CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Education in a federal system: A case-study of Belgium

Caroline Varin, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Brendan O'Leary

Date of this Version: 17 April 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.



The administration of primary and secondary education in Belgium is divided among the three federal regions and has yielded very different results in student performances, particularly in Flanders and Wallonia/Bruxelles-Capitale: the Flemings are consistently stronger in subjects such as languages and mathematics and there are fewer students failing school in Flemish areas than in the Francophone regions (PISA 2000, 2003). Different educational systems across ethnic lines can increase social and economic inequality. In a federal country such as Belgium with pre-existing ethnic tensions, this inequality can lead to political instability. This paper investigates the disparities in education within the Flemish and Walloon-Brussels regions, how this impacts Belgian society, and the potential courses of action that can be taken to address this problem.


Other Political Science

Suggested Citation

Varin, Caroline, "Education in a federal system: A case-study of Belgium" 17 April 2006. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 28 June 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.




Creative Commons License Articles in CUREJ are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.