Limburg gets first English-taught bachelor degree

Summary

The professional bachelor’s degree in communication management gives foreign and local students the chance to study in an international environment

International context

Flanders’ higher education commission has given the green light to PXL University College in Hasselt to launch its first English-taught professional bachelor’s degree.

The course in communication management is the first of its kind in Limburg to be taught entirely in English, and is designed to attract both Flemish and foreign students. It begins in September and will run alongside the same course taught in Dutch.

“We’re happy with this recognition by the commision,” said Ben Lambrechts, PXL’s director. “Our aim is to better arm students for the job market, and offer them every chance in a practice-based environment where English is the language of communication.”

The launch of the English-language course is part of the college’s ambition to attract students from abroad who don’t necessarily speak Dutch. Offering courses in English is also a draw for exchange students. Flemish students will also see the benefits of a course in which part of the training takes place in another language, preparing them for the international context of the discipline and helping them meet the demands of recruiters when they graduate.

An internationally oriented and culturally diverse environment is another benefit, PXL said in a press release. It gives students the chance to improve their communication skills, work in teams with people from a variety of backgrounds and learn to appreciate cross-cultural differences. Knowledge of English and the jargon used in the profession will also make it easier for graduates to function in an international work environment.

Photo © Kris Van de Sande

Educational system

The Flemish educational system is divided into two levels: primary (age six to 12) and secondary school (12 to 18). Education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 18.
Types - There are three educational networks in Flanders: the Flemish Community’s GO! network, and publicly funded education – either publicly or privately run.
Not enough space - In recent years, Flemish schools have been struggling with persistent teacher shortages and a growing lack of school spaces.
No tuition fees - Nursery, primary and secondary school are free in Flanders.
1

million school-going children in 2013

30

million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013

11

percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma