For a small nation, Belgium punches well above its weight when it comes to academic excellence: Many Belgian universities defend international top rankings and combine cutting-edge research with world-class teaching.
Among Belgium’s prime universities you will find KU Leuven, Ghent University, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - all of them rank solidly among the world’s top 200 institutions. With so many high-quality options, it’s no wonder that thousands of international students every year enrol at Belgian universities.
|University||QS Ranking 2021||THE Ranking 2021||ARWU Ranking 2020|
|Université catholique de Louvain||189||164||151|
|Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)||200||251||301|
|University of Antwerp||238||170||301|
|Université libre de Bruxelles||250||201||101|
|Université de Liège||451||351||201|
|University of Mons||651||–||–|
The QS World University Rankings are among the most important, most-referenced rankings. The QS ranking relies heavily on its academic survey, asking thousands of academics worldwide about the reputation of universities.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (or the THE Rankings for short) compile a wide range of statistics. Equal weight is put on teaching quality, research excellence, and research impact through citations (meaning how often a university’s research is referenced elsewhere).
The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (often just Shanghai Ranking, or ARWU) focuses on research output and quality, for example measured by the number of published and cited scientific papers and the number of staff or alumni winning the Nobel Prize or Fields Medal.
Belgium is a multilingual nation in Western Europe, where French, Flemish/Dutch and German are spoken - and countless other languages, because its capital Brussels is also the de-facto capital of the European Union.