- Established since: 1990
- Website: Official website
- Website language: Dutch
Marleen Van Strydonck
Vlaamse Olympiades voor Natuurwetenschappen
p.a. KU Leuven - departement Chemie
Celestijnenlaan 200F, bus 2404
The Flemish Sciences Olympiads (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geography) are coordinated by a University Coordination centre at KU Leuven (printed matter, inscriptions, sponsor hunting, website, markings, final rounds…).
Each section has his own organizing committee and working groups and takes independently care of the tests.
Biology teachers are responsible for their students application. They apply directly in a web database. An application fee is due (5 € / student).
The Biology Olympiad is organized in three rounds: round 1 in January, round 2 in February or early March, the final round in April.
The best 2 students will go for the IBO.
- The process above selects the 2 Dutch-speaking Belgian students.
- The 2 other Belgian students (the rest of the Belgian IBO delegation) are selected through the Belgium: Olympiade de Biologie
Round 1: multiple choice; 25 questions; 2 hours; online in the participating schools; for approx. 2300 students most of them grade 12, a minority grade 11.
Round 2: multiple choice; 30 questions; 2 hours; at one of the Flemish Universities at turn role; for approx. 200 students.
Final round: theoretical test (40 questions; 2,5 hour) in the morning, practical test (2 parts, each 1 hour) in the afternoon; at one of the Flemish Universities at turn role (same university as round 2); for 17 students (= finalists)
The questions for each round are provided by different working groups. They are responsible for the selection of the questions out of a longlist, they work mainly by mail.
Easter Holidays: 4 day training with 17 finalists; with overnight stay at Youth Hostel Leuven.
Training venue: University of Leuven.
High school textbooks.
Selection of model questions available online; tests (former IBOs) online.
A training syllabus is provided to the 17 finalists.
The awarded prizes are diplomas and science (text)books.
Almost no money is involved (one € 150 grant is awarded to the top grade 12 laureate)
Medals are awarded at each level (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze, participation medal to all other laureates).
Unfortunately no specific access to anything (University or so) is linked to NBO awards.
Students applying for the Biology Olympiad are typically in grade 11 & 12.
Participation is individual, on a voluntary basis.
Biology Teachers are supposed to be the application driving force.
Begins: 1st of September
Ends: 30th of June
minimum 1, maximum 2 hours per week
some schools organise project hours, where students work on a group project; these projects can cover all subjects, not necessarily all of them are biology or science projects
32 lesson hours (each hour lasts in reality 50 minutes) for general education
it can be up to 36 hours in technical and vocational education
The NBO promotion and communication is carried out in close co-operation with the Chemistry, Fysics and Geography National Olympiads (information mailing, website, ...). This promotion is carried out by the secretariat Flemish olympiads for Natural Sciences
In October, they send an information package (folder, poster, instructions…) to each & every secondary school, to a wide group of science teachers, and to Science journalists.
This information is also available on
c/o KU Leuven, dep. Chemie
Celestijnenlaan 200F - bus 2404
Year 2020: 2332 students - 231 schools
Year 2019: 2463 students - 232 schools
Year 2018: 2379 students - 235 schools
Year 2017: 2797 students - 233 schools
Year 2016: 2710 students - 238 schools
The number of participating schools remains fairly constant, around 25%.
The number of participating students (average of 35%) is slightly decreasing but we see a similar decrease for the other science olympiads in Flanders.
The statistics are based on an average of 945 eligible schools and approx. 722 000 eligible students.
The result of the NBO (laureates) is sometimes published in local newspapers.
Media coverage is very limited.