, as well as a vibrant campus community, the University of Leuven provides international students with an exceptional learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

Ghent University: A Hub for International Research and Innovation

Ghent University

Ghent University is another top-ranking institution in Belgium, known for its strong emphasis on research and innovation. The university has a long history dating back to 1817 and has established itself as a hub for international research and collaboration.

With a wide range of programs in fields such as arts, sciences, engineering, business, and more, Ghent University provides students with a diverse and dynamic educational experience. The university is also known for its strong international outlook, with a large number of international students and faculty members from all over the world.

Ghent University is committed to providing students with hands-on learning opportunities and practical experience in their chosen fields. The university has strong ties to industry and works closely with businesses and organizations to provide students with valuable internships, research opportunities, and other practical learning experiences.

With a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, Ghent University prepares students to make valuable contributions to society and the global economy. With its modern facilities, vibrant campus community, and strong commitment to academic excellence, Ghent University provides international students with an exceptional learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

University of Brussels: A Multicultural Learning Environment

University of Brussels

The University of Brussels is known for its multicultural learning environment and its strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. With a wide range of programs in fields such as arts, sciences, engineering, business, and more, the University of Brussels provides students with a diverse and enriching educational experience.

The university is committed to providing students with a supportive and inclusive learning environment that encourages collaboration, critical thinking, and global perspectives. With a large number of international students and faculty members from all over the world, the University of Brussels offers a truly multicultural experience that prepares students for success in an increasingly globalized world.

The University of Brussels is also known for its strong ties to industry and its commitment to providing students with practical learning opportunities. The university works closely with businesses and organizations to provide students with valuable internships, research opportunities, and other hands-on experiences that prepare them for the challenges of the modern world.

With its modern facilities, vibrant campus community, and strong commitment to academic excellence, the University of Brussels provides international students with an exceptional learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

University of Antwerp: A Top Choice for Business and Economics Studies

University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is known for its strong emphasis on business and economics studies, as well as its commitment to academic excellence. With a wide range of programs in fields such as business administration, economics, finance, marketing, and more, the University of Antwerp provides students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for success in the global economy.

The university is also known for its strong ties to industry and its commitment to providing students with practical learning opportunities.

With state-of-the-art facilities and resources, as well as a vibrant campus community, the University of Antwerp provides international students with an exceptional learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

The University of Antwerp is also known for its strong international outlook, with a large number of international students and faculty members from all over the world.

The university offers a truly multicultural experience that prepares students for success in an increasingly globalized world. With its focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, the University of Antwerp prepares students to make valuable contributions to society and the global economy.

By providing students with hands-on learning opportunities and practical experience in their chosen fields, the university ensures that graduates are well-prepared for the challenges of the modern world.

University of Liège: A Center for Cutting-Edge Science and Technology

University of Liège


The University of Liège is known for its strong emphasis on science and technology studies, as well as its commitment to academic excellence. With a wide range of programs in fields such as engineering, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, and more, the University of Liège provides students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for success in cutting-edge industries.

The university is also known for its strong emphasis on research and innovation, with a large number of research centers and institutes dedicated to advancing knowledge in various fields.

The University of Liège is committed to providing students with hands-on learning opportunities and practical experience in their chosen fields. The university works closely with industry partners to provide students with valuable internships, research opportunities, and other practical experiences that prepare them for the challenges of the modern world.

With state-of-the-art facilities and resources, as well as a vibrant campus community, the University of Liège provides international students with an exceptional learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

Here is our comparison table of the 5 suggested Belgian univerisities:

Feature KU Leuven Ghent University University of Antwerp Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain)
Location Leuven Ghent Antwerp Brussels Louvain-la-Neuve & Brussels
Founded 1425 1817 2003 1834 1425
Type Public Public Public Public Public
Academic Focus Research-intensive, comprehensive Research-intensive, comprehensive Research-intensive, comprehensive Research-intensive, comprehensive Research-intensive, comprehensive
Number of Students ~65,000 ~45,000 ~20,000 ~17,000 ~30,000
International Students ~20% ~15% ~10% ~20% ~25%
QS World University Ranking (2024) 70 125 170 188 165
Programs Offered Wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in various disciplines Wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in various disciplines Wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in various disciplines Wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in various disciplines Wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in various disciplines
Strongest Disciplines Theology, Law, Medicine, Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, Law, Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences Business, Law, Political Science, Social Sciences, Humanities, Applied Linguistics Engineering, Computer Science, Law, Social Sciences, Humanities, Medicine Theology, Law, Medicine, Engineering, Psychology, Philosophy, Economics
Language of Instruction Dutch, English (for some programs) Dutch, English (for some programs) Dutch, English (for some programs) Dutch, English (for some programs) French, English (for some programs)
Campus Facilities Modern and well-equipped with libraries, research centers, laboratories, sports facilities, student housing, and cultural venues Modern and well-equipped with libraries, research centers, laboratories, sports facilities, student housing, and cultural venues Modern and well-equipped with libraries, research centers, laboratories, sports facilities, student housing, and cultural venues Modern and well-equipped with libraries, research centers, laboratories, sports facilities, student housing, and cultural venues Modern and well-equipped with libraries, research centers, laboratories, sports facilities, student housing, and cultural venues
Student Life Vibrant and diverse with numerous student organizations, clubs, and activities Vibrant and diverse with numerous student organizations, clubs, and activities Vibrant and diverse with numerous student organizations, clubs, and activities Vibrant and diverse with numerous student organizations, clubs, and activities Vibrant and diverse with numerous student organizations, clubs, and activities
Cost of Living Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate
Tuition Fees Varies depending on the program and nationality Varies depending on the program and nationality Varies depending on the program and nationality Varies depending on the program and nationality Varies depending on the program and nationality
Scholarships Available for international students Available for international students Available for international students Available for international students Available for international students

Conclusion

In conclusion, Belgium’s higher education system offers international students a wide range of opportunities for academic excellence, research collaboration, practical learning experiences, multiculturalism, diversity, inclusion, innovation, entrepreneurship, global perspectives, industry ties, cutting-edge science & technology studies among others.

The top universities in Belgium such as University of Leuven, Ghent University, University of Brussels, University of Antwerp, University of Liège are committed to providing international students with an exceptional learning environment that prepares them for success in an increasingly globalized world.

FAQs

What are the top 5 universities in Belgium?

The top 5 universities in Belgium are KU Leuven, Ghent University, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Université catholique de Louvain.

What are the admission requirements for international students in Belgian universities?

Admission requirements for international students in Belgian universities vary depending on the university and the program. Generally, international students are required to have a secondary school diploma, proof of language proficiency (usually in English or Dutch), and may need to pass an entrance exam or provide letters of recommendation.

What are the tuition fees for international students in Belgian universities?

Tuition fees for international students in Belgian universities vary depending on the university and the program. On average, tuition fees for international students range from 835 to 4,175 euros per year for most programs. However, some specialized or advanced programs may have higher tuition fees.

Are there scholarships available for international students in Belgian universities?

Yes, there are scholarships available for international students in Belgian universities. These scholarships are offered by the Belgian government, individual universities, and external organizations. International students are encouraged to research and apply for scholarships that they may be eligible for.

What are the popular fields of study for international students in Belgian universities?

Popular fields of study for international students in Belgian universities include engineering, business and economics, computer science, environmental studies, and international relations. However, Belgian universities offer a wide range of programs in various fields of study to cater to the diverse interests of international students.

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