Scholarship in Europe

VLIR-UOS scholarships for foreign students to study in Belgium

International master’s programs (ICP) are accredited master’s programs (advanced or initial) (CEC 7) consisting of 2 or 4 semesters (60 or 120 ECTS respectively) on a subject relevant or specific to sustainable development . We support a selection of  15 ICPs  and provide 12 scholarships per ICP program.

Who can receive an ICP scholarship (eligibility criteria)?

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

  • Nationality and Country of Residence: An applicant must be a national and resident of one of the 31 eligible countries (not necessarily the same country) at the time of application .
  • Age: The maximum age for a candidate for the master’s program is 35 years old for an initial master’s degree and 45 years old for an advanced master’s degree. The candidate cannot exceed this age on January 1 of the year of admission.
  •  Professional background and experience: Priority is given to applicants who are employed in academic institutions, research institutes, governments, social economy or NGOs, or who are aiming for a career in one of these sectors. However, masters applicants employed in the for-profit sector or newly graduated applicants without any work experience may also be eligible for the scholarship, depending on their motivation and profile.
  • Fungibility with other VLIR-UOS funding: applicants working at a university where we are already funding IUC, TEAM or SI projects, can receive an ITP-ICP scholarship if they clearly motivate the reason for their application and explain why the participation to the ICP program cannot be funded under the existing program or project of the UIC, the team or the SI.
  • VLIR-UOS Scholarship Applications and Previously Awarded Scholarships : An applicant can only submit one scholarship application to us per year – regardless of scholarship type – and therefore can only be selected for one of our scholarships by year.
  • The candidate for the master program has never received a grant from the Belgian government to follow a master’s program or equivalent or has never been enrolled in a Flemish higher education institution to follow a master’s program or equivalent before the first January of the year of admission.

What are the important criteria for selecting scholarships?

The selection committee of each ICP program will make a selection from among the candidates eligible for scholarships . When selecting, they take into account a number of selection criteria:

  • Motivation: it is essential that the candidate’s motivation and professional goals demonstrate the possibility of transferring knowledge / skills or creating extension activities and highlighting themes relevant to sustainable development , which are also relevant to the course . Not only the academic results are important, but also and above all the potential of the candidate to become an “actor of change” in his country of origin after his studies or his training.
  • Professional experience: Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate a greater possibility of implementing and / or transferring newly acquired knowledge / skills upon their return to the home country, preferably to a research institution, a higher education institution, government sector (national / regional / local ), social economy sector or NGO, thus contributing to positive societal change.
  • Gender: The selection committee aims for a relative balance between the number of male and female applicants who receive a VLIR-UOS scholarship. We strongly encourage applicants to apply. You can read more about  our gender policy  here.
  • Regional balance: The selection committee aims to select scholarship holders from different countries and regions and tries to ensure that 50% of a program’s scholarships are awarded to applicants from least developed countries or other low-income countries , given that there are enough qualitative candidates.
  • Social origin: in the case of two equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates from a disadvantaged area of ​​their country or from a minority ethnic or social group.
  • Previously awarded scholarship: Preference is given to applicants who have never received a scholarship to study in a higher income country (bachelor’s or master’s degree).

What is the application procedure?

If you have any questions regarding your application or your selection process, please contact the university directly!

  1. Check the eligibility criteria for a scholarship.





  2. If you meet all the criteria, take a look at the selected master’s programs (15).

    You can find the website links for all master’s programs  here  .




  3. If you are interested in a specific program, visit the website of the host university and follow its instructions.

    Via the university’s website, you will need to apply for both admission to the program and for the scholarship itself. When applying for the program, be sure to mention if you would like to apply for a scholarship.

  4. Do not apply for more than one master’s program per year.

    The deadlines are determined by the program. 

  5. We receive the results of the selection of the program organizers.

    We will contact the selected candidates as well as the candidates on the waiting list by email as soon as possible after the selection, no later than mid-June.

What costs are covered by the scholarship?

We only provide scholarships for the entire duration of the master’s program. It is not possible to apply for a partial scholarship.

The current detailed amounts and more information on the different allocations can be found in the document  “Allocations and guidelines for VLIR-UOS scholarships”.

The amounts of the scholarships can change at any time depending on  the  funding decisions of the government.