KU Leuven advances enrolment deadline

From next year onwards, students will only be able to enroll and re-enroll until 20 September. However, an exception is provided for students who wish to reorient.

From 2023-2024, the start of the academic year at KU Leuven will look completely different. The university already announced the introduction of Freshers' Days. Those days should prepare starting students in the week before classes start, to begin their university career in the best possible way.

But the redesign also means the deadline for enrolment will be pushed back. Students will only be able to register until the 20th of September. Until last year, that deadline was set on the third Wednesday of the academic year.

To compensate for that earlier date, KU Leuven has promised to provide more flexible exception procedures. A feather in the cap of the KU Leuven Student Council (Stura).

Immediately focused

According to Vice Rector of Education Policy Tine Baelmans, the date has been moved to ensure that students are involved in their studies from the start of the academic year. 'By engaging them on time, they can immediately focus on the new academic year,' she clarifies.

Baelmans wants the reform to motivate new students to take part in the freshers' days. New students will therefore have less time to make a well-considered study choice. Since in the coming years, more and more students will have to take a gauging test during the summer holidays, they will have ideally already made that choice much earlier.

These starter tests have been developed by Education Minister Ben Weyts (N-VA) and his predecessor Hilde Crevits (cd&v). They replace the binding and non-binding entrance exams already organized by KU Leuven for some disciplines. In this way, the Flemish government hopes to give new students an indication of where they stand and whether they are ready before they start their studies.

Well-considered study choice

As mentioned by Baelmans, particularly students who wish to reorientate benefited from the later enrollment deadline. Concern that those students would be particularly affected by the reform was also prevalent among student representatives.

Since there was little time between the publication of the results of the third examination period and the enrolment deadline, those students can now apply for an exception. According to Baelmans, this allows everyone to make an informed study choice.

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