Connecting South Africa and Europe with superior IT tertiary education: welcome to the Belgium Campus

| June 9, 2011 | 1 Comment

By Fiona de Villiers

Nestled against a magnificent rocky ridge in Pretoria, lies the Belgium Campus, a non-profit and registered Public Beneficiary organisation.

Established in 1999, this tertiary institution positions itself as a Belgian-operated private, higher education institution with a focus on Information Technology (IT).

A unique opportunity to study IT

This college is the only one of its kind in southern Africa. Its courses are fully recognised in Europe and are underwritten by the Limburg Catholic University College, a member of the Association of the Catholic University of Leuven, according to a benchmarking process based on the accreditation protocol of the Dutch and Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO).

The Belgium Campus is also proud to have been selected as an associate of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union. The Erasmus Mundus programme was created in December 2003 as the international component of the European Erasmus (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) programme, the operational framework for the European Commission’s initiatives in higher education.

The Belgium Campus calls itself an ITversity. Explains Director Enrico Jacobs, “We are computer science specialists. Theoretical knowledge is applied to the latest software requirements. Methods of teaching are carefully chosen to help students think logically and promote creative problemsolving to diverse IT situations. The Belgium Campus is registered with the Department of Education as a private higher education institution offering a Diploma in Information Technology National Qualification Framework (NQF 5) and a Bachelors Degree of Computing NQF 6. The Diploma and the Bachelors Degree are accredited by the Council on Higher Education and are listed with South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).”

Curricula streamlined to meet the specific needs of IT industry

Rigorous study in pleasant surroundings defines the Belgium campus experience. Students chat as they stroll up and down the steep paths between classes. Says Jacobs, “The Belgium Campus is well equipped with modern computer classrooms. It also has a library which is open from 8:00 – 21:00 during the week. The entire Campus is covered by a wireless network for our students. The Belgium Campus has a small enrolment by design. We aim to maintain an acceptable student/ lecturer ratios in the classrooms as IT demands individual attention as a critical complement to effective instruction to learners.”
Admission to the Belgium campus is open to all qualifying students, offering affordable courses of study. Student bursaries and student loans are available for those who struggle to finance tertiary studies. Says Jacobs, the founders of the Belgium Campus care deeply about equipping young people with the skills necessary to thrive in a 21st century global economy. “Curricula have been developed in consultation with leaders of the IT industry both here and abroad in order to enhance their relevance to
ICT needs.”

Post-study options also provided

The Belgium campus cares about post-study options for its students too. A one year paid internship undertaken in South Africa or Europe is a compulsory graduation requirement for all. Ronald de Klerk, proud graduate of the Belgium Campus, said of his experience, “While an internship in a smaller company would have proved an easier task, I am thankful for the exposure to high lever development. The skills learnt at Cegeka in the Netherlands provide me with a distinct advantage whether I decide to further my studies or pursue a career in development. Life outside of the work environment is very casual. I live in a student hostel where most of the people travel to other countries or cities over the weekend and holidays.

The social system aids students in providing affordable accommodation and public transport systems. It is possible to see Europe, experience the people and cultures while working and in doing so making yourself an asset to any company.” Adds Jacobs, “Our mission is to help young adults accomplish their career goals. We work closely with students and the relevant industries to ensure a high rate of employment.”

In our next issue we will discuss how the Belgium Campus is striving to help end the scarce skills situation in South Africa.

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Category: Winter 2011

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  1. Abner Sibeko says:

    Last Saturday I took my son to be tested by Psychologist and Counsellor on what he can study toward to Sonia Roux at Rietondale Pretoria.
    She recommended Computer Avenues in your Compus I want to know if we can still apply for next year? Here are his Grade 11 Final Year’s results English B, Physics B, Math C, Life Orintation A and all the rest of his Subjects are B’s.
    we also would love to be assisted in a form of a Bursary if at all possle.
    kind regards

    SA Sibeko

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