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Introduction to the VLIR-UOS Masters Scholarships
VLIR-UOS is a non-profit organization that offers full master’s scholarships to students from developing countries who wish to pursue higher education in Belgium. The scholarship covers all academic expenses, including tuition fees, accommodation, and travel expenses. It is worth noting that half of the scholarship is reserved for African students, and preference is given to women. The eligible training or Masters programs are taught in English and cover a wide range of fields, including but not limited to health, agriculture, and environmental sciences. The scholarship aims to support talented students from developing countries to pursue their academic goals and contribute to the development of their home countries.
- Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Niger
- Asia: Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Vietnam
- Latin America: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Peru
Accepted Subject Areas
Only the following English-taught courses at Belgian Flemish universities or university colleges are eligible for scholarships:
One-year master programmes
- Master of Human Settlements
- Master of Development Evaluation and Management
- Master of Governance and Development
- Master of Globalization and Development
- Master of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies
- Master of Science in Food Technology
- Master of Science in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management
- Master of Aquaculture (IMAQUA)
- Master of Epidemiology
- Master of Agro- and Environmental Nematology
- Master of Rural Development
- Master of Statistics
- Master of Water Resources Engineering
- Master of Sustainable Development
- Master of Transportation Sciences
About the Award
VLIR-UOS awards scholarships to students from developing countries to study for a master’s or training program in Flanders, Belgium. VLIR-UOS funds and facilitates academic cooperation and exchange between higher education institutions in Flanders (Belgium) and developing countries, aiming to build capacity, knowledge, and experience for sustainable development.
The master programs focus on specific problems in developing countries. These are designed to enable graduates to share and apply acquired knowledge in their home institution and country. In the shorter training programmes, the focus is on transferring skills rather than knowledge, thus creating opportunities for cooperation and networking.
The following criteria will be taken into account for the selection of candidates for a scholarship:
- Motivation: The candidate unable to convincingly motivate his application is unlikely to be selected for a scholarship.
- Professional experience: Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a higher possibility of implementing and/or transferring the newly gained knowledge upon return to the home country.
- Gender: In case of two equally qualified candidates of different sexes, preference will be given to the female candidate.
- Regional balance: The selection commission tries to ensure that 50% of a programme’s scholarships are granted to candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa, provided a sufficient number of qualifying candidates from this region.
- Social background: In the case of two equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate that they belong to a disadvantaged group or area within their country or an ethnic or social minority group, especially when these candidates can provide proof of leadership potential.
- Previously awarded scholarships: Preference will be given to candidates who have never received a scholarship to study in a developed country (bachelor’s or master’s).
You can only apply for a scholarship if you meet the following requirements.
- Fungibility with other VLIR-UOS funding: A scholarship within the VLIR-UOS scholarships program is not compatible with financial support within an IUC- or TEAM project. Candidates working in a university where such projects are being organized should submit a declaration from the project leader stating that the department where the candidate is employed is not involved in the project.
- Age: The maximum age for an ICP candidate is 35 years for an initial master’s and 40 years for an advanced master’s. The maximum age for an ITP candidate is 45 years. The candidate cannot succeed at this age on January 1 of the intake year.
- Nationality and Country of Residence: A candidate should be a national and resident of one of the 31 countries of the VLIR-UOS country list for scholarships (not necessarily the same country) at the time of application.
- Professional background and experience: VLIR-UOS gives priority to candidates employed in academic institutions, research institutes, governments, social economy or NGOs, or aim for a career in one of these sectors. However, candidates employed in the profit sector (ICP and ITP) or newly graduated candidates without any work experience (ICP) can be eligible for the scholarship. The ITP candidate should have relevant professional experience and a support letter confirming (re)integration in a professional context where the acquired knowledge and skills will be immediately applicable.
- Former VLIR-UOS scholarship applications and previously awarded scholarships: A candidate can only submit one VLIR-UOS scholarship application per year, irrespective of the scholarship type. Consequently, a candidate can only be selected for one VLIR-UOS scholarship per year.
- The ICP candidate has never received a scholarship from the Belgian government to attend a master’s programme or equivalent or was never enrolled in a Flemish higher education institution to attend a master’s programme or equivalent before January 1 of the intake year
How to Apply
- To apply for the scholarships, you first need to apply for the Master’s programme.
- To apply for the Master’s programme, visit the website of the Master’s programme of your interest. Follow the guidelines for application for the programme as mentioned on its website.
- In the programme application, you can mention whether you wish to apply for a scholarship. In case you do, the programme coordinator will forward your application to VLIR-UOS.
- Applications submitted by the candidates to VLIR-UOS directly will not be considered!
Please note that the deadline for applications is 26th April 2024.