Belgium is fast becoming a popular destination for international students with its high quality of education and high-ranking universities. Also, the number of universities offering programs in English is increasing, attracting even more students globally.

Most of the top universities in the country host many international students who comprise around 15-20% of their student population. It provides students a more global environment with high chances of building connections and growing intellectually and emotionally in a diverse, multicultural environment.

As a country with several globally acclaimed universities, Belgium also proactively pursues academic competence with its Data Science programs. Most universities offer a Master’s program in Data Science to help provide their students with excellent theoretical and practical skills. The programs are taught in English for graduates to gain easier access to the international labor market with a growing demand for globally competent data scientists. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities for data science in Belgium!

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Top Universities for Data Science in Belgium

1. KU Leuven

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) opened in 1425, making it the oldest and among the best universities for data science in Belgium. Its Catholic identity brought many positive and negative changes to the university that helped shape its current reputation. Its long history helped it naturally adapt to the changes in generations and the demands of modern times. As a result, it now ranks among the top 100 universities globally.

Even in its early years, KU Leuven had already attracted several students from other countries and hosted numerous world-renowned scholars, such as Erasmus and Mercator. It currently hosts a massive student population of over 62,000 students—18% of which are international students.

The Master of Statistics and Data Science program at KU Leuven offers graduates prospective careers in various fields, including business, biometrics, behavioral or educational science, and more. The program lasts two years and provides 120 ECTS credits. The annual tuition fee for prospective students in the 2022 uptake ranges from €980 for students from EEA member countries to €3,900 for non-EEA students.

2. Ghent University

Ghent University started operations in 1817 in Flanders, Belgium. Classes in the university were initially conducted in Latin, then French. Eventually, the university adopted Dutch as the medium of instruction. These days, to cater to the growing number of incoming international students, the university offers courses and programs in either Dutch or English.

It is popular among international students who comprise 14%—roughly 7,000—of the total student population. Most international students come from European countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. Non-European students are mainly from Asian countries, such as China and India. Many of these international students take up Engineering and Science courses.

Ghent University is an excellent school for data science in Belgium that offers a two-year Master of Science in Business Engineering Major in Data Analytics program with 120 ECTS credits and a subsequent one-year Master of Science in Data Science for Business program with 60 ECTS. Both programs are English-taught and provide graduates with the necessary skills and background to pursue a promising career relevant to Data Science.

3. University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp officially opened in 2003 from the merger of three institutions in Antwerp: the Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (RUCA) and the Universitaire Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius Antwerpen (UFSIA) established in 1852 and the Universitaire Instelling Antwerpen (UIA) founded in 1971. The excellence and experience brought in by its three parent institutions helped the university gain global recognition among universities under 50 years old.

Today, the University of Antwerp is another top-notch university for data science in Belgium and is home to over 21,000 students, roughly 18% coming from more than 130 countries. Almost a quarter of its approximately 6,000 staff are also international. The university population is spread among nine faculties, 148 programs—25 of which are taught in English.

To have direct admission for the Master of Computer Science: Data Science and Artificial Intelligence program, applicants must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Science. Upon admission, students may select among three majors: Data Science, Computer Networks, or Software Engineering. Graduates of the program earn 120 ECTS credits after two years.

4. University of Liège

The University of Liège is one of the recognized data science universities in Belgium with the highest proportion of international students, comprising 22% of its total student population and representing roughly 120 countries. The institution traces its history back to 1808 but officially became a university in 1817. Currently, the university has 11 faculties on four campuses.

The Master of Science in Data Science degree at the University of Liège requires students to have a solid background in skills necessary for a promising career in data science, such as applied mathematics, computer science, and statistics. Therefore, students with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or Engineering Science may have direct access. The university will evaluate the applicants’ academic background and require additional courses and credits before admission to the program.

In addition to the fundamentals of Data Science, the program will provide students with management and legal courses specific to AI, robots, and data. The program lasts two years with 120 ECTS credits and is taught entirely in English to help prepare graduates for an international career.

5. University of Hasselt

Limburg University Center (LUC) opened in 1973 as the predecessor of the University of Hasselt. In 2002, it established the transnational University of Limburg (tUL) in partnership with the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

The University of Hasselt is also one of the leading universities for data science in Belgium that acquired its current name in 2005. In less than fifty years, the university managed to establish seven faculties, two schools, four research institutes, and more. Currently, the university hosts almost 7,000 students—15% of whom are international students.

The university offers a Master of Statistics and Data Science program focusing on life sciences. All students take the same fundamental courses in the first semester and gradually select courses specific to their chosen specialization starting from the second semester. The four specializations they may select from are Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Data Science, and Quantitative Epidemiology.


I hope that this article on Best Universities for Data Science in Belgium was helpful. To know more information on how you can study in Europe, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.