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Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

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Overview Belgium (French Community)

Contents

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

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

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

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

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

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

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

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

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

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

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

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

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

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

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

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-French-Community:Legislation

Belgium-French-Community:Glossary

Study programs

There are 26 fields of higher education : Philosophy, Theology, Languages, Letters and Translatology, History, History of Art and Archeology, Information and Communication, Political and Social Sciences, Legal Sciences, Criminology, Economics and Management, Psychological Sciences and Siences in Education, Medical Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, Dentistry, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Public Health Sciences, Motricity Sciences, Sciences, Agronomy and Biological Engineering, Engineering Sciences and Technology, Art of Building and Urban planning, Art and Art Sciences, Plastic, Visual and Space Arts, Music, Theater and Performing Arts, Performing Arts and Broadcasting and Communication Technology, Dance.

These fields are divided into 4 sectors: "human sciences", "health", "sciences and techniques" and "art".

Only 4 institutions of Social Advancement Higher Education are allowed to organize long-type programmes (industrial engineer).

The programmes of the second cycle of long-type full-time higher education represent 60 or 120 ECTS per year in the hautes écoles and arts colleges. In the universities, the second cycle consists of 60 ECTS, 120 ECTS (teaching master’s, in-depth master’s or specialised master’s), 180 ECTS (master’s in veterinary medicine) and 360 ECTS (master’s in medicine). specialised master’s degrees (universities or arts colleges) consist of at least 60 ECTS.

The course leading to the upper secondary teaching qualification, organised by all three types of institution, consists of 30 ECTS.

Admission Requirements

As a general rule, access to the first year of the second-cycle studies is open to students who have obtained the corresponding bachelor degree. There are also opportunities for individual admission to studies on the basis of the person's prior learning.

To gain admission to the course preparing for the upper secondary teaching qualification or for a teaching master’s, the student must hold an admission certificate or be enrolled on a master’s course. To gain admission to a teaching master’s or upper secondary teaching qualification (AESS), the student must also provide proof of an in-depth command of the French language.

individual admission in full-time education

Under the general conditions set by the academic authorities, examination boards assess the ECTS gained by students in higher education courses or parts thereof that they have already successfully completed. Students benefiting from these ECTS are dispensed from the corresponding parts of the curriculum. The boards may also take into account in this context the knowledge and skills acquired by students through personal or professional experience (at least 5 years of activities).

Depending on the studies completed in short-type higher education, additional admission requirements to second-cycle university studies may be imposed: one or more additional courses sometimes leading to what was previously called a “preparatory year”.

Curriculum

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction and of assessment of educational activities is French, but a part of the activities may be given and assessed in another language :

  • in studies leading to the academic master’s degree, excluding ECTS specifically relating to the teaching master’s, for one half of the ECTS ;
  • in studies coorganised by several higher education institutions including at least one institution outside the French Community ;
  • in specialised studies ;
  • in third-cycle studies.

ECTS

All curricula in full-time higher education are expressed in credits (ECTS). The ECTS associated with a course within a curriculum are expressed in whole numbers, or exceptionally in half-units, with a minimum of 1 ECTS.

Accreditation

The list of accreditations to organize initial second-cycle studies can be found in the appendices to the "landscape" decree. The accreditations to organize and open studies which the establishments had before the implementation of this decree are generally maintained.

Competency guidelines

The ARES, on the basis of proposals made by its committees and the institutions concerned, defines the competency guidelines corresponding to the academic degrees awarded and attests that they are respected by the programs of study offered by the institutions and attests their conformity with the other provisions in terms of professional access for graduates.

Organization

Orientation and possible options specify the content of the program of studies leading to the academic degree which gives these studies a particular competency profile. An orientation, possibly specified by a specialty, indicates competency guidelines and a teaching profile specific to the program of the cycle leading to it, and corresponding to a set of teaching units of more than 60 ECTS and not exceeding two thirds of the ECTS in the cycle of studies.

An option indicates the student's choice of a coherent set of specific teaching units valued for 15 to 30 ECTS that characterizes all or part of his / her program of the cycle, without the total of options may exceed half of the ECTS in this cycle of studies or that they lead to a distinct academic degree.

Second cycle master's studies in 120 ECTS or more include at least a choice of 30 specific ECTS giving this training one of the following purposes:

  • The teaching master’s that corresponds to the specific pedagogical training of the upper secondary school teachers. It is only organized for the academic degrees corresponding to the qualifications required for this profession ;
  • The in-depth master’s preparing to scientific research ; it includes both in-depth training in a specific discipline and general training in the researcher’s profession ;
  • The specialised master’s in a specific discipline in the field which the curriculum relates to and which aims at specific professional or artistic skills.

Teaching Methods

Higher education uses adapted methods and resources, according to the specific discipline, with a view to attaining the general objectives set out in the 7 November 2013 Decree (“Landscape” Decree) and to making higher education accessible to all, in accordance with their aptitudes, without discrimination. Teaching is based on the terminal skills and the common knowledge required at the end of secondary education.

Being intended for adults who are participating of their own free will, higher education uses teaching methods adapted to this characteristic. Educational activities comprise :

  • courses organised by the institution, in particular lecture courses, monitored exercises, coursework, laboratory work, seminars, creation and research workshops, excursions, visits and internships ;
  • individual or group activities, including preparation, coursework, documentary research, dissertations and projects ;
  • personal study, self-training and enrichment activities.

Long-type higher education starts out from basic concepts, experiments and illustrations. Establishments of higher education fulfil a mission of applied research linked to the subjects they teach, in close relation to professional or artistic spheres or in collaboration with university institutions.

Universities

University education is based on a close link between scientific research and the subjects taught. Partnerships between the private sector and higher education have been developing since 1980. Independent centres for industrial and technological research have been created by the universities in order to promote scientific collaboration with the business sector.

Each course leader enjoys academic freedom in the exercise of his or her task. This includes the choice of teaching methods, scientific and technical content, assessment, and the various activities undertaken to meet the specific objectives, subject to compliance with certain requirements set out in decrees.

In order to ensure a suitable distribution of the study and assessment load within each study year, the academic authorities distribute the courses making up the programme evenly between the two first terms of the academic year. At the different levels, teaching encompasses lectures, coursework, internships, and supervised exercises. In the first years, university education offers basic instruction in the selected discipline together with a broad, general scientific education. Later on, it intensifies the scientific research approach and offers specialised content. Every curriculum leading to a second-cycle academic degree includes a final dissertation, work or personal project counting for 15 to 30 ECTS. A curriculum comprises compulsory courses and courses chosen by the student.

Hautes écoles

Each haute école must adopt an educational plan : this project is a framework for teachers and students within an institute and defines the adopted teaching methods, the assessment methods, the educational facilities needed, and the values promoted through the educational relationship.

To meet their objectives, the hautes écoles must ensure that they develop and implement appropriate methods: high-quality initial training, teacher supervision, production and provision of information media, management of a documentation centre, applied research, continuing education, collaboration with the socio-economic environment, and co-operation at an international level.

Arts Colleges

The courses are grouped into three principal categories: arts courses, general courses, and technical courses. The 1999 decree provides methodological guidelines for some domains. For instance, higher education for the plastic, graphic and spatial arts must rest on a wide optional base with input from experimentation and interdisciplinary research.

Social Advancement Higher Education

Social Advancement Education organizes courses according to a coherent system of teaching units that can be capitalized.

Each section organized by Social Advancement Education includes traineeship (with the exception of specialization sections) and an integrated test, in addition to the teaching units. The articulation between these different teaching units is determined by a capitalization process represented by the organization chart of the section. Each of these teaching units leads to a certificate of success.

To obtain the qualification, the student must capitalize the certificates of success of each teaching unit constituting the section and show, through the integrated test, that he masters the learning outcomes aimed at, throughout the curriculum, in a synthesis form.

Each institution offers a specific organization of the teaching units in accordance with the organizational chart of the section. Students have the opportunity to follow the offered curriculum or to personalize their pathway taking personal, professional and family constraints into account. In this case, they adapt their training rhythm by choosing the number of teaching units they want to follow, provided that they respect the organizational chart and the possible limit of the duration of validity of the certificates of success.

Progression of Students

In general, in full-time education, the student's annual program consists of at least 60 ECTS, which are divided into teaching units, which are themselves composed of learning activities.

If the 60 ECTS of the annual program are validated by the board, the next academic year, the student can enroll in the teaching units of the following cycle program, with a minimum of 60 ECTS.

Employability

A lot of masters’ studies include internships in a workplace or in a laboratory setting and thus familiarize young people with the world of work. Very often, the theme of the end of studies’ work implies contacts with a professional environment. In some cases (in particular in arts colleges), deliberation boards may include external experts.

Academic institutions have gradually put in place various initiatives to promote employment prospects and provide assistance in job search.

Student Assessment

Success requirements

The Landscape Decree harmonized the success requirements for all full-time higher education institutions.

In general, the student's annual program consists of at least 60 ECTS, which are divided into teaching units, which are themselves composed of learning activities.

Boards

The authorities of the higher education institution constitute a board for each cycle leading to an academic degree. These authorities fix the study regulations, as well as the special rules governing the operation of the boards.

Subject to the other legal provisions, these board regulations lay down:

  • the registration procedure ;
  • the exact composition of the board, its mode of operation and publication of decisions ;
  • the organization of deliberations and granting of ECTS ;
  • the evaluation periods and the organization and conduct of the tests ;
  • the sanctions for fraud in the conduct of evaluations ;
  • the methods of introducing, investigating and resolving student complaints relating to irregularities in the conduct of evaluations.

The academic authorities fix the schedule of the tests by preserving sufficient time between successive tests during the same evaluation period.

The assessment for a course may consist of an oral or written examination or any other work carried out by the student for this purpose. Oral examinations are public, but the audience may not interact in any way with the examiner or examinee during the test, nor disturb its proper conduct. Corrected copies of other tests and written works may be consulted by students within the month of publication of the test results.

In the course of an academic year, a student may sit twice for examinations or assessments in the same course.

However, for properly justified exceptional reasons, the academic authorities may authorise a student to sit more than twice for assessments of the same course during the same academic year.

The boards are responsible for sanctioning the acquisition of ECTS, for proclaiming the success of a program of studies, for conferring the academic degree which sanctions the cycle of studies.

A board includes, in particular, all teachers who are responsible for a compulsory teaching unit in the higher education institution. This board deliberates validly only if more than half of those teachers who participated to the academic year's examinations are present.

Those responsible for the other teaching units of the program followed during the academic year by at least one regularly enrolled student take part in the deliberations. In the case of higher artistic studies, the board responsible for the evaluation of the main artistic course at the end of the cycle is composed mainly of members outside the Arts Colleges.

The board deliberates on the basis of the assessments of the achievements of each student for each of the teaching units followed during the academic year. The single success threshold for acquiring ECTS from a teaching unit is set at 10/20. It allocates ECTS for the teaching units whose assessment is sufficient or for those where the deficit is acceptable in the light of its overall results. The board can sovereignly proclaim the success of a teaching unit, of all the units studied during an academic year or a cycle of studies, even if the threshold of success is not reached in every teaching unit.

It also grants the ECTS associated with the teaching units followed outside the program and of which it considers the results sufficient.

At the end of a cycle of study, the board gives the student the corresponding academic grade, when it is recognized that the minimum number of ECTS has been acquired, that the requirements of the curriculum have been met, that the admission requirements to these studies were met and that the student was regularly enrolled there.

The jury also determines the possible mention on the basis of all the lessons learned during the cycle.

Certification

Master's degrees are positioned at Level 7 of the Higher Education Qualification Framework and correspond to Level 7 of the European Framework of Certifications for Lifelong Learning.

Master’s degrees may only be awarded to students who have satisfied the admission requirements to studies, and who have obtained the minimum number of ECTS for the corresponding study programme.

Degrees are awarded by examination boards including the authorities of the higher education institution. Degrees and certificates are signed by academic authorities, and by the president and the secretary of the board.

The form of degree diplomas has been determined by the Government. The minimum information appears in French on the diploma. It may be accompanied by its translation into another language in the case of a joint degree if all or part of the studies are organized in another language. The diploma refers explicitly to an accompanying supplement to the diploma. This supplement includes in particular the list of courses taken by the student, the admission requirements to the studies and the assessments certified by the awarded academic degree. The personal elements of this supplement, relating to the individual student, may be collected in an annex to the supplement. The supplement to the diploma is signed by the secretary of the board.