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Official Name:BelgiumPopulation:10, 3 million people
Capital:BrusselsState language:German, French, Dutch
Form of Government:Constitutional MonarchyAdministrative division:Belgium has 10 provinces and 1 city
International phone code:32Time difference with Moscow:-2 hours
Monetary unit:Euro (EUR)Rate:1 EUR = 89.09 RUR




Basic information about Belgium.

Belgium is situated in Western Europe. It is bound by France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the North Sea. The country's topography is that of large, fertile, low-lying plains. The capital of the country is Brussels and the population is 10.7 million. There are two main language communities in Belgium: the Dutch-speaking Flemish in the north, and the Frenchspeaking Walloons in the south. Brussels is officially bilingual. In the far eastern part of the country, there is a small German-speaking community. The Dutch-, French- and Germanspeakers form three autonomous communities, each with their own linguistic and cultural policies.

The three regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels) have jurisdiction over transport, public works, economic and industrial policy, etc. In addition to the regions and linguistic communities, there are 10 provinces and 589 municipalities. Belgium is a constitutional monarchy with King Albert II (who ascended the throne in 1993) as Head of State.

Higher education in Belgium.

In Belgium, the two communities are responsible for making decisions on services such as education. The Flemish Community is therefore responsible for education in the Dutch-speaking part of the country, whilst the French Community is the governing authority for the Frenchspeaking part of Belgium.

The colleges of higher education and universities have recently introduced the bachelor-master structure, beginning in the 2004-2005 academic year. The former higher education structure, i.e. basic one-cycle courses, basic two-cycle courses and academic courses, has been abandoned.