Public fee and support system for students in Europe

Country
Date of publication

Belgium - french 2013/14 - student fees and grants

Country: Belgium
Date of publication: 2014
Fees - first cycle (euro): min 0 - max 837
Fees - second cycle (euro): min 0 - max 837
Fees - note: Around 70 % of students pay a maximum fee
Grants - note: Approximately 20 % of students receive a grant
Need-based grant (euro): min 394 - max 4673
Merit-based grant (euro): -

National student fee

Fee limits are set by the government of the French Community of Belgium. Fee levels depend on the student's financial situation. For academic year 2013/14, the maximum fee is EUR 837, the intermediate fee is EUR 374 (for students not receiving a grant but considered as lower income) and there are no fees for those students receiving a grant.

There are some differences in fees between universities and non-university higher education institutions. Until 2017 non- university higher education institutions can charge complementary registration and administrative fees in addition to registration fees, but the total amount cannot exceed EUR 837/year. Those complementary registration and administrative fees range from EUR 0 (for grant holders) to EUR 179 depending on the type of programme and the financial situation of students; they apply to all students. Those fees will continuously decrease till 2017 when they will cease to exist.

Students from outside the EU have to pay additional specific fees. For programmes organised by university colleges and arts colleges, the additional specific fees (droits d'inscription spécifiques) are fixed by law: EUR 992 for professional- oriented programmes and EUR 1 487 for academic-oriented programmes of 1st cycle; EUR 1 984 for programmes of 2nd cycle. For programmes organised by universities, it is fixed by law that the maximal amount should not exceed 5 times the registration fees. In practice, universities (through the Interuniversity Council) have adopted harmonised amounts. Those amounts differ depending on the country of origin of the students (1). The complementary registration and administrative fees mentioned in the previous bullet remain applicable to non-EU students.

Student grants

Public grants in academic year 2012/13 are available for low income students under 35. Students must apply for this financial benefit each year. The amount granted is determined by household income and ranges from EUR 393.67 to 4673.17 per year.

Loans

Loans are available for families with at least three dependent children. Very few (0.01 %) take out a loan (2011/12).

Tax benefit for student's parents

Heads of family receive tax benefits which depend on the number of dependent children and other relatives (including students enrolled at higher education institutions having no income). The tax-free minimum earnings threshold is increased by EUR 1 400 for one, 3 590 for two, 8 050 for three, 13 020 for four and + 4 970 for each subsequent child.

Family allowances

Family allowances from EUR 88.51/month depend on the number of children. They are in principle received by the mother of the child while the student is in education or training, until the age of 25 as long as the student has no professional activity other than a student job during the summer holidays (July, August, September) and if, during the rest of the year, the student works no more than 240 hours per quarter. However in case the child is not living with or supported by the mother, the family allowance is paid to the natural person (parent, relative, legal guardian) who actually supports the child.



Source: Eurydice, National Student Fee and Support Systems 2013/2014, 2015/2016, 2016/2017
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