Credit system

Higher education institutions in Flanders operate a full fledged credit system based on ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).

The curriculum of a degree programme is therefore conceived as a set of courses and each course stands for minimum 3 ECTS credits (with a maximum of 12 courses per 60 ECTS credits). One credit represents 25 to 30 hours of a student's workload.

Exams are graded on a 20 point scale, or - in specific cases - on a pass/fail scale. A student with a score of at least 10/20 (or a passing mark) obtains a credit for that course, with the number of ECTS-points associated with the course.

Every student is entitled to two examination opportunities per course per academic year.

A student is awarded a bachelor's or master's degree after having obtained the credits of all the courses in the curriculum of the programme.

Students can be exempted from courses based on (1) credits acquired elsewhere (another program, another institution), and (2) competencies acquired outside a formal learning context (i.e. prior experiential learning).

When registering, each student gets to choose among three types of study contracts:

  • a diploma contract: the student wants to obtain a bachelor's or a master's diploma;
  • a credit contract the student wants to obtain credits for one or more individual courses;
  • an examinations contract: the student wants to obtain a diploma or independent credits, based exclusively on examinations (without participation in class activities).

Diploma contracts include several study routes. There are model and individual study routes. A model study route can be full time, half time or other part time variants. An individual study route is a route adjusted to an individual student's needs.

Important notice for foreign students

Students from countries not belonging to the European Economic Region (EER) can only register for a full time diploma contract. They will not be granted a residential permit upon attempting to obtain any other type of registration (a part time or individual trajectory diploma contract, a credit contract or an exam contract).