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Universities open discussion on publicly funded international school
Brussels’ universities ULB (French-speaking) and VUB (Dutch-speaking) have opened a discussion on the possibility of launching a non-fee-paying international school. “Brussels education is not adapted to the multi-lingual reality,” said VUB rector Caroline Pauwels.
While there are no concrete plans, the rectors are setting their education specialists to work on options, such as how languages would be used in class. “For a legitimate multi-lingual education, pupils must go to an expensive, inaccessible European school,” said Pauwels. “And that has created an elite class based on social exclusion.”
The rectors are specifically discussing a secondary school that would teach in both French and Dutch. Students would also receive language lessons in the other language. English, said Pauwels, would “have a prominent role”.
Such an institution is currently legally and financially impossible because education is a regional competence, and schools in two languages are not funded. That is why all the international schools in Brussels are fee-based.
Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort is involved in the discussion and promised that a study regarding the issue would be ready before the May elections.
Photo: Jacob Lund/Getty Images