What is the status of the Royal Military Academy (Koninklijke Militaire School - Ecole Royale Militaire)?
The Royal Military Academy (Koninklijke Militaire School - Ecole Royale Militaire) is a peculiar case in Belgian higher education.
Since 1991, Belgium is a federal country in which the federated entities are fully competent over education. An institution can only be recognised as a higher education institution by the federated entities of Belgium (Flemish Community, French Community or German-speaking Community). The only exception to this rule is the Royal Military Academy (RMA). Due to the nature of a military academy, this institution could not be split up and could not be assigned to one of the federated entities. The RMA has therefore kept its original recognition under Belgian law. The degrees awarded by the RMA are therefore recognised Belgian degrees.
Good to know is that all degrees awarded by institutions recognised by any of the competent authorities are recognised by all the other Belgian authorities.
The RMA degrees (and titles) are therefore recognised and considered equivalent to the academic degrees awarded by regular universities in Belgium.
Due to the establishment of the European Higher Education Area, the RMA was regularly confronted with questions about its external quality assurance and/or accreditation. Though the RMA didn’t need accreditation, they asked accreditation from the Accreditation Organisation of The Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). NVAO has cooperated with the French Commission des Titres d’Ingénieurs (CTI) to undertake the assessment of all RMA’s programmes. RMA's programmes have since been accredited by CTI and NVAO.
Accreditation by NVAO is a prerequisite for the recognition of programmes and their degrees (titles) in The Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium), while accreditation by CTI is a prerequisite to award the engineering degree and title in France.