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Flanders: Important changes in higher education

Higher education in Flanders is undergoing some important changes following the approval of the proposal of the Flemish minister of education Frank Vandebroucke by the Flemish parliament.

The ACA Newsletter Education Europe had reported in its March issue about a proposal for a new system of funding of higher education in Flanders by the Flemish government which foresaw the distribution of funds on an output-based rationale. While in the past the focus was on input (number of enrolled students), the new funding system which was approved by the Flemish government on 14th July is both input and output based. Higher education institutions in Flanders will receive funding from the government for the number of students enrolled and extra funding for the number of degrees delivered. A similar logic applies to research, where higher education institutions will receive funding for the number of enrolments and extra funding for the number of doctorates, publications and citations.

An exeption: Higher education institutions with less than 1500 students will receive funding according to the number of enrolments but will not receive extra funding based on output. These institutions would have to cooperate with bigger ones in order to be able to receive extra funding. This would allow for the sharing of infrastructure as well as the elimination of courses with very few students or offered by more than institution within the same cluster. It would also allow hogescholen to be more involved in scientific research.

Flemish Ministry of Education