More students in Flanders need extra time to obtain Bachelor’s degree

An increasing number of students in Flanders need more time to obtain their Bachelor’s degree, recently published figures from Statistiek Vlaanderen (Statistics Flanders) showed.

Fewer students in Flanders are able to obtain their Bachelor’s degree within the specified study duration. Of those who started their degree in the 2018-2019 academic year, 30% obtained their Bachelor’s degree within the stipulated study time, down from 36% in the 2008-2009 academic year.

Between 2008-2009 and 2018-2019, the total number of students starting a programme rose from 49,709 to 50,994. One in five students (20%) is able to obtain a Bachelor’s degree after one additional year of study, while another 10% of students need two additional years to obtain a degree.

The predetermined duration (from students’ enrolment in the programme to obtaining a degree) is based on the study load of the programme.

For example, for an initial Bachelor’s programme with a study load of 180 credits, the proposed duration of study is three years, while for a graduate programme with a study load of 120 credits, the proposed duration of study is two years.

Student dropouts

According to the Belgian statistical office, Statbel, 14% of students (almost 7,000) who started a Bachelor’s programme in the 2019-2020 academic year left the programme without a degree.

Among those who started in 2008-2009, 5,599 students or 11% of the total number of students did so. Overall, the share of students dropping out after one year of study without obtaining a degree is slowly increasing.

In the most recent academic years, there is a considerable number of students who have not yet obtained a degree but who are still enrolled in a programme.

Of the students who started a Bachelor’s programme in 2018-2019, 49% are still enrolled, while 85% of those who started their degree in 2019-2020 are still enrolled. 'Whether or not they obtain a degree will become clear from the pass rates for the 2021-2022 academic year and later,' Statbel noted.

© BELGA PHOTO - Illustration picture shows students getting their examinations in the Flanders Expo big room

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