APS screening for Chinese students

Students with a Chinese diploma need to obtain the APS certificate, when applying at a Flemish higher education institution. An APS certificate is a condition for obtaining a student visa at the Belgian Embassy or Consulates General in PR China.

Chinese nationals with a Chinese diploma need to obtain the APS certificate, when applying at a Flemish higher education institution. An APS certificate is a condition for obtaining a student visa at the Belgian Embassy or Consulates General in PR China.

The APS screening is not an academic selection procedure, but is meant to avoid document fraud and to guarantee a sufficient language knowledge.

APS procedure

In order to start up the procedure, students need to contact the .

The screening consists of 2 phases:

  1. Authenticity screening of documents (diplomas, certificates, exam results,..). Either the student’s home institution will be contacted, or databases of graduates issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education will be consulted.
  2. Academic interview*: the plausibility interview aims to identify "authentic, but not truthful" diplomas (or certificates) which were obtained by document fraud, for example.

*The plausibility interview: the cost of the document screening and the interview amounts to 2500 RMB (around €250) in total.

The students have three (3) opportunities to pass the APS interview.

The minimum period between the re-sit interviews is three (3) months.

After the plausibility interview has been successfully completed, the APS certificate is drawn up, which refers to the screened diplomas and gives a non-binding indication of the candidate’s oral proficiency in English during the interview.

The Chinese student with the APS certificate may then apply for a student visa at the Belgian Embassy or the Belgian Consulate-General in China and may effectively enroll at a Flemish institute of higher education.

More detailed information and information on the documents to be submitted is available on the APS website

Conditions for APS screening procedure

Students can apply for the APS certificate in case

  • They have finished at least one semester at a so called “211 university”
  • They have finished at least three semesters at another official Chinese university

The APS-certificate is not granted in case of

  • Document fraud
  • Insufficient language knowledge

Possible exemptions

All students from the People’s Republic of China holding a Chinese diploma need to obtain the APS certificate.

However, certain categories of students/researchers can be exempted from a part of the APS screening procedure or from the entire APS certificate.

Categories that can be exempted from a part of the APS screening procedure: exemption from the plausibility interview

  • Chinese students who are already legally residing in Belgium at the time of their application to enrol at a Flemish institute of higher education
  • Chinese students who, after a selection interview by a Flemish University, have been admitted to the doctorate

Procedure for exemption of the plausibility interview (phase 2 of the APS screening procedure. Requests to be exempted from the interview (i.e. phase 2 of the APS procedure) can only be passed on to the APS Centre in China by and per institute of higher education and coordinated by the Department of Education and Training.

So, in order to get a partial or full exemption and with view on applying for your visa for studies, you are required to send the following information to the International Relations Office at Ghent University - International Support Team () who will pass on this information to the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training in Brussels:

  • email the students’ names, first names and dates of birth, student’s home institution
  • plus either a confirmation that the Chinese candidate is legally residing in Belgium
  • plus either a confirmation of the selection interview with the Chinese doctoral student

The Department of Education and Training will then email these exemptions to the APS Centre in China through cumulative lists for each institute of higher education with the names, first names and dates of birth of the Chinese candidates.

Categories that can be exempted from the APS certificate: exemption from the entire APS screening phase:

This new regulation shall take effect from the academic year 2018-2019 onwards. In other words, for students and researchers who will start their academic mobility or their exchange period in the academic year 2018-2019.

  • Chinese students who are going on mobility (for exchange or to obtain a degree) in the context of a bilateral agreement between a Chinese and a Flemish institute of higher education
  • Chinese students who are going on mobility (for exchange or to obtain a degree) in the context of an official exchange programme, such as Erasmus Mundus, ASEM-DUO or International Course Programmes (ICP)
  • Chinese students who hold a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council (CSC)
  • Chinese students who have already successfully followed a higher education programme and/or obtained credits in a country other than China
  • Chinese students with diplomas from Hong Kong and Macao
  • Refugees from the People's Republic of China
  • Non-Chinese students with a diploma obtained in the People's Republic of China

Procedure for exemption of the APS certificate.

Requests to be exempted from the APS certificate can only be passed on to the Belgian diplomatic posts in China by and per institute of higher education and coordinated by the Department of Education and Training.

So, in order to get a partial or full exemption and with view on applying for your visa for studies, you are required to send the following information to the International Relations Office at Ghent University - International Support Team () who will pass on this information to the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training in Brussels:

  • email the students’ names, first names and dates of birth, student’s home institution
  • plus either a confirmation letter of CSC
  • plus either proof of having have already successfully followed a higher education programme and/or obtained credits in a country other than China

The Department of Education and Training will then email these exemptions to the APS Centre in China through cumulative lists for each institute of higher education with the names, first names and dates of birth of the Chinese candidates.

Reimbursement of APS screening fee

The APS screening fee will be reimbursed by the China Platform. Please note that the amount that can be reimbursed for the APS screening procedure is not inexhaustible but is based on the stipulated amount of 100 € for a partial APS screening (phase 1) and 190 € for a full APS screening procedure (phase 1 + 2). These amounts are based on the fixed fees in Chinese Yuan.

You can apply for the reimbursement of your APS screening costs by following this procedure:

  1. Send an e-mail to with subject: “Reimbursement APS cost” and mention a private e-mail address (not UGent e-mail).
  2. You will receive an invitation to claim your costs in an online tool.
  3. In this online tool, you will need to upload the following documents:
  • Copy of APS certificate
  • Copy of proof of payment APS screening costs
  • Copy of Ghent University student card
  • Copy of Belgian bank card

Contact APS Centre

APS-website (in Chinese)