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Why more and more French students are going to study in Belgium


Since Thursday, students who are still waiting for a positive response have a new opportunity to express wishes for their higher education. While to date, 85% of students registered on Parcoursup have received a proposal, many students will find themselves at the start of the school year without training. A recurring problem over the years, which some solve by going to study abroad, such as in Belgium for example.

A lack of places available in France

Each year, more than 17,000 students from France choose to study in Belgium. This is the case of Tara, a French student at the University of Brussels, who almost found herself expatriated in spite of herself. “Just because I didn’t want to take the entrance exams for France and for Sciences Po, I came to Belgium,” she explains. Indeed, the admission process of Belgian universities may seem more accessible to French students, while the latter do not require an entrance exam, even if a selection takes place during the course.

This phenomenon could also be explained by the lack of places available in France. “There are no places in France. There are 200 places per school, four veterinary schools; so that makes 1,000 places in all. In France, the universities are extremely elitist, they want top marks, so I am went to Belgium”, says a student met by Europe 1. In general, the proportion of French students in Belgian universities is on the rise, like at the University of Brussels where one in eight students is French, i.e. 25% increase in five years.

Growing concern in Belgium

French students in Belgium nevertheless seem to have a good level, as explained by Nadine Postiaux, vice-rector of the Free University of Brussels: “These are students who integrate very well. are asked why their country did not want to keep them”.

But concern is mounting over foreign student quotas. “What poses a problem here is the massive arrival which completely unbalances our establishments. If we take the example of the Faculty of Pharmacy, in the first year there are now more French students than Belgian students. “, worries Nadine Postiaux. A situation that will not fail to react in France, but also in Belgium, while the country spends more than 150 million euros each year to welcome French students.



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