Highly skilled, trained, and multilingual
Students can choose from a variety of disciplines, such as economics, engineering, medical sciences, and many more. What sets Antwerp apart is the additional range of internationally-renowned programmes in specific knowledge domains relating to sectors of the Antwerp economy, like logistics, fashion, and technology. Thanks to these academic programmes, Antwerp’s entrepreneurs benefit from a large pool of highly-trained, specialised talent that helps shape the future of the city’s economy – and can do the same for your business.
Let’s put it this way: future talent feels at home in Antwerp. It’s a dynamic place. In Antwerp, ‘talent’ isn’t just a noun, it’s a way of being. This city welcomes more than 50,000 students annually to its numerous higher education institutions. There, they prepare themselves for international careers in diverse domains that are often unique to Antwerp, including logistics, fashion and technology.
Antwerp changes people’s world view
World-famous creative minds have settled in Antwerp from all over the world, often sticking around after completing one of the unique and internationally-focused educational courses on offer. Having so many students of diverse nationalities helps keep the Antwerp spirit young and broad-minded. The student body is a tight-knit community, transcending courses and institutions. This young and highly-educated population makes Antwerp the ideal breeding ground for the start-ups and spin-offs that are revolutionising hundreds of areas of business. The fast-growing University of Antwerp, various globally respected colleges, business incubators, and knowledge and competence centres all co-operate closely with the rest of the exceptionally productive local economy. The secret? A solid network of universities and colleges offering world-class education and research, paired with a positive, proud, and dedicated work ethic.
On top: Antwerp University (UA)
With campuses all over the city, the University of Antwerp is famous for its excellent, high-quality, innovative research. The University of Antwerp was the first Belgian university to receive the renowned prestigious international AACSB accreditation and its MBA degree is also AMBA-accredited. The University of Antwerp MBA ranks 7th worldwide in terms of value for money according to the Financial Times Masters in Management ranking 2022.
Antwerp Management School (AMS)
Creativity goes hand-in-hand with healthy and reliable business insight, the best of which is developed at the Financial Times-ranked Antwerp Management School. It’s executive MBA programme is the absolute number 1 in the Benelux countries and is ranked 22nd worldwide according to the ESG ranking. It is the highest ranking ever achieved by a Belgian business school.
Ranking of the AMS Master programmes on the Eduniversal Best Masters
A global ranking and rating agency specialising in higher education headquartered in Paris. The company has established strong expertise in evaluating academic institutions and programmes in France since 1994, and internationally since 2007.
- Master in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Ranked No.15 in Entrepreneurship
- Master in Human Resource Management
Ranked No.7 in Human Resources Management
- Master in Global Supply Chain Management
Ranked No.8 in Supply Chain and Logistics
- Master in Management
Ranked No.10 in General Management
- Master in Fashion Management
Ranked No.9 in Fashion Management
- Master in Maritime and Air Transport Management
Ranked No.14 in Maritime Management
- Master in Real Estate Management
Ranked No.11 in Real Estate / Wealth Management
- Master in Public Management
Ranked No.6 in Public Administration / Management
- Master in Business and IT Management
Ranked No.10 in Information Systems Management
Other Antwerp institutions for higher education
- AP University of Applied Sciences and Arts Antwerp welcomes students at a recently renovated, high-tech campus that boasts excellent facilities, including a fully-functioning operating theatre for aspiring healthcare professionals.
- Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences & Arts prides itself on attracting diverse talent to create a multidisciplinary way of thinking and working. Its varied programmes include unique innovative Multimedia Technology training with practical applications in 3D, 4D, virtual reality and more.
- The Maritime Academy offers training to students hailing from many different countries, with international students making up more than one third of the Academy’s student body.
- As pioneers in contemporary advances in AIDS research, Antwerp’s Institute of Tropical Medicine changes lives via education, medical services and improved health systems for developing countries. Antwerp’s scientists have made some of the biggest breakthroughs in research against threats such as Zika, Ebola and malaria.
- The prestigious Fashion Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is considered one of the world’s most important and influential fashion schools. Alumni and faculty include powerhouse designers such as Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela and Demna Gvasalia.
A unique range of study programmes
What sets Antwerp apart is a unique concentration of study programmes within a relatively small area. Within a radius of 204 km², students can choose from more than 200 study programmes offered by the city’s institutions of higher education, in various disciplines such as economics, engineering, medical sciences and much more. What makes us really special is the additional range of renowned programmes – often with an international reputation - in specific knowledge domains related to sectors of the Antwerp economy.
Expats and International Schools
Should you decide to make Antwerp your new home, rest assured that your children will get a top-notch international education. Our city has four international schools specifically geared towards the children of expats. They offer high-quality education paths from kindergarten up to and including a high school diploma that offers access to the world’s top universities.
Talent in a city of opportunities
Thanks to these study programmes, the Antwerp region boasts a large pool of highly-trained and specialised talent that is helping to shape the future of the Antwerp economy. Company managers have identified a flexible, internationally-focused mentality among the talent in Antwerp that, combined with their multilingualism and excellent training, enables them to perform well in an increasingly dynamic, global environment.
Entrepreneurial talent is also given every opportunity to flourish at an early stage in Antwerp. For example, TAKEOFFANTWERP, an initiative organised by the Antwerp University Association, the City of Antwerp, VOKA Chamber of Commerce Antwerp-Waasland and student organisation SINC, offers various forms of support to young/student entrepreneurs.
These starters can obtain a specific status as ‘student entrepreneurs’, which provides them with many benefits. The workforce of Flanders and Antwerp is multilingual, highly-educated, and loyal. Ours is also one of the most productive labour forces in the world, thanks to its diverse culture and top-ranked universities and educational institutions.
higher education institutions
Source: city of Antwerp, 2022
Source: Education in Flanders 2022
place worldwide for Master in Business Economics
Source: Financial Times - Masters in Management ranking 2022
Young University Rankings 2023
A city packed with human capital
Antwerp is a place where the human capital of your business will help it grow and thrive. In Antwerp, you’ll find a highly-trained and well-motivated workforce. The abour productivity in Antwerp ranks at the top of the EU’s. Antwerp’s workforce is also highly trained. 41% hold a tertiary degree compared to the EU27 average of 33% (source: City in Numbers, 2022, Eurostat 2022). Language skills in Antwerp are quite unique from a European point of view. The average Fleming is Dutch-speaking and has a good command of English and French. Many also master German, Spanish and Italian. Antwerp has over 173 nationalities within its city limits so multilingual professionals aren’t all that hard to find. Last but not least, the cost of labour in Antwerp is significantly lower than Paris and London, even though Antwerp has one of the highest rates of productivity and education in the world.
Innovative frontrunner: regional assets
Antwerp is at the fore of high-tech industry. There are 536,000 people in the province of Antwerp who have a final school certificate and/or are employed in the fields of science and technology – the highest number in Belgium. Over 15,000 people in the province of Antwerp work in research and development, which is over one quarter of all people employed in the R&D sector in Flanders.
The province of Antwerp devotes €2.5 billion to research and development each year. That is 24% of the Belgian total and 39% of the Flemish total, putting Antwerp in first place in Flanders.
The Flemish region is a regional innovation leader according to the European Commission’s Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2023. Antwerp scores highly in terms of budget spent on R&D per citizen compared to other European non-capital cities (source: Eurostat - 2020).
Start Me Up
Many young graduates come to Antwerp - and stay to start their careers and their lives. No wonder the city of Antwerp contains a lively startup scene and a remarkably young, creative and IT-savvy population of early adopters. Multiple incubators and accelerators connect venture capital investors with promising entrepreneurial pursuits, and several local government programmes provide support in the form of affordable office space and expert advice. As a testing ground for innovative ideas, Antwerp provides young companies from all areas - the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, health, energy, design, advertising and fashion - with valuable feedback that prepares them for the global stage.