Leave to follow a course

If you work for a private organisation in the Brussels-Capital region or the Walloon Region, you are entitled to Paid Educational Leave (BEV) to follow an accredited course of education. If you are employed for at least 50% of the time in the private sector in the Flemish Region, you can apply for Flemish training leave (VOV).

These leave schemes enable you to take time off work for a given period to follow a course of education, while keeping your (capped) salary. Are you following your course in your free time? If so, you will receive extra hours’ leave. Are the lessons given during your work hours? If so, you can take time off to attend them.

Paid educational leave

Conditions and application procedure

The conditions for this vary according to your company’s location.

How do you request it?
Register attendance

For each programme component you will need to keep an attendance list. You will need to have this signed by the lecturer at the end of each contact lesson. The document shows how many contact lessons there were and how many lessons you attended or missed with or without authorisation. Hours of recordings and online classes also count as hours for this. No teacher signature is required here.

You send the lists along with any attendance certificates via e-mail to the staff of the Student Administration. The deadlines for this are:

  • Lists 1st trimester: submit before the beginning of the winter vacation
  • Lists 2nd trimester: submit before the beginning of the spring vacation
  • Lists 3rd trimester: submit before 30 June

They will have the documents signed by the rector, after which you will be given a certificate of attendance for the lessons* attended. This is intended for your employer.

*If you are absent without authorisation for more than 10% of the lessons in 1 trimester, you will forfeit the right to paid educational leave for a period of 6 months. Check the conditions and rules of your province on lesson attendance (Brussels-Capital RegionWalloon Region).

Flemish training leave

Everything you need to know about the Flemish training leave. 

Conditions and application procedure

You can find all the info on Flemish training leave on the Flemish government website.

Which programmes qualify?

You can find the programmes that qualify for Flemish training leave in the Flemish education incentives education databank.

How to request it? 

You apply for Flemish training leave by completing and sending the ‘Work and study’ form to the Student Administration. It is no longer possible to apply for training leave directly during your online enrolment or re-registration.

Did the number of study points you took change in the academic year and after you gave your employer a regular attendance certificate? If so, you will need to give your employer a new regular attendance certificate within 15 days of the change in the number of study points. To do so, please contact the the Student Administration.

You will receive the attestation you need to provide to your employer in the week following the course registration deadline

Temporary change of work hours for study purposes

As an employee in the private sector, you have the option to apply for time credit on specific grounds. With this type of career break you can temporarily interrupt or reduce your work hours to follow an accredited course of study, while supported by a monthly replacement income from the National Employment Office (RVA). 

To qualify for time credit you will have to fulfil a number of conditions relating to seniority and employment. Within 20 calendar days of the end of each quarter you will also need to provide your employer and the RVA with a certificate stating your regular attendance of your course. Without this certificate you will forfeit your time credit and payment for the following quarter.

On top of this career break payment you can apply to the Flemish government for an additional benefit: a study credit incentive bonus.

Financial assistance with your course

Check all the financial support you can get. 

Training vouchers

Do you work in Flanders or Brussels? Under some conditions the Flemish government can assist with the costs of your course through training vouchers.

More info

SME portfolio grant

Do you live in the Flemish region, and do you wish to follow a course as a self-employed person or at your employer's suggestion? If you meet a number of conditions, you may be able to apply for an SME portfolio grant.

More info

Scholarship from the Flemish Government

To qualify for a scholarship from the Flemish government, you will need to fulfil a number of nationality, study and financial conditions. Age is not important.

More info

Extra financial VUB support 

Are these government grants insufficient to cover the costs of your study? Make an appointment with Social, Legal and Financial support to discuss your options.