IsThere a European approach of Service-Learning in Higher Education?
Higher Education Framework in Belgium
Government relation to higher education in Belgium is very similar to the case of the Netherlands. The regional government pays for education. The annual inscription fee is c. 900 euro/ year; students can get a scholarship according to the tax revenue of their parents. The government is not allowed to intervene in the curricula, except for teacher training programs; but the government organizes (together with a Dutch institution) the accreditation of the programs. All universities are submitted to the same higher education law, salaries of professors, annual inscription fees, etc. From this point of view, there are no major differences between the universities.
Educational tradition in Belgium is special. There is no selection; students with a High school degree is sufficient. It is changing the way of teaching, from a textbook learning Belgium is moving towards a more practice learning.
Relations of Belgium higher education institutions with civil society are being affected by a less and less rooted in civil society. Diversity is still a problem in higher education, less so in larger cities with a diverse cultural, social, and religious environment than in smaller cities such as Leuven.
Nicolas Standaert (Head of Sinology Department. Academic responsible for service-learning at the University of Leuven Flanders)