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Bachelor in Business Economics

AT THE VUB SOLVAY BUSINESS SCHOOL

Language


fully taught in

ENGLISH

Course design


Programme is organised in

DAYTIME CLASSES

Student body


from all over the world

INTERNATIONAL MINDSET

Options


Your 3rd year is a

SPECIALIZATION YEAR

WHY CHOOSE BUSINESS ECONOMICS?

Do you wonder why a brand-new car you purchased is worth less the moment you drive it off the seller’s lot? Or why one firm markets its products more successfully than another firm? Are you intrigued by why some countries have been performing well even in times of crisis? Do you want to know how best to motivate your employees? Then you should consider studying Business Economics.

A UNIQUE COMBINATION

This fully English taught academic bachelor programme combines business and economics: it provides solid foundations in micro- and macroeconomics, a strong background in mathematics and statistics, and courses in most functional fields of business (management & organizations; marketing; finance & accounting). This gives students a wider choice when they graduate, both for graduate programs and in the job market.

If you opt to study the "Business and Technology" specialization, you add a third dimension to your study curriculum: the technological aspect. You learn the basics of electronics, chemistry and bioscience, IT modeling and there is a focus on technological entrepreneurship. 

A YOUNG PROGRAMME

This programme was launched in the academic year 2018-2019. Annually, the programme is growing and our very first bachelors in Business Economics will graduate in the academic year 2020-2021.

We welcomed over 110 new bachelor students in our first year, making the launch a great success! Today, about 400 students are enrolled in this programme.

THE PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

The bachelor exists out of three modules: BA1, BA2 and BA3. Ideally you finalize the three modules after three academic years.  It is in the 3rd module that you will have to select your specialization: International Business or Business and Technology. The choice has an impact on your master options (more information further down this page).

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning outcomes describe the intended knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that you must master after completing your studies. Do you want to know more about the specific learning outcomes of this programme? Click here for more information.

MASTER OPTIONS

After having completed this bachelor programme, you have the option to continue in one of the following master programmes (based on your 3rd bachelor specialization):

Master in International Business


Completed the bachelor specialization in International Business?

Discover this programme

Master in Business & Technology


Completed the bachelor specialization in Business & Technology?

Discover this programme

Entry requirements & Application procedure

We've listed both academic and language requirements. Further below you find information regarding the application procedure.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

When you apply for this Bachelor programme you need to have a secondary school credential that grants you access to a Bachelor degree in your home country.

Some international high school degrees are deemed equivalent to a Belgian degree of secondary education and grant direct access (if you also have a proof of language proficiency) to our Bachelor programmes.

List of equivalent secondary school certificates

If you have a high school degree that is not equivalent to a Belgian degree of secondary education, you have to meet our language requirements (see below) and send us your high school diploma and transcripts and a letter of motivation. The admissions committee decides whether you are eligible to join the program.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

We accept the following proof of English language proficiency:

1. an upper secondary school diploma from the Belgian educational system;

2. a certificate from the institution where you finished secondary or higher education, stating that English was the language of instruction;

3. a certificate of one of the following language tests corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference with minimum level B2: 

  • TOEFL (only the internet-based test is accepted) with minimum level: 79
  • IELTS academic module, with minimum level: 6.5
  • Cambridge English minimum grade scale score of 170
  • ITACE with minimum level B2

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware that students may face difficulties to take a test in person. Please note that we also accept the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition and the IELTS Indicator. These are variants of the classic TOEFL and IELTS tests that you may take at home.

This proof can be provided by presenting results of a language test or documents issued by your home institution. Please note that language test results cannot be older than 5 years at the moment of application.

It is mandatory that the language requirements are met before you are accepted at the VUB. We do not issue letters of acceptance without it.

MATH SKILLS

Although a GMAT is not required to be admitted, we do expect our students to have a solid prior knowledge of mathematics. To find out if your math knowledge is sufficient, we have developed a short test. You should be able to finish these exercises without too much trouble. Struggling with one of the topics? Then be sure to take the time to brush up on your knowledge.

Test your math skills!

Application procedure

The only way to find out if you can join this programme, is by submitting your online application file before the deadline.

Start application season 2021

December 2020

Deadline non-EEA students (visa required)

1 April 2021

Deadline EEA students (and holders of a valid permit)

1 September 2021

Start academic year 2021-2022

20 September 2021

THE PROCEDURE

The application procedure takes time. Different departments are involved in the screening process. Therefor we advise all candidates to apply well before the deadline and to submit a complete file (including all required uploads) as soon as possible!

  1. Start the application procedure, submit your file and pay the application fee (€50)
  2. Screening process in three steps: central admissions office checks completeness of your file > faculty program board check the academic requirements > central admissions office checks the language requirements
  3. Outcome of screening: if accepted, you will receive a conditional letter of acceptance (with which you can request for a student visa)
  4. Enroll at VUB university campus before October 8th

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

  • ID card / Passport copy
  • Passport photo (to be used for your student card)
  • High school degree or proof that you will graduate at the end of this school year;
  • Proof of English proficiency;
  • High school results (not mandatory if you have direct access);
  • Letter of motivation (not mandatory if you have direct access)

If you do not possess all required documents, you can already submit your application and send us your late documents when available.

STUDY AT THE SOLVAY BUSINESS SCHOOL

The Faculty of Social Sciences & Solvay Business School has its roots in the Business Engineer programme founded by Ernest Solvay in 1903. This started a long tradition of integrating business education with technology which continues in all of its programmes. 

OPEN DAYS 2021


Visit the campus and meet academic staff

25 April and 5 September

SOLVAY SCHOOLS ALUMNI NETWORK

Solvay Schools Alumni is the association that gathers all graduates from the VUB Solvay Business School and the ULB Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management.

Representing a network of 20,000 alumni in more than 65 countries, our alumni are present in all areas of the workforce. With about 50 activities and conferences every year, the organisation offers its members lifelong learning, career services, support and networking opportunities.

Thanks to an extensive online database and its annual yearbook, Solvay Schools Alumni gives its members the chance to keep in touch and meet up at professional and social meetings.

BRUSSELS ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS ECONOMICS

The Brussels Association of Business Economics is a student organization founded in 2018 at the Solvay Business School (VUB). This association was founded by BSc. Business Economics students for its contemporaries in the Brussels area.

B.A.B.E. aspires to be the primary platform for socialization and interaction especially between the international community of Business Economics students, its alumni, and students from other disciplines. It is their goal to serve the Business Economics student body in a multifaceted approach towards complementing and building their daily lives and interactions.

They host a variety of events, like workshops with external partners relevant to our educational program, quizzes and scavenger hunts, collaborations with volunteering networks and non-profit organizations, as well as guest lectures where they invite professionals prominent in their field to speak to its members. This broad array of events consolidates the four pillars: Education, Socialization, Entrepreneurship, and Philanthropy. Without one, this organization would not be complete.

STUDY IN BRUSSELS

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a dynamic and modern university with almost two centuries of history. VUB has 15.000 students, 21% of which are international students from more than 120 different countries. 

Being a student at VUB means learning in an international and open atmosphere of tolerance and diversity that will help you to grow into an independent and critical-thinking individual. 

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is known for its highly skilled academics and professionals with an excellent command of various languages and a good understanding of multiple cultures are needed in national and international public institutions and in multinational companies. As the capital of Europe, Brussels is the perfect setting to prepare yourself for a job in the field(s) of business economics.

This bachelor is taught on a green campus where all facilities are close at hand: classrooms, student restaurant, library, sports facilities (swimming pool, gym, three sports courts, badminton facilities).

A quick campus tour

All courses will be organised on the Brussels Humanities, Science and Engineering Campus in Brussels

Frequently asked questions

-*-*-

The Bachelor of Business Economics is interdisciplinary: there are stronger ties between the economics courses and the functional fields of business. The economics courses are not just service courses but are an essential component of the program.

There is stronger emphasis on analytical problem-solving skills (e.g. using mathematical tools). As a result, the bachelor gives access to a wider range of master's programs (e.g. to master's programs in economics and finance).

Students are exposed to the scientific literature in the field, and are prepared to write an academic bachelor paper.

As a result, the Bachelor of Business Economics gives access to a wider range of graduate programs, including master's programs in economics and math-intensive master's programs in finance. Alumni of the program will be expected in the labor market to have better analytical skills than alumni from a BBA program.

  • MSc in International Business (two years (120 ECTS-credits), at theVUB, taught in English). Graduates from the Bachelor of Business Economics are unconditionally admitted. The Master in International Business is equivalent to the Master Toegepaste Economische Wetenschappen.
  • MSc in Business Engineering: Business and Technology (two years, 120 ECTS-credits), at the VUB, taught in English. Graduates from the Bachelor of Business Economics who took the orientation in "Business & Technology" are unconditionally admitted to the MSc in Business Engineering: Business and Technology. The MSc in Business Engineering: Business and Technology is equivalent to the Master Handelsingenieur.
  • Master Toegepaste Economische Wetenschappen (one year, 60 ECTS-credits), taught in Dutch at the VUB and at other Flemish universities. Graduates from the Bachelor of Business Economics who are proficient in Dutch (!) are unconditionally admitted because the Bachelor of Business Economics is equivalent to Bachelor TEW.
  • Master in Handelsingenieur (two year, 120 ECTS-credits), taught in Dutch at the VUB and at other Flemish universities. Graduates from the orientation "Business & Technology" who are proficient in Dutch (!) are unconditionally admitted to this master.
  • Master's programmes in economics and business offered outside VUB, depending on their admissions criteria.

No, there is no internship course included in this programme. If you continue in one of the VUB master programmes (cf previous answer), you have the option to do an internship that is credited. 

Yes, students can opt to take part in an exchange programme in the 3rd module. Destinations are both within Europe (we have Erasmus+ agreements with 14 countries in Europe) as outside Europe. The university has international exchange agreements with universities in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Vietnam, Japan, Morocco, China, Canada, USA, etc. You find an overview of the selection procedure and destinations within Europe on this website and the worldwide options on this website.

All Flemish universities in Belgium, including the VUB, are subsidized by the Flemish government, which results in relatively low tuition fees for students from the European Economic Area (EEA). The tuition for one year varies between about € 900 (EEA students) and € 4000 (non-EEA students).

There is no automatic transfer process. You apply as any other student has to do (or in case you have direct access: you enroll) and then you have the option to submit a personal exemption request. This consist out of a completed template (available on this website), your study records (official documents, stamped & signed by the institution) and the official course content sheets providing all available and official information on each of the courses you mention to have completed in the past.

Secondary school programs that develop problem-solving and analytical skills (and that typically cover natural sciences, mathematics at some depth) are an excellent preparation for the Bachelor of Business Economics. The economics and business courses in this programme require no prior knowledge of economics and business at all.

As we welcome students from all over the world, this programme has a vey international student body with almost 88 different nationalities. Currently we have about 42% Belgian students, 25% European students and 33% non-European students. 

We recommend four hours per week, but students who are good at math can manage if they only took three hours of math per week in secondary school. There’s a self-test for future students (download this test here).  If you speak Dutch, we recommend taking the math refresher course in September (more information). We currently do not offer a math refresher course in English.

There are no language courses in the programme. As most of the students in the program don’t have English as their native language, our students are typically at least bilingual when they graduate. You can take language courses on campus, with CVO Semper (a school that offers adult education both during the day and in evening classes) or with Academisch Centrum voor Taalonderwijs (ACTO), but these classes do not count for academic credit in the programme (you will receive a language certificate when you complete a course).

The Bachelor in Business Economics is offered by Solvay Business School, part of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Solvay Business School of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Our sister university, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), similarly has a business school that is called Solvay Brussels School — Economics & Management.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université Libre de Bruxelles co-operate in many ways but are different universities. However, Alumni of Solvay Business School (VUB) and of Solvay Brussels School — Economics & Management (ULB) can become members of the same alumni organization, Solvay Schools Alumni (https://www.solvayschoolsalumni.net), giving access to a large international network.

Preparation


Your standard to-do-list

International student life

Tuition fees


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Student Administration

Housing


On campus or off campus

VUB Housing

Financial support


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VUB Social Services

YOUR BACHELOR IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

After having completed this bachelor programme, you have the option to continue in one of the following master programmes at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (based on your 3rd bachelor specialization):

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

A degree in Business Economics is versatile. Graduates can get jobs in a broad range of sectors like banking, insurance, audit or consulting, but also in public administration. They work in research departments or other staff functions in firms and organizations, and in operational functions as well. Some graduates become sales managers or human resources managers, others work in marketing. In short, the degree offers a broad range of opportunities.

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First step in the market

After your master


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Join one of our sessions online

As of January, we try to organize at least one online information session per month. We introduce you to our academic staff and present the programme (short presentation). Afterwards we make time for Q&A so all of your questions become answered.

Data informations sessions

We organize online information sessions on the following moments (one session lasts about 45 minutes)

  • Wednesday, 5 May at 3pm
  • Wednesday, 19 May at 2pm
  • Saturday, 22 May and Sunday 23 May at 3pm -> on campus (VUB open days)
  • Wednesday, 16 June at 3pm

More dates will become available soon

How to book your seat?

Follow the next steps:

1. After clicking on the button below 'book online', a virtual calendar will show up.
2. At the top you select which study programme you are interested in.
3. You scroll down to the calendar and select one of the available moments (appear in black).
4. You pick the moment that best suits you and fill out your details under the calendar.
5. Now click on "book" to complete your registration.
6. You will receive a confirmation mail, so check your inbox.
7. Something is wrong? You can contact us here.

The digital information session will be organized via a Microsoft Teams meeting. When you have booked your seat, you receive an invitation 24h before the start with a link that leads to this online session. We advise you to open the link with the browser of Google (Chrome)