Conseil Social (CS / Social Council)

Through a Legal Decree a social council has been established that provides subsidies and information and guidance on housing, finance and health information for all students of Haute Ecoles in French speaking Belgium.

Objectives of the Intervention

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

Origins and rationale of this initiative

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.

Target groups intended as beneficiaries of this initiative

All students of the Haute Ecoles.
‘Social Service’ for students: 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…)

No direct reference to discrimination/non-discrimination – but it is included (non-discrimination) in generic Belgian law.

Political and socio-economic factors that you believe have been important enablers for your initiative

Established by politicians.

One can imagine the 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.

Large support in French-speaking Belgium for ‘social support’ in general.

Overall Programme design and the methods and tools used to reach the goals

Financial support (individual and collective).
Information provision.

No real final outputs… The CS is an organisation within each Haute Ecole

Describe if the project ensured its sustainability

100% public funding

Did the intervention reach its objectives?

Stated that HELHa received about 830 000 EUR in 2011; based on a ministerial ‘social subsidy’ of 111,31 EUR per student.

Budget in three categories:
- At least 10% for ‘Conseil des Etudiants’ (CdS, Students’ Council) (included in decree)
- Larger part for individual financial support to students
- A part for collective financial support

A priori members of the CS are not paid for this task