City Profile

Ghent is situated in Belgium, more specifically in the region of Flanders, which is the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. With around 250.000 inhabitants, the capital of the province East-Flanders is the second largest city in Belgium. The city houses one of the most prominent universities in Flanders, Ghent University, and as such it may be viewed as one of the educational capitals of Belgium.

Education system

The 345 schools in Ghent, 130 in primary education and 85 in secondary education, are part of the Flemish educational system. Since 1988, namely, the Flemish government has the jurisdiction to implement and govern its own educational system. One of the particularities of this educational system is that every school in Flanders is state subsidized – public and private schools alike. With only a few exceptions, private schools are mainly Catholic. Public schools are non-sectarian. Usually children go to nursery school from the age of two and a half. Education becomes compulsory when the child is six years old. After six grades of primary education, at the age of twelve, children transfer to secondary education. There are six grades of secondary education divided into three units, subdivided into two grades each. There are four main tracks in secondary education: academic education preparing for higher education; technical education; vocational education and artistic education. After the successful completion of six years of secondary schools (seven years in the vocational track) children may attend higher education.


Further resources

For more information on the Flemish educational system, see


For more information about education in Ghent, see
(in Dutch)

Ghent Research Team

Jannick Demanet

Address: Korte Meer 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)9/264.91.90
Fax: +32 (0)9/264.69.75
Email: [email protected]

Laura Van den Broeck

Korte Meer 5, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)9/264.84.37
Fax.: +32 (0)9/264.69.75
E-mail: [email protected]

Mieke Van Houtte

Address: Korte Meer 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)9/264.68.02
Fax: +32 (0)9/264.69.75
Email: [email protected]

Research Group

Cultural Diversity: Opportunities & Socialisation (CuDOS)


Universiteit Gent