Higher education in Flanders is internationally oriented and Flemish higher education offers a wide range of programmes in English and other languages. The reputation of Flemish higher education is ensured by its exemplary regulatory framework and its obligatory accreditation. The quality of Flemish higher education is reflected in the fact that its universities (offering doctoral studies) are listed in the well-known university rankings.
Higher education is mainly offered by universities and university colleges. Universities offer programmes with an academic orientation. University colleges offer programmes with a professional orientation. However, they can also offer programmes with an academic orientation if they do so in an ‘Association' with a university. Such an association is an official body in which the cooperation between a university and one or more university colleges is officially established. They are for example responsible for the link with research in academic programmes offered by university colleges. The degrees are awarded by the universities and university colleges themselves.
There are two main categories of higher education institutions in Flanders: the statutory registered institutions and the registered institutions. Only these institutions are allowed to offer Bachelor and Master's degrees:
Flanders has a three cycle degree structure: