Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

Vlerick Business School


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: March 14, 2023.

Contact Information

Manhattan Office Tower
Bolwerklaan 21,
1210 Brussels, Belgium
Admissions Office:

School Data

Annual Tuition: €41,500

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Full-Time Enrollment: 36

International: 80%

Female: 40%

Male: 60%

Application Deadlines: July 31, 2023

The best-known business school in the Benelux region, Vlerick’s main campus might be in Ghent, but the full-time international MBA takes place in the center of Brussels — home to the EU parliament, multinationals galore, and a train ride from most of Western Europe’s capitals. It’s also pretty and has lots of great bars. What’s not to love?

The school has a strong northern European pragmatism, and likes to talk about how practical its MBA is. It is moving toward a more “integrated” approach to teaching in the full-time MBA, which will be organized in “cycles”: Professors will spend a week teaching the fundamentals of their subjects, then participants will spend a week working on a practical problem. They then will present to executives from a business. Academics then step back in and hold a debrief and talk about further steps, or add more content or frameworks. The idea is to ensure that learning is rooted in real-world business contexts.

The short duration of this MBA — it lasts just 10 months — means it has less opportunity cost than most, but this comes with trade-offs. Electives — held with those studying EMBAs — are squeezed into three weekends, though participants can come back and take others after graduation. In order to maximize face-to-face time, Vlerick is increasingly using online tools to ensure participants are up to speed before they step into the classroom.

Obviously, there is less time for leisurely treks, though trips to China and South Africa are available, and MBAs also recently visited Dublin’s fintech scene. For all its compactness, Vlerick doesn’t skimp on the important things: The program ends with a two-month project working on a real business problem at a real company, ensuring participants get plenty of time to test out their new skills on the ground.

Vlerick also has a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, themes that are emphasized throughout; students who want to take the plunge into the start-up world have access to a fund set up by alumni. Short, relatively cheap, smart, and well-connected, Vlerick’s is a quintessential modern European MBA.

Professor Koen Dewettinck, Director of MBA programmes

Brussels is an SME nation and Belgium has an entrepreneurial vibe, which feeds into the MBA. Even if they are concentrating on a corporate career now, we want participants to have the skills to start their own business later if they want. Because we are a small school, we also have the same spirit.

Eighty percent of full-time MBA participants are looking to move to Europe, and there is a lot of diversity in that group. The 36 students in our current cohort are from 21 countries, and a range of professional and educational backgrounds. We cherish that diversity, and the opportunity to learn from others is very powerful.

Cedric Borglund Janson, MBA 2020

I worked in the hotel industry for five years in Europe and the Middle East, and wanted to add to my toolbox. A one-year MBA appealed to me because I didn’t want to take too long out of work. I was impressed by how international previous Vlerick cohorts had been, and how much the school supports people to change industries, which interests me.
Brussels is a real melting pot, and close to lots of European capitals, which appeals to many of the international students. Recently we’ve visited Google in Brussels, Trivago in Dusseldorf, and ASML in the Netherlands. I’ve been really impressed by the campus too, which is a skyscraper in central Brussels. Everything is so new, it even smells that way!