9 Cheapest Universities in Belgium for International Students

Belgium is a country that has a world-class reputation for numerous things ranging from international politics to its famous chocolates. Located perfectly within the center of Europe and surrounded by some of the most prominent and influential countries in the world, Belgium has definitely established itself as a prominent international hub.

The capital of Belgium, Brussels, is particularly known for its political influence through ambassadors, journalists as well as being the home of numerous international business organizations. It is also the seat of important institutions such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (the NATO).

Additionally, the country is also reputed for having a stunning international community. The 11 million citizens who currently live in the country come from a diverse range of backgrounds and are regarded as overseas citizens who have arrived to live in the country.

A stellar healthcare system, an efficient public transport network, the diverse blend of cultures from the multinational community, and its convenient and unique location in Europe are some of the few factors that make this country a truly impressive example. Belgium has further been featured among the most globalized countries in the world based on the Swiss Economic Institute evaluations.

In this light, these are some of the very many reasons that make Belgium an interesting and worthy country for students to pursue their studies in. Not only do they have a well-developed economy but the country is also home to some of the most renowned universities in the world. Students are at the heart of outstanding opportunities, particularly in the case of international networking.

Furthermore, the diverse cities in the country are multicultural as well as multilingual. With the availability of high-quality study programs in well-established universities, the question of expenses and finance comes to mind for prospective students.

In this article, we present a series of Belgian universities that offer some of the best tuition fee rates for students (particularly international students). We hope that this will assist you in choosing and considering university options for your future studies.

On a side note, if you are unsure about the application process in Belgium, we’ve provided a guide on How to Study in Belgium for International Students. Check it out if you feel lost!

Are the academic programs in Belgian universities offered in English?

Belgium is reputed for its multilingual nature with its major languages being Dutch, French, and German. The majority of courses offered by universities in the country are therefore taught and administered in these three languages.

However, depending on the university, select courses are taught in English as well. Proficiency in the language is essential in this case. Additionally, foreign students have access to intensive language training courses if they are interested in learning languages such as French or Dutch.


How much do studies cost for international students?

Tuition fees for Belgian universities range from as low as EUR 800 to up to EUR 9000 on an annual basis, and the cost of living can vary depending on the location and the student’s circumstances. On average, a student’s budget can be between EUR 700 to 900 per month. Scholarship opportunities are also available for international students.

It is possible, however, that you study in Belgium completely free. You will need to do a lot of planning in advance to make it possible. If you are interested, check out How to Study in Belgium for Free (9 Steps).


Can international students work during their studies?

Foreign students who are enrolled at an accredited Belgian institution of higher education and have a valid student visa are entitled to up to 20 hours of work a week during term time, on the condition that it does not cause interference with studies.


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Cheap Universities in Belgium

1. University of Namur

The University of Namur is another example of a French-dominant private university that is based in the city of Namur in central Belgium. Teaching and research are carried out through 6 faculties including the fields of law, science, medicine, computer science, economics/management sciences, and philosophy. This cheap university in Belgium currently has a student enrolment of over 6500 students. Over 150 degrees of study are offered for undergraduate and postgraduate students are provided. The university was founded in 1831 and has been ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world.


2. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (basically the Catholic University of Leuven or KU Leuven) is an independent research university that is located in the Dutch-speaking city of Leuven in the Flanders region of Belgium. Established in 1834, the university conducts and offers teaching and research training in a range of degrees such as medicine, natural sciences, law, engineering, and the social sciences. The university has further been consistently ranked among the top 100 universities of the world.

Currently, the university has a student population of over 58,000 students. The university currently has an academic composition based on specialized groups; these include the groups of biomedical sciences, humanities & social sciences, sciences/engineering & technology.

The majority of the courses are taught and administered in Dutch while specific courses are taught in English (predominantly the graduate courses).

Students additionally have access to several cutting-edge facilities including one of the largest library systems in the country. Satellite campuses are also operated by the university across the country such as in Antwerp, Ghent, and Brussels among other areas.


3. Ghent University

Our next university in the list of cheapest universities in Belgium for international students is Ghent University, which was founded in 1817. Unlike other institutions of higher education in the country, the university is more pluralist and not affiliated with any religious institutions.

With a student enrolment of over 45,000, it is one of the largest Flemish universities in the country and offers a wide range of academic courses for its students. With its outstanding academic prowess, it comes as no surprise that this institution has been constantly ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.

11 major faculties with over 100 sub-departments constitute the academic organization of the university. Collectively, over 100 different courses and degrees of study are offered to the students. Studies range across a wide variety from science and medicine to law and engineering.

It is home to the University Hospital of Ghent which is the largest hospital in the country. Additionally, the university is part of several international networks and partnerships as well, such as the Erasmus exchange program as well as other prominent overseas universities.

Students are eligible to go on exchange to universities across 6 continents.


4. UC Leuven-Limburg

One of the relatively smaller but high-quality institutions in the country is the UC Leuven-Limburg, a college based in the city of Leuven. The UCLL is a public institution that has a student body of over 15,000 in total. Its primary focus of education is in the applied sciences and further conducts high-profile research.

Despite its status as a college, the university operates over 10 different campuses and offers nearly 100 different courses of study for its undergraduate and postgraduate students. The main areas of study in the UCLL remain in the fields of health, management, welfare, teacher training, and technology.


5. Hasselt University

Hasselt University is a public research university that is primarily located in the city of Diepenbeek and Hasselt in Belgium. These are two cities in the Dutch-speaking regions of the country so the university is largely administered and provides academic courses in Dutch.

Founded in 1971, the university has expanded into an international institution with high innovative reputations. It has constantly focused on top-quality research and strives to encourage students to pursue innovation and entrepreneurial skills during their studies.

Currently, this cheap university in Denmark has a student population of nearly 7000 students. Around 70-degree programs in the undergraduate and postgraduate sectors are offered to the students. These are managed by 7 main faculties with a focus on the natural sciences and medical science streams.

It is also one of the only universities in the country to provide studies in transportation sciences as well. As mentioned previously, research remains a primary focus of the university with institutes such as the Biomedical Research Institute, the Institute for Material Research, and the Transportation Research Institute being a few examples.


6. Vrije Universiteit Brussells

Located in the beautiful capital of Belgium, Brussels, the Vrije Universiteit basically translates to the Free University of Brussels. Although Dutch remains one of the main languages of instruction, it is one of the few universities in the country to offer to teach in English as well.

With its history dating back to the early 19th century, the university operates through 4 main campuses which include the Humanities/Science and Engineering Campus, the Health campus, the Technology campus, and the Photonics campus.

However, the academic profile of the university is much different from the university comprised of 8 main faculties of study.

Collectively, it provides over 120 educational courses and degrees of study through these faculties and departments. While all courses are taught in Dutch, approximately 60 courses are further taught in English, which makes it a very tempting option for international students.

As of 2019, the university has a student enrolment of over 16,000. International partnerships are further maintained with numerous institutions and over 38 overseas universities.

Student exchanges are also provided with 160 universities across the world.


7. University of Liege Antwerp

Founded in 1817, the University of Liege is a major public university located in the city of Liege in the central regions of Belgium. It is located within the French community of the country and therefore, the majority of its educational courses are administered in French.

With a student enrolment of over 24,000, the university provides top-quality education for relatively low tuition fees as well. It has been consistently ranked among the top 300 universities in the world (based on the Times Higher Education rankings).

Of the current student body, nearly 5000 are students who come from outside of Belgium in this cheap university in Belgium. The academic organization of the university is separated into 11 main faculties of study, ranging from philosophy and law to applied science and veterinary medicine.

The university further places a strong emphasis on applied research.


8. University of Antwerp

One of the main institutions of higher education in the country is the University of Antwerp. With a population of over 20,000 students, the university is located in the city of Antwerp and follows the Dutch-speaking methods of instruction for its academic teaching.

The university has been particularly acclaimed for its high-quality standards of education as well as internationally recognized research. It comes as no surprise that this prestigious institution has been consistently ranked among the top universities of the world.

Students can choose from over 130 academic programs across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Around 30 programs are fully taught in English for the benefit of international students.


9. Vesalius College

Our last university in our list of cheapest universities in Belgium for international students is Vesalius College, a premier institution of higher education that is located in the city of Brussels.

Founded in 1987, it is one of the most recent additions to the education system and primarily focuses on providing education for undergraduate students via 3 year-Bachelor programs. It is also one of the few institutions in the country that teaches exclusively in English.

The university’s main forte is in the field of social and international relations with the provision of undergraduate majors such as Business and International Affairs.

Collaborations are further maintained with universities across the world.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page!