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Business + economics (and technology)

The bachelor in business economics is a full-time English taught programme organized in daytime classes with a 3rd year specialization. 

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 academic year 2018-2019. Annually, the programme is growing and next academic year 2020-2021 we organize the third module for the first time. 

We welcomed over 110 new bachelor students in our first year, making the launch a great success! Today, about 250 students are enrolled in this programme.

A COMPLETE BACHELOR 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

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. You can find the list here: 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!

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. 

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).

Preparation


Your standard to-do-list

How to prepare your stay?

Tuition fees


Money well spent!

Calculate your tuition fee

Housing


Your new home

Where to stay in Brussels?

Financial support


Maybe we could help?

Find out the options to pay the bills

APPLICATION 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 here
  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

APPLICATION 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.

HOW TO START YOUR APPLICATION PROCEDURE?

The application website

APPLICATION DEADLINES

All students are advised to apply as soon as possible! It can take several weeks before you will receive the final outcome of the screening procedure.

  • Non-EEA students (students who need to apply for a student visa) have to submit their online application before April 1st.
  • EEA students have to submit their online application before September 1st.

An application fee of €50 will be charged to all applicants who have no direct access (refundable if you're found eligible and enrol at VUB).

 

Q&A about the programme

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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. We ask you to hand over this file in person, so we can check the completeness in your advantage.

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 65 different nationalities. Currently we have about 40% Belgian students, 25% European students and 35% 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 is 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.

Q&A about practicalities

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The tuition fee for a regular EEA national for the academic year 2020-21 is: €938,80. This page will provide you with more detailed information on tuition fees.

The tuition fee for a regular non-EEA national for academic year 2020-21 is: €3.850,00. This page will provide you with more detailed information on tuition fees

Although the Vrije Universiteit Brussel participates in many scholarship programmes offering grants to all levels of study, there are currently no grants or scholarships for students who wish to enrol in this programme.

Depending on your nationality, family situation and income, you might however be eligible for a Study Allowance granted by the Flemish government. For more information on financial support, you can contact VUB Social Services

Visa requirements are mainly determined by 3 factors: how long the person will be staying in Belgium (more or less than 90 days); the applicant’s nationality, EEA or non-EEA; and the purpose of the stay (studying, working, family reunion, etc.). Depending on the applicant’s profile, some formalities may have to be performed in the country of origin (visa) and a number of administrative steps will have to be taken once in Belgium (ID card). More information on visa requirements can be found here.

The VUB created a guide for international students and scholars, regarding the steps needed to prepare for your stay in Brussels.

The VUB has prepared a list of temporary accommodation you may need upon your arrival in Brussels, as well as options for permanent accommodation and housing. You find out all about it on this page.

Brussels is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, after Dubai the most diverse (based on the number of nationalities), the capital of Belgium and of Europe, and the biggest student city in Belgium. It is about time you discover our city: find out more on this page.

You still have a specific question? Do not hesitate to complete the request form and we'll answer you asap!

Request form

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.

Careercenter


THE VUB HELPS YOU TO MAKE YOUR FIRST STEP IN THE JOB MARKET WITH WORKSHOPS, NETWORKING EVENTS, JOB FAIRS, TIPS ‘N TRICKS FOR JOB INTERVIEWS. ALL AN AMBITIOUS STUDENT NEEDS!

First step in the market

Phd?


IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE YOUR ACADEMIC CAREER, YOU CAN APPLY FOR A PHD POSITION AT THE VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL. ALL YOU NEED IS A PROMOTER, RESEARCH SUBJECT AND SUFFICIENT FUNDING. ARE YOU UP FOR THIS CHALLENGE?

More info