Scholarship Opportunities For Students in Belgium

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(Bachelor's, Master's & PhD)

As in most European nations, a bachelor’s program usually takes three years to complete and a master’s degree one to two years. Bachelor’s degree programs are categorized as either a professional bachelor or an academic bachelor.

The first of these has a vocational element, while the second is more academic and designed to prepare students for a master’s degree. Having obtained a master’s degree, scholars can then pursue research projects leading to a doctorate in Belgium!

Students interested in studying in here have scholarship opportunities ranging from the federally funded to those at private college and university initiatives

. While some of these programs are stiffly competitive as the field of study here is specific to one country, they make up for it by generously offering significant scholarships or even full tuition to students especially the underprivileged. Let's explore the scholarships!

Merit Scholarships

Many foundations and some state universities offer merit scholarships to those who have outstanding academic records. Scholarships are granted for the program the student is enrolled in and is continued throughout the regular period of the student’s education.

The normal duration of the scholarship is 5 years for those who must join an English language preparatory program and four years for those who start directly as a freshman. At foundation universities, students are not at risk of losing their scholarships despite academic difficulties as long as they stick to mandatory class attendance rates.

Other Scholarships

Independent of the merit-based scholarship quota, universities provide additional sources of funding. For instance, partial scholarships, such as the Academic Success Scholarship, go towards paying for a certain percentage of the total tuition anywhere between 30% to 50% in the case of most scholarships.

Almost all foundation universities give partial scholarships, which depend on the academic merits of the applicant and cover between 20% and 70% of the total tuition fees.

While the Belgian government focuses much of its scholarship programming on international students from developing countries, there are several opportunities for international students from other regions of the world, as well.

Government Scholarships:

  • Belgian Development Agency (BTC) Scholarships: Scholarships and internships are offered to nationals of Belgium’s 18 partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation in support of master’s and Ph.D. studies, internships and travel in a number of academic disciplines. 1,000 grants are awarded every year in Belgium with 4,000 local grants.
  • VLIR-UOS Training and Masters Scholarship: Up to 180 scholarships are awarded annually to students from fifty-four countries for development-related training and master’s programs in preparation for leadership responsibilities in their home countries. Funding covers tuition, accommodations and program-related costs, as well as a monthly allowance.
  • CIUF-CUD Scholarships: The University Commission for Development (CUD) awards 150 scholarships for courses and seventy for training programs to international students from selected developing countries training or pursuing Master’s studies in Belgium.

Private Scholarships:

  • The IRO Doctoral Scholarship Programme at K.U. Leuven: Supporting deserving Ph.D. students from developing countries, this program has funded more than 100 international Ph.D. scholars over the past ten years.
  • Liege University Scholarships for International Students: Offered to both EU and non-EU Master’s students from emerging or developing nations, these one-two year scholarships include a monthly allowance, travel costs and enrollment fees.
  • Belgian American Education Foundation Fellowships: The Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.) awards up to eight fellowships each carrying an annual stipend of USD 25,000 in support of advanced study or research to citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
  • University of Ghent Doctoral Special Research Fund: This unique award supports promising P.hD students from developing countries with a 24-month scholarship program which must be divided into multiple periods within a span of four years beginning and ending at Ghent University.
  • Fulbright Scholarship: The Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States of America, Belgium and Luxembourg administers these scholarships to support graduate program, predoctoral research and post-doctoral research with special programs for language teaching assistants (Dutch, French and German) and secondary school teachers.


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