Conseil Social (CS / Social Council)


Conseil Social (CS / Social Council)

Name of the institution(s)

Haute École Louvain en Hainaut (HELHa)

Qualification level concerned



Country concerned

 Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (French-speaking Belgium)



Mission/Role of Professional Higher Education


Social dimension; student support


The goal of the Conseil social (CS) is to develop a “social policy” supporting the provision of a positive environment for each and every student in higher education.

HELHa developed a ‘Social Service’ for students; proposes subsidies to students individually or collectively; and developed a health information service through the CS.

The CS is an organisation based in law for all Haute Ecoles in French-speaking Belgium.

Each Haute Ecole has a CS by law, and receives subsidies from the Ministry for French-speaking Belgium [a dedicated Belgian ministry for the French-speaking community of Belgium], the CS is administering these subsidies. It provides financial support (individual and collective) and Information regarding social services to students.

Social Services for students include: support in administrative work towards Belgian administration for direct financial support from the state (accommodation, transport, etc.); provision of legal information on rights as a tenant, as a student, as a young person; support in personal (home) problems; in case of ‘dire financial need’, and based on criteria, can give an individual financial support (mostly for university fees [which are between 0 EUR and 454 EUR / year – extra-EU students between, 992 EUR and 1984 EUR]).

Collective financial support: proposal supported by direction, students, staff together; proposal should aim at “bettering student-life quality”. It is based on one campus area. [The schools are covering sometimes several cities, and also several campuses within one city].

Main criteria are based on income levels (and on criteria for generic ‘student subsidies’ [“bourses d’études” – not allocated by the schools themselves] which are also based on income levels) and number of “”personnes à charge” (persons being cared for: children, elderly…)

Lessons learnt

CS were established by politicians in 1995 and are still running with success.

Members of the CS are supporting the initiative (CS is composed, by law, of 25% representatives of direction, 25% representatives of staff members, 50% elected representatives of students), e.g. staff and student unions.

There is a large support in French-speaking Belgium for ‘social support’ in general.

Contact details

Philippe De Coninck, Representative of CGHE (Conseil Général des Hautes Écoles) philippe.deconinck[at]

First collected by

IDEAS project (Identifying Effective Approaches to Enhancing the Social Dimension), 2013-2015