Re-enrollment to become stricter for Flemish students

The Government of Flanders has decided to tighten the re-enrollment requirements for Flemish students. From academic year 2023-2024, students will have to have passed all classes from the first and second year before they can enroll for the third year, writes De Morgen on Monday.

Currently, students in Flanders are able to carry over first year courses to the third year of their Bachelor's programme. Additionally, more than two thirds of students take more than three years to graduate. These studies are financed by the Government of Flanders, which is why the measure is introduced.

According to Flemish minister for Education Ben Weyts, the current system is too non-commital: ""It is mainly students who pay a high price for this. We have to offer them more structure and more guidance."

In turn, the government wants to better guide students. After a bad first examination period, the university or college of higher education must give study advice, and students will be entitled to a conversation with a study or course counsellor. Finally, students will have to take a non-binding entrance exam before they enroll.

Flemish universities are cautiously optimistic about the changes. UGent rector Rik Van de Walle calls this decree "globally a step in the right direction," while VUB rector ad interim Jan Danckaert thinks that "the focus on remediation is right".

Other parties are more concerned. "This will be at the expense of other things that are also very necessary, such as lifelong learning, digitalisation but also scientific research," says Tine Baelmans, Vice Rector of KU Leuven. For Julien De Wit, president of the Flemish Student's Union, the new measures are too drastic. "We would have preferred even more prevention and guidance." The Flemish Parliament still has to vote on the proposal.




Students studying in the library of the KU Leuven university. - © BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND

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