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 and French.
|Land area||30,528 km²|
|Residents per km²||383.9|
|Official language||French, Dutch, German|
|Income per capita||$ 46,600|
|ISO 3166 code||BE|
|Time zone UTC||+1|
|Geographic coordinates||50 50 N, 4 00 O|
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.
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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 university level.
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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.