A recent analysis by the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) is predicting an additional 10,000 students in secondary schools across the Belgian capital by 2025.
The institute calculated that in the 2024-2025 school year, almost 110,000 pupils will be enrolled in a Brussels secondary school – an increase of 10% compared to 2020.
Thereafter, numbers are forecast to drop slightly to 107,000 students for the years 2029-2030.
Additional capacity to meet this increase is planned: between 2009-2010 and 2019-2020, almost 8,700 new places were created in secondary education in the Brussels-Capital Region; another 12,500 are expected to be added by 2025.
But BISA insists that additional capacity must be implemented effectively and on time, without reducing the existing supply.
They noted that in the past, additional planned capacity has often been delayed at various levels, for example when awarding public contracts, granting building permits or completing construction work. Such delays must absolutely be avoided in view of the expected surge in students, BISA warns.
‘Given the situation and unmet needs, creating new secondary school places before the start of the school year from 2022 to 2025 is essential,’ the study says.
Whilst demand for places in secondary education grows, the inverse is true in primary education in Brussels. Since 2016-2017, the number of pupils enrolled in Brussels kindergartens has been declining and is expected to continue to do so in the future.