The primary school in Belgium is 6 years old, the
secondary school is divided into three 2-year steps.
8 years of compulsory schooling were introduced in 1914
for children aged 6 to 14 years. The school age has since
been raised to 18 years.
Since 1989, education has been decentralized, and
municipalities and regions have autonomy and budget
responsibility in education issues. The language of
instruction is Dutch in the Dutch-speaking area in the north
(Flanders), French in the French-speaking area in the south
(Wallonia) and German in the German-speaking districts in
the east. Brussels is officially bilingual with both Dutch
The public schools are religiously neutral. In addition
to public schools, there are also private schools, mainly in
the French-speaking part of Belgium, run by organizations
and churches with public support. The Catholic schools make
up the majority of the private schools and are considered to
be of very high quality. About half of the students attend
Catholic schools in Wallonia. In Flanders, private education
is not widespread. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Belgium.
To enter higher education, a separate entrance exam is
required after finishing high school. There are 4
Dutch-speaking and 4 French-speaking universities, in
addition there are many faculties and colleges at the
The Catholic University of Leuven is the oldest in the
country, founded in 1425. In 1970, after hard political
strife, it was divided into two independent universities, a
Dutch-language in Leuven and a French-language in
Louvain-La-Neuve. The same split happened with the
University of Brussels.