Are you a refugee living in Belgium and interested in studying at the University of Antwerp? You are definitely welcome!

Most of our Bachelor programmes are taught in Dutch, however we do offer the Bachelor of Social-Economic Sciences in English. The Master and postgraduate programmes are taught in English or Dutch. The admission requirements for recognised refugees with foreign pre-qualifications are the same as those for all international degree students. If you cannot produce the necessary documents (due to practical circumstances), a process of verification can be started. We understand that individual academic backgrounds and current situations may vary. Therefore please send your specific enquiry to

Learn the Dutch language

Linguapolis, the Institute for Language and Communication of the University of Antwerp, offers Dutch language trainings.  

They also organise a Preparatory one-year programme Dutch as a Foreign Language in an Academic Context for highly educated newcomers who plan to continue their studies in Dutch. 

A limited number of scholarships is available for refugees to participate in this one-year programme. 

Recognition of your foreign diploma and studies

If you have a foreign diploma and want to study further at the University of Antwerp, you do not need to start a procedure at NARIC to apply for equivalence. In Flanders, higher education institutions themselves are authorised to admit students. 

If you want to work and have a foreign diploma that officially needs to be recognised in Belgium, NARIC can help you further in this process.

NARIC-Vlaanderen is responsible for recognising the equivalence of foreign study certificates. In addition, NARIC-Vlaanderen also acts as an information centre.


If your NARIC file is incomplete because you do not have access to all necessary documents, you can still ask for an evaluation of your foreign master's degree if in the study fields of business economics, engineering and exact sciences. This can be done through NARIC by taking part in the VLIR-procedure.

You can

Study a Bachelor programme

All our Bachelor programmes are taught in Dutch and take three years to complete. You can find information about our undergraduate programmes in the online study guide.

Entry requirements for a Bachelor programme

To enrol in an academic Bachelor programme, you need to have (at least) a secondary education degree which entitles you to enrol in a university of the country in which the degree was conferred.

In exceptional cases, if you have been unable to complete your secondary education, you may be eligible for an alternative entrance procedure. Please note though that this procedure is only available in Dutch and as such you need to have knowledge of Dutch at level B2 (at least). Find out more about the method, timing and next information session.

Language requirements 

Students who wish to enrol for a bachelor programme will have to prove their proficiency in Dutch.

Dutch language proficiency can be shown in two ways:

  1. Either you have completed and passed at least one complete year (or 60 credits) of courses taught in Dutch at a secondary school, university college or university.  The courses should not be aimed at acquiring the Dutch language or preparing for the required level of Dutch in higher education.
  2. Or you’ve obtained one of the following language certificates (within the last two years):
  • the certificate Interuniversitaire Taaltest Nederlands voor Anderstaligen (ITNA; level C1 for all language related programmes, level B2 for all other programmes).
  • the Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal (profile Educatief Professioneel for all language related programmes, profile Educatief Startbekwaam  for all other programmes).
  • the diploma Staatsexamen Nederlands als tweede taal NT2 - programma II (all programmes except language related programmes)

Without proof of proficiency in Dutch, enrolling for one of our Dutch programmes is not possible.  Please note that no other language certificates than the ones listed above will be accepted (such as certificates from Adult Education Centers CVO). Certificates cannot be older than 2 years.

How to apply

In most cases, you need to complete and submit an online application.

The deadline for applications for recognised refugees in Belgium is 15 May. 

Try out our classes!

During the school holidays in November and February, the university offers a selection of classes and information sessions that you can attend to discover what it's like to study here. This is a great way to get to know a study programme and to make your decision. All sessions are conducted in Dutch. Register online to receive the complete programme. 

Study a Master programme taught in English

More than 30 master, advanced master and post-graduate programmes are taught in English. You can find information about the content, entry requirements, deadlines and tuition fees of each programme by following the links to the specific programmes in our study guide.

Language requirements

You can prove your proficiency in English in two ways: 

- either by submitting proof that you have studied at least one academic year (or 60 ECTS credits) in an English-language undergraduate or graduate programme (the Admission Board may ask for an additional proof of your proficiency in English),

- or by submitting a language certificate showing TOEFL, IELTS or ITACE results:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): paper-based TOEFL level of minimum 550, or a computer-based TOEFL level of minimum 213, or an internet-based TOEFL level of minimum 80
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a minimum score of at least 6.5, and on each part minimum 6.0
  • ITACE (Interuniversity Test of Academic English for Students): minimum B2 level

How to apply

In most cases, you need to complete and submit an online application.

The deadline for applications for recognised refugees living in Belgium is 15 May. 

Study a Master programme taught in Dutch

The University of Antwerp offers most of its master programmes in Dutch. You can find information about these graduate programmes in the online study guide. Make sure you check the language of instruction. 

Diploma requirementsYou need a relevant bachelor’s degree (= at least 180 ECTS credits and issued by a university) to enrol in a master programme. The online study guide shows which degrees give access to the programme. If you have obtained your bachelor degree in another country than Belgium, Luxembourg or the Netherlands, you have to complete and submit an application file via Mobility Online to receive permission to enrol.

Language requirementsYou can show you meet the Dutch language requirements in one of the following ways:

- either you completed and passed – in Dutch – at least one year (or 60 ECTS credits) at a secondary school, university college or university;

- or you passed (within the last 2 years) one of the following language tests:

  • the Interuniversity language test Dutch as a foreign language ITNA (level C1 for all language related programmes, level B2 for all other programmes):;
  • the internationally recognised exam ‘Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal’ (‘Educatief Professioneel C1’ for all language related programmes, ‘Educatief Startbekwaam B2’ for all other programmes):;
  • the NT2-exam ‘Staatsexamen Nederlands als tweede taal – programme II’ for all programmes except language related programmes:

How to apply

In most cases, you need to complete and submit an online application.

The deadline for applications for recognised refugees living in Belgium is 15 May. 

Explore the PhD programme / doctoral opportunities

The Antwerp Doctoral School helps PhD candidates complete the PhD process successfully and prepares them for their careers by means of tailor-made doctoral programmes. You need to have a Masters degree in order to be eligible for a PhD programme. See the PhD procedure here

Working at the University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp supports the Science4Refugees initiative of the European Commission and encourages asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

All vacancies at the University of Antwerp as posted on the European job portal Euraxess and the UAntwerp jobsite with the Science4refugee logo are explicitly open to asylum-seekers and refugees.

For further information about working at UAntwerp, you can contact the International Staff Office.

THEA: A flexible programme for refugees with higher education prospects

The four institutions of the Antwerp University Association offer a specially developed programme for refugees: THEA. THEA allows refugees to ‘try’ higher education during the final stages of their Dutch language studies. The aim is to allow these prospective students to find out more about the study programme they would like to take, which should help them prepare to make a well-informed decision. The project is organised in cooperation with Atlas, the agency for civic integration of the City of Antwerp. 

What does the THEA programme involve?

  1. Selection: Candidates are selected by Atlas on the basis of their higher education prospects. They follow a study orientation plan with Atlas and have a clear idea about which study programme they would like to enrol in. Of course, they must also fulfil certain criteria (see below). Atlas draws up an agreement with each candidate.
  2. Induction into the higher education institution: Participants are referred to a contact person at the higher education institution. This contact person organises an intake interview between the participant and the student counsellor for the programme the participant would like to enrol in. 
  3. Composition of the programme: The participant and his/her student counsellor discuss the choice of programme components for the THEA programme. Administrative aspects are also discussed. The student counsellor contacts the relevant lecturers and arranges a place for the ‘extra’ student in their education and evaluation activities. 
  4. Participation in the THEA programme: The participant takes part in all education and evaluation activities. The lecturers involved provide appropriate information about the quality of the participant’s study activities (level, progress etc.), especially in terms of programme choice and chances of successful programme completion.
  5. Definitive enrolment in the most suitable higher education programme following successful completion of the required Dutch language exams.

Conditions for participation

The conditions for participation in the THEA programme are as follows:

  • The candidate should belong to one of the following categories: a refugee, a person receiving protection on humanitarian grounds (Dutch: subsidiair beschermde) or a family member being reunited with a refugee. In certain cases the programme is also extended to other newcomers in Belgium.
  • The candidate fulfils the qualification requirements for higher education and the relevant documents have been verified by the higher education institution concerned.
  • The candidate has achieved CEFR level B1 in Dutch (equivalent to Level 3 at Linguapolis or Level 2.4 in an adult education centre) and has registered for the next level.
  • The candidate has been selected by Atlas as a candidate with higher education prospects.
  • The candidate has completed a study orientation plan at Atlas.

For more information on the THEA programme, please contact Mrs Eveline Philippaerts from Atlas on or +32 (0) 3 338 70 16.

Psychological support available

Studying a full time programme can be an overwhelming experience. A new language, a new academic culture, new friends and a new country.  You do not have to deal with it all alone. The University's student counsellors are available for individual advice. Find out more.