Belgium is a small country at the heart of Europe. Its neighbors are the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. Its climate is mild, but the weather is mostly cloudy and gloomy.

At the same time, Belgium is one of the most important countries on the continent, because its capital city, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union. Therefore, the fact that there are three official languages in Belgium – Dutch, French, and German – should not surprise you.

However, almost everybody in Belgium speaks English as a first or second language. Therefore, the Belgian universities offer numerous Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs in English. To get admitted to such a program, however, you should demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in the English language.

Minimum IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in Belgium

1. KU Leuven

The Catholic University of Leuven, commonly known as KU Leuven, is a research university in the Dutch-speaking town of Leuven. It came into existence in 1972, following a rift between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking communities in the town.

As a result, the bilingual Catholic University of Leuven split into two “sister” universities. Since then, KU Leuven has established itself as one of the best universities in the world. Today, it has got more than 58,000 students that are being trained into three large academic conglomerates. Each academic group consists of different faculties and departments.

2. Ghent University

Ghent University was established in 1817 by King William I of the Netherlands. It is the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium and one of the oldest higher education providers in the country. Now, UGent, as this university is known for short, has got more than 45,000 students. They study in eleven major faculties that have more than 130 different departments.

Currently, Ghent University offers only one undergraduate program in English – the Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences.  By contrast, each of the university’s faculties offers more than ten Master’s programs in English. To enroll in the programs at this university in Belgium, you need at least an IELTS Band of 6.5.

3. University of Antwerp

At the University of Antwerp, only the master’s and Ph.D. programs are taught in English. Unfortunately, this higher education provider in Belgium is yet to offer Bachelor’s programs with English as the principal language of instruction.

With more than 20,000 students, the University of Antwerp is the third-largest university in the Belgian province of Flanders. The university has got a total of nine faculties, but it’s most famous for the Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical, and Veterinary Sciences. The University of Antwerp now offers seven different Master’s programs in the field of Biomedical Sciences that are taught in English.

4. Vesalius College

  • IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

Vesalius College is a highly selective and very prestigious higher education provider, whose main campus is located at the very heart of Belgium’s capital, Brussels. It currently offers only two Master’s programs: MA in Global Peace, Security and Strategic Studies and MA in Diplomacy and Global Governance.

They are both taught in the English language and the successful graduates are offered jobs at NATO and the EU administration. The college also offers four Bachelor’s programs, with the BA in International & European Law being the most popular one. All of the Bachelor’s programs are also taught in the English language. You can enroll at this university in Ukraine by getting at least 6.5 in IELTS Band.

5. Université Libre de Bruxelles

Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), or the Free University of Brussels is a private higher school in Brussels. The language of instruction at this university is predominantly French. Yet, ULB also offers 23 Master’s programs taught in English.

Most of these programs are offered by the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, but there are also some offered by the CERIS-ULB Diplomatic School of Brussels. The academic roots of the Université Libre de Bruxelles can be traced back to 1834. Today, it has more than 24,000 students.

6. Vrije Universiteit Brussel

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is the Dutch-speaking sister-university of Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The university came into existence following the split of the Université libre de Bruxelles in 1970. VUB’s founding father is Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen, a lawyer from Brussels. His dream was to establish a university governed by the principles of academic freedom.

Today, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a medium-sized university in Belgium with about 16,000 students. They study in eight major faculties, where the principal language of instruction is Dutch. Interestingly, this university offers only two Bachelor’s programs: Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences, and Bachelor of Science in Business Economics

 7. University of Liège

The University of Liège is the largest and most prestigious university in Belgium’s French-speaking province of Wallonia. It was established in 1817 and currently has about 24,500 students. There also are about 4,500 overseas students, most of them coming from the French-speaking parts of the world. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is one of the few undergraduate programs offered in English and French.


From the IELTS scores quoted above, it can be concluded that the universities in Belgium are quite strict and selective when it comes to the language requirements for their programs taught in the English language.

Five out of the seven higher education providers that we have selected require that the applicants produce a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 out of 9.0. The University of Liège appears to be the least selective of them with an average IELTS band requirement of 6.0.


We hope that this article on IELTS Band Requirements on Universities in Belgium was helpful! If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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