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VLIR-UOS awards scholarships to students from Africa, Asia and Latin-America to follow a training or master programme at a Dutch speaking university or university college in Belgium. The eligible training or master programmes are taught in English. They are designed for people in positions of responsibility in civil society.

The scholarships cover all related expenses. For application, please visit the website of the training or master programme. You can apply for a scholarship from October 2012 (master programmes) or November 2012 (master programmes organised at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and all training programmes). The deadline for application for the master programmes: 1 February 2013; for training programmes: check the programme websites.

You can apply for a scholarship if you meet the following requisites: 

  • You are a resident AND national of one of the countries on the country list (not necessarily the same country for residence and nationality). Please note that candidates must reside in one of these countries at the moment of application. 
  • You are not older than 40 years* if you apply for a scholarship to follow a master programme. Or you are not older than 45 years* if you apply for a scholarship to follow a training programme. (* on 1 January 2012)
  • You have the required English proficiency. You need a proof of at least 1 year of comprehensive English-based instruction at a university or recognized equivalent. If not, a TOEFL test is required with a minimum total score of 550 on the paper based test (PBT), or 79 on an internet based test (IBT); or an IELTS test with a minimum overall band score of 6,5; or a proof of another test of similar level as TOEFLE or IELTS.
  • Professional experience and employment perspectives are not required for a master programme, but they can be a competitive advantage for selection, depending on the programme. Present employment or reintegration perspectives are required for a training programme. The candidate must be currently employed or have a written (future) employer’s guarantee of (re)integration in an employment where the acquired knowledge and skills will be immediately applicable.
  • Earlier applications and scholarships: You do not apply for more than one VLIR-UOS scholarship a year. You have never received a master scholarship funded by the Belgian government before. You are only admissible for a training programme scholarship if you have not received a VLIR-UOS scholarship for a training programme before.
  • Only for employees of a university that currently receives support from VLIR-UOS through the IUC programme or OI programme: you need a letter from the IUC or OI coordinator stating that your department is not involved in IUC or OI. Contact the programme manager in the IUC or OI office at your university for further information.

For selection we take into account the following criteria:

  • Motivation: It is essential that the candidate’s motivation demonstrates the possibility of transferring knowledge or creating extension activities, and having a specific developmental dimension.
  • Professional experience, preferably in a research institution, a higher education institution, the government sector (national/regional/local), the sector of social economy, or an NGO. Preferably expertise in development relevant matters.
  • Present employment/reintegration perspectives, preferably in a research institution, a higher education institution, the government sector (national/regional/local), the sector of social economy, or an NGO. Preferably with the possibility to generate an impact through the transfer of knowledge, extension activities or otherwise. Not in the commercial profit sector.
  • Previous scholarships: Prioririty will be given to the application of a candidate for a master programme who did not already has been granted a previous master scholarship. For a candidate for a training programme, the selection committee assesses the opportunity of a VLIR-UOS scholarship award, taking into consideration the candidates’ previous study and scholarship curriculum.
  • Gender: In case of two equally qualified candidates of different sexes, preference will be given to the female candidate. The selection commission will aim at a parity or relative balance between the number of men and the number of women awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship.
  • Regional balance: The selection commission will try to ensure that 50% of a programme’s scholarships are granted to candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Social background: In case of two equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates from a  disadvantaged area within their country or an ethnic or social minority group, especially when these candidates can provide proof of leadership potential.

For the academic admission criteria please check the requirements of the training or master programmes.



Nationality and place of residence
Only persons who are resident AND national of one of the following countries (not necessarily the same country for residence and nationality) are eligible for a VLIR-UOS scholarship. Please note that candidates must reside in one of these countries at the moment of application.

  • Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Latin America: Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay

The Belgian government does not allow us to give scholarships to residents or nationals from other countries than those on the country list. Alternative sponsors can be found on

In the shorter training programmes, lasting one to four months, the focus is on transferring skills rather than knowledge, thus creating opportunities for cooperation and networking.


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Tags: Belgium, Call for Applications, MA, Master, Training, scholarships

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