International master programmes (ICPs) are accredited (advanced or initial) master programmes (EQF 7) consisting of 2 or 4 semesters (60 or 120 ECTS respectively) on a subject that is relevant to or specific for sustainable development. We support a selection of 15 ICPs and provide 12 scholarships per ICP programme.
Who can receive an ICP scholarship (eligibility criteria)?
You can only apply for a scholarship if you meet the following requirements:
- Nationality and country of residence: A candidate should be a national and resident of one of the 31 eligible countries (not necessarily the same country) at the time of the application.
- Age: The maximum age for a master programme candidate is 35 for an initial master and 45 for an advanced master. The candidate cannot exceed this age on the first of January of the intake year.
- Professional background and experience: Priority is given to candidates who are employed in academic institutions, research institutes, governments, the social economy or NGOs, or who aim at a career in one of these sectors. However, master candidates employed in the profit sector or newly graduated candidates without any work experience can be eligible for the scholarship as well, depending on their motivation and profile.
- Fungibility with other VLIR-UOS funding: Candidates working in a university where we already fund IUC, TEAM or SI projects, can receive an ITP-ICP scholarship if they clearly motivate the reason of their application and clarify why the participation at the ICP programme cannot be funded as part of the existing IUC, Team or SI programme or project funds.
- VLIR-UOS scholarship applications and previously awarded scholarships: A candidate can only submit one scholarship application to us per year – irrespective of the scholarship type – and can therefore only be selected for one of our scholarships per year.
- The Master programme candidate has never received a scholarship from the Belgian government to attend a master programme or equivalent or was never enrolled in a Flemish higher education institution to attend a master programme or equivalent before the first of January of the intake year.
What are important scholarship selection criteria?
The selection commission of each ICP-programme will make a selection out of the eligible scholarship candidates. When making a selection they take into account a number of selection criteria:
- Motivation : it is essential that the motivation and professional goals of the candidate demonstrate the possibility of transferring knowledge/skills or creating extension activities and highlight themes relevant to sustainable development, which are also pertinent to the course. Not only academic results are important, but also and especially the potential of the candidate to become an “actor of change” in his/her home country after the study or training.
- Professional experience: preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a higher possibility of implementing and/or transferring newly gained knowledge/skills upon return to the home country, preferably in a research institution, a higher education institution, the government sector (national/regional/local), the sector of social economy, or an NGO, thereby contributing to positive societal change.
- Gender : The selection committee aims at a relative balance between the number of male and female candidates that are awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship. We strongly encourage female candidates to apply. You can read more on our gender policy here.
- Regional balance : The selection committee aims at selection scholarship holders from different countries and regions and tries to ensure that 50% of a programme’s scholarships are granted to candidates from Least Developed Countries or Other Low Income Countries, given that there are sufficient qualitative candidates.
- 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.
- Previously awarded scholarship: preference is given to candidates who have never received a scholarship to study in a higher income country (bachelor or master).
What is the application procedure?
In case you have any questions regarding your application or selection process, please contact the university directly!
Check the eligibility criteria for a scholarship.
If you meet all the criteria, have a look at the selected master programmes (15).
You can find the links to the all the master programmes’ website here.
If a specific programme catches your interest, visit the website of the organising university and follow its instructions.
Via the university’s website, you will have to apply for both admission to the programme as well as for the scholarship itself. When you apply for the programme, be sure to mention whether you wish to apply for a scholarship.
Do not apply for more than one master programme per year.
The deadlines are determined by the programme.
We receive the selection results of the programme organisers.
We will contact the selected candidates as well as the waiting list candidates by e-mail as soon as possible after selection, by mid-June at the latest.
Which costs are covered by the scholarship?
We only provide scholarships for the full duration of the master programme. It is not possible to apply for a partial scholarship.
The detailed current amounts and more information on the different allowances can be found in the document ‘Allowances and guidelines for VLIR-UOS scholarships’.
Scholarship amounts can change at any time in line with decisions of the funding government.
Why study in Flanders?
Education and research are top priorities for Flanders (Vlaanderen) – the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium. The Flemish universities and university colleges rank among the best in Europe.