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Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

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Overview Belgium (Flemish Community)

Contents

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and learning in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-Flemish-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Legislation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Glossary

 

The offices senior research assistant can only be assigned through promotion or change of office. Appointments to any of the other offices may take place through recruitment.

Since 1991, educational staff employed by the universities are no longer called teaching staff. The academic staff must both conduct scientific research and provide academic education. The Decree of 12 June 1991 classifies the academic staff at universities as follows:


Autonomous academic staff (ZAP) Docent (Lecturer)

Hoofddocent (Senior lecturer)

Hoogleraar (Professor)

Gewoon hoogleraar (Professor ordinarius)

Buitengewoon hoogleraar (Professor extraordinarius)

Assistant academic staff (AAP) Assistent (Assistant)

Doctor-assistent (Doctor-assistant)

Praktijkassistent of Lector (Practical assistant or junior practical lecturer)

The legislative framework for the legal position of the staff members of the university colleges is the decree of 13 July 1994. For the universities it is the decree of 12 June 1991.


Planning Policy

There is no planning policy with regard to staff at higher education level.


Entry to the Profession

Teaching staff at university colleges

The following general admission requirements prevail for offices at university colleges (Decree of 13 july 1994):

Citizenship of a European Union or European Free Trade Association Member State;

  • Enjoying one's civil and political rights;
  • Being holder of a required qualification;
  • Being of irreproachable character pursuant to the requirements of the office aspired to;
  • Compliance with the conscription laws;
  • Having the physical ability to exercise the office in question (Decree of 13 July 1994).

The formal qualification requirements are:

  • a diploma of a professional Bachelor's programme for the offices of junior practical lecturer and senior practical lecturer;
  • a Master's degree for the offices of lecturer, senior lecturer (hoofdlector), assistant and senior research assistant;
  • the degree of doctor for the offices of doctor-assistant, lecturer (docent), senior lecturer (hoofddocent), professor and professor ordinarius.

Foreign diplomas or certificates which are recognised as equivalent by law or decree or under European directives or a bilateral agreement are also accepted for access to positions at university colleges.

Candidates for the office of professor ordinarius must meet the following criteria:

  • The recruiting institution must be involved in a joint research agreement with a university within the field of research in question;
  • The candidate must have a minimum of 6 years' seniority in a group-3 or equivalent office;
  • The scientific competences of the candidate must be assessed by a committee consisting of three professors ordinarii appointed to three different Flemish universities.

To be appointed to the posts of senior practical lecturer, senior lecturer, senior research assistant, senior lecturer (hoofddocent) and professor, candidates must, aside from being holders of the necessary skills certificates, also meet the pre-set seniority requirements. (Art. 130 Decree of 13 July 1994).

The university colleges themselves decide on any further specifications the candidates must meet to hold a particular office.

Members of the teaching staff assigned to the programme components religion or non-confessional ethicsare appointed by the university college board, in consensus with the competent authority of the ideology (philosophy of life) in question.

Each recruitment for a vacant position, with the exception of an appointment of less one than academic year, can only be done following a public vacancy. This is a vacancy which has been announced through at least two public information channels.

Academic staff at universities

Assistants must have a Master's degree or a degree that is equivalent in accordance with the European Union directives or a bilateral agreement. In exceptional circumstances the board of governors may also appoint persons who have obtained a different foreign academic diploma to the position of assistant provided advice has been sought and their motives for doing so are thoroughly substantiated.

In the interest of education or research the board of governors may also appoint non European Union citizens to an academic office.

One important condition to be appointed as member of the autonomous academic staff (ZAP) or to be appointed doctor-assistant is to hold a diploma of doctor or a diploma which is deemed to be equivalent (pursuant to European Union directives or a bilateral agreement). In exceptional circumstances the board of governors may, upon advice and based on an extensive motivation, appoint people who have shown extraordinary scientific merit or have specific expertise as part-time ZAP members.


Professional Status

Teaching staff at university colleges

The teaching staff at university colleges are, from a contractual point of view, employees in subsidised private university colleges or a type of civil servant in public-law university colleges. The staff are paid by the Flemish Government. Although the legal status of teaching staff in subsidised private and public-law university colleges are not quite the same, there are only minor differences between the two.

The boards of the university colleges may temporarily or permanently appoint candidates to any vacancies that arise. Most assistants are appointed on a temporary basis. No more than 25% of the assistants, expressed in full-time units, can be appointed in a permanent capacity. Appointments take place through recruitment, promotion or job changes.

Academic staff at universities

From a contractual point of view, academic staff are employees in subsidised private higher education and a type of civil servant in public higher education. Academic staff are paid by the universities. However, the differences in status between public and subsidised private university education are minor.

The boards of governors have the authority to assign candidates to full-time or part-time vacancies. Assistant academic staff are appointed on a temporary basis, while the autonomous academic staff are appointed on a permanent basis with the exception of professors extraordinarii who hold a part-time university position.

Education Decree XVIII introduces a 'tenure track' for lecturers (docenten) (autonomous academic staff). This is a temporary appointment of up to 5 years, with the prospect of a permanent appointment to the post of senior lecturer (hoofddocent) without the job being re-advertised if the lecturer's performance is assessed favourably.


Salaries

Teaching staff in higher vocational education

Staff in higher vocational education follow the regulations of the institution (secondary school, CAE or university college) concerned.


Teaching staff at university colleges

The salaries of teaching staff at university colleges have been enacted by decree and decision (see table 8.7.3.). The calculation of their salaries is based on the same principles as those of teaching staff in other levels of education. The university colleges have the right to allocate a personal allowance of up to 20% of the normal salary to staff members to whom additional administrative tasks are assigned. Staff members to whom a mandate is assigned can receive an allowance of up to 20% of the normal salary.

Staff members who are assigned arts-related teaching activities in the branches of study Audiovisual and visual arts, and Music and performing arts in the academic programmes may receive a special pay scale for these activities, which represents about 70% of the standard pay scale. On the other hand, staff members on a special pay scale are not subject to any restrictions on combining service with other paid work. (Decree of 13 July 1994 and Flemish government decree of 3 May 1995).

Academic staff at universities

Salaries of autonomous academic staff, assistant academic staff and lecturers at universities have been enacted by decree and decision (Decree of 12 June 1991, Decision of the Flemish Government of 30 June 1998, 4 May 2001 and 31 January 2003).

Members of staff in a management position may be paid an allowance, determined by the board of governors. The board of governors can grant no more than 1% of the estimated staff costs in bonuses following a performance evaluation. Professors emiriti under the age of 65 who choose to continue their activities can be paid an allowance.


Full-time teaching / academic staff
Pay scales
Starting salary
With a maximum number of years' salary seniority
University college
Junior practical lecturer
316
22 498.03
35 362.96
Senior practical lecturer (hoofdpraktijklector)
348
23 405.66
38 313.47
Lecturer
502
24 177.08
40 763.16
Senior lecturer (hoofdlector)
509
26 695.63
43 281.71
Senior research assistant
509
26 695.63
43 281.71
University
Assistant
502
23 468.58
40 763.16
Doctor-assistant
509
26 695.63
43 281.71
Lecturer (docent)
528
28 669.65
45 255.73
Senior lecturer (hoofddocent)
515
30 825.29
48 047.08
Professor
544
35 726.27
52 312.35
Professor ordinarius
520
46 272.53
70 692.49
The salaries are in euro amounts at 100%, they must be multiplied by a coefficient of 1.6084 (index on 01/01/2013)

Source: department of education and training salary scales

Working Time and Holidays

Teaching staff at university colleges

The university-college board specifies the assignment and job description of its teaching staff. A full-time position comprises 38 to 40 hours a week (including lesson preparation). Full-time availability of staff members does not imply however that they should be present at all times; full-time members of staff can be absent from the university college for two half days a week. Most university colleges have concluded a protocol with the staff representatives on workloads and timetables. This protocol contains the number of teaching periods and hours for other assignments (e.g. thesis guidance, performance of thematic scientific research). University-college boards have the option of allocating less teaching periods to beginning teaching staff as they still need more time to prepare classes. The number of teaching periods can therefore vary from person to person and from university college to university college.

Full-time staff are not entitled to hold another position or job. They may apply for an exemption if the other professional duties are compatible with the assignment at the university college and if these do not take up more than two half days per week; If these additional activities encroach too much on the professional duties, the full-time assignment is officially reduced. Under this arrangement an assignment is considered to be a full-time one once it exceeds 70%.

Under the legislation, teaching staff are entitled to a minimum of 9 weeks’ holidays. The university-college board lays down the holiday arrangements.

In various decisions, the federal government has introduced modifications to various career break schemes. To keep the Flemish regulations in line with the federal rules, modifications were made to reflect the federal changes by the Decision of the Flemish Government of 12 October 2012. For instance, since 1 January 2012 the entitlement to full and partial career breaks has been reduced from 72 to 60 months, and since 1 September 2012 parental leave has been increased from 3 to 4 months. Regarding staff members at university colleges, the regulations on career breaks are included in the Decision of the Flemish Government of 24 May 2002 on the career break for staff members of university colleges in the Flemish Community and of the Higher Maritime Institute.

Academic staff at universities

Each member of staff has an individual job description which, for full-time staff, consists of teaching, research and policy assignments. Full-time staff may carry out additional duties, provided these do not take up more than two half days a week and the board of governors is in agreement. If these additional activities encroach too much on the professional duties, the full-time assignment is officially reduced.

The board of governors lays down the holiday arrangements.

Promotion, Advancement

Teaching staff at university colleges

The position of senior research assistant can only be filled by promotion or job changes.

The criteria to be appointed to the posts of senior practical lecturer, senior lecturer, senior research assistant, senior lecturer (hoofddocent) and professor are seniority in combination with useful professional experience.

For internal appointments, junior practical lecturers must have at least two years of seniority to qualify for a promotion to senior practical lecturer. In the case of external recruitment as senior practical lecturer or senior lecturer, the candidate must have at least four years of useful professional experience outside of the university college or two years of service seniority as junior practical lecturer or lecturer in a different university college.

In the case of external recruitment as senior lecturer, the candidate must have at least four years of relevant professional experience outside the university college or two years of service seniority as a junior lecturer at a different university college or university.

To be promoted to professor ordinarius the university college must first of all be active in joint research with a university in the area of research where the vacancy has arisen. Secondly, candidates must have held the post of lecturer (docent), senior lecturer (hoofddocent) or professor during a six-year period at a university college or university and must during that time have been responsible for high-quality research work. The competence of candidates within a certain area of research is assessed by a 'jury' or committee of three professors ordinarii of different universities.

Academic staff at universities

Usually permanently-appointed academic staff start their career as lecturer (docent). Departmental or faculty evaluation committees evaluate candidates who seek to get promoted within the autonomous academic staff (ZAP). Besides their diploma, other criteria are factors in this promotion. These criteria are determined by the university authorities in the regulations. Candidates who wish to become lecturers (docent) must, on the basis of their previous achievements, fulfil the expectation that they will conduct sound scientific research and provide sound education. Candidates for the post of senior lecturer (hoofddocent) must have proven that they carry out sound scientific research and provide sound education. Evidence of scientific research consists of e.g. publications, conference participation, membership of editorial committees...

People who get promoted to the office of professor are expected to be creative and productive researchers (including leading scientific research and obtaining research funding) as well as trainers with didactical qualities and a broad teaching experience. Lecturers (docenten) under the tenure-track system are appointed for a term of five years. Once the board of governors issues a positive evaluation at the end of this term, the member of staff is automatically appointed to senior lecturer (hoofddocent) without any further application procedures. The evaluation of lecturers (docent) who come under the tenure-track system must be thoroughly motivated and is based on their achievements.

Candidates for the posts of professor ordinarius or professor extraordinarius must be first-rate researchers who enjoy national or international acclaim in their field. As educators they are expected to have the necessary didactical skills as well as a broad teaching experience and the necessary leadership qualities. The Flemish Government has left the responsibility to set the seniority requirements for appointments to a certain ZAP-grade to the universities.

The University Decree of 12 June 1991 further stipulates that when setting the composition of staff and the estimated annual occupancy rate, the number of positions of the autonomous academic staff, which is expressed in full-time units, may not exceed 70 percent of the total number of positions in the composition of academic staff. As long as this figure is exceeded no further appointments may be made in that particular staff category.

Retirement and Pensions

A tenured staff member of a university college may leave his/her position on his/her own initiative, in which case notice of at least 60 days must be provided. Temporary appointees must give notice of 30 days.

The pension scheme is a federal (Belgian) competence. The scheme is identical for all educational levels, but highly complicated.
At the end of 2011, a decision was taken at federal level to raise the minimum pensionable age and the required number of years of service. As a result, there is no longer any fixed minimum age limit: previously, this was 60 years. The earliest age at which a staff member can retire is now determined individually for each staff member.
The change to the pension scheme has also led to a review of the reserve list scheme for education in Flanders. A tenured staff member of a university college with at least 20 years of service creating entitlement to a retirement pension at the expense of the treasury may opt to go on the reserve list on a full-time or part-time basis prior to retirement. During the reserve list period, the staff member is entitled to an allowance. The reserve list start date will now be shifted along with the staff member's minimum pensionable age. The requirement of 20 years of service in order to be placed on the reserve list has been kept, as have the commencement dates of 1 September, 1 January and 1 April. On 11 May 2012, the Flemish government reached an agreement with the trade unions to reform the reserve list scheme (see table below). This agreement will now be transposed into a Decision of the Flemish Government.

Date of birth     Earliest placement on reserve list before pensionable age (P)
Before 1 October 1952 P (old calculation = 60 years) + bonus (see 9.2.12)
From 1 October 1952 and before 1 April 1954
P-2 years (P according to the old calculation if born up to 31/12/1952. P by new calculation if born from 1/1/1953)
From 1 April 1954 and before 1 January 1957 P-2 years
From 1 January 1957 and before 1 January 1958 P-1 year
From 1 January 1958 No right to reserve list placement

See: Revised reserve list scheme for university college staff members

Working after the age of 65 at university colleges and universities

From 1 January 2013, official retirement at 65 years can be postponed by an extension of the recruitment or appointment.


From 1 September 2012, staff members may continue working after retirement, taking account of the rules on combining a pension with paid work.