Studies & Trainings

Lifelong learning

Every child living in Belgium is entitled to free education, whatever his/her status or nationality. Parents are free to choose the education type, official or free network, which is best suited for their children.

To enter the Brussels’ job market, you must set up a viable professional plan which suits you. Before casting yourself into job searching, it is often advised that your academic qualification or professional experience obtained in another country is recognized in Belgium. Following or completing your academic formation can also enable you to access other job offers and therefore increase your chances of finding a job.

Mandatory Education

In Belgium, school is mandatory  from 5 to 18. Parents shall ensure that their minor-aged children are registered in a recognized school. Registration in schools are free. However, certain school supplies or services are charged (swimming courses, excursions, copies, school daycare, etc.).


Organization of education in Belgium :

  1. Kindergarten : 3 levels (for children aged 2,5 years and over).
  2. Primary School : 6 levels (for children aged 6 years and over).
  3. Secondary School : 6 levels (for children aged 12 years and over).


Specialized education is intended for children who need specific guidance.The Reception and Schooling System for First-Time Immigrant Pupils (French acronym, DASPA) aims at hosting and educating pupils of foreign nationality, who recently arrived in Belgium, in the ordinary education system.

School networks:

In Belgium, education is made up of several networks of schools which organize their own education. 


The Official Organized Network: This is the educational network organized and financed by The Wallonia-Brussels Federation (French acronym FWB, formerly known as the French-Speaking Community of Belgium) 

The  Official Subsidized Network: This is the educational system subsidized by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation but organized by another organizing authority (Communes, Provinces or the French-Speaking Community Commission)

The Free Subsidized Network: This is the educational system subsidized by the FBW but organized by faith-based associations (Israeli schools, Muslim schools, Catholic schools, etc.) or non-confessional associations (Schools with an alternative pedagogy system such as Decroly, Freinet, etc.).

Build your own professional plan

Have your diploma recognized in Belgium :

In order to have a foreign diploma recognized, you must submit an equivalence request to one of the 3 community equivalence commissions. Their mission is to check the equivalence of your academic formation with that provided in Belgium for the same field of study. It’s a check on the level of your academic formation (bachelor, master, …), not on the specificity of your field of study. 

This equivalence request procedure may be long and costly. It may cost you up to 200 Euros and take up to 4 months, depending on your profile or your diploma. Please check the CIRÉ company’s website which proposes guidance for this procedure. You can also gather some information on the Wallonia-Brussels Federation’s website or that of the 2 other communities.

Build your own professional plan

Have your professional experience recognized : Did you previously work without any professional qualification ?  The experience you have built up during your career can be valorized in the Competence Validation framework (French acronym, VDC). Competence validation tests are organized in certified validation centers for more than 40 jobs. If you pass the test, you obtain a competence qualification document which will open up many opportunities for you on the job market.  


Have your studies completed in Belgium :Do you wish to complete your studies in a Belgian school or to complete your academical career by only following the courses that are missing ?  You can do so by filing a request for Valorization in Acquired Experience (VAE) in a school of your choice. This procedure allows you to valorize your professional experience or your prior academical career by obtaining an exemption for certain courses. If this valorization succeeds, it may enable you to drastically shorten your studies’ length.  

Resuming your studies :

Setting up a professional project sometimes demands further studies or trainings. It may however be difficult to choose amongst the so many offers in the Brussels’ region. To obtain a Belgian-recognized academical qualification, you must imperatively register in a school subsidized by one of the 3 Belgian communities. Though financed, superior studies are not free. You will need to pay a subscription fee (called tuition fee). Several institutions enter this category, such as universities, high schools or schools for social promotion.


  • University: These are big structures subdivided in colleges, each hosting a great number of students. University studies are generally composed of 2 cycles, bachelor (3 years) and master (5 years).
  • High School: High Schools are structures which are specialized in a particular field of training (social studies, IT, economy…). The first 3-year cycle being already highly professional, the second 2-year cycle becomes optional.
  • Social Promotion Studies: These differ from the two previous ones by their organization. Indeed, these structures propose studies with timetables adapted to active life, such as evening or weekend courses. Each program is divided in training units (French acronym UF) which are associated to obtain a complete course. Please note that certain schools propose to adults who do not yet have it, to obtain the secondary level studies (French acronym CESS) via a central jury.

Work-Linked Training :

Should your professional project lead you to the world of entrepreneurship, do not hesitate to visit work-linked training’s website (see hereunder) or the EFP. You will find training courses for professionals in more than 200 occupations as well as management training which will help you to open an activity as an independent. Practically, work-linked trainings will offer you apprenticeship halfway between studies and companies. Trainings indeed include company traineeship as well as a theoretical and practical training in a training center.

Following Professional Training :

Other options exist if you wish to enhance your chances on the job market. Numerous structures propose professional trainings. Some of them will allow you to get experience in a specific domain whereas others shall learn you the required knowledge and competence to practice a profession.

Brussels Training (Bruxelles Formations is undoubtedly the best-known organization in that domain. Its website regroups all available trainings in Brussels. It is however important to know that these trainings are not considered as recognized academical qualifications. Therefore, they will not enable you to access a protected occupation or a higher salary.


Your training is therefore an important part of your professional project. Should you wish some help in setting it up, do not hesitate to visit your commune’s Local Mission. Other organizations such as the CIRÉ asbl or your Actiris counsellor can help you in your searches or reflections. Do not hesitate also to visit Dorifors website. There too, you will find many trainings organized in Brussels.

Inscription à la newsletter

Recevez toutes nos actualités