Requisites and criteria to get a scholarship

Eligibility criteria

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

You must:


  • Be national and resident of one of the 54 eligible countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America at the moment of application. It is not necessary to be resident and national of the same country, so long as it concerns one of the 54 eligible countries.


  • Age: 40 years* or less for a Master programme or 45 years* or less for a training (* on 1 January of the year of the start of the course).


  • Meet the academic admission criteria set by the university or university college, concerning educational background, language proficiency, etc. You can find the academic admission criteria on the programme websites.


  • For a Master programme: not have been enrolled in a Master programme (or equivalent) at a Belgian university before (with or without a scholarship).


  • Not work in the commercial profit sector, as we target candidates from education and research institutions, the government sector, social economy and NGOs.


  • For a training: have relevant professional experience and a written (future) employer’s statement of (re)integration in an employment where the acquired knowledge and skills will be immediately applicable. The statement should also confirm the added value of the training for the candidate and the organization.


  • You can only apply for one training or master programme per year.


  • You can only be awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship for a training once. You can only be awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship for a Master programme once.


  • When you are an employee of a university that currently is receiving support from VLIR-UOS through the Institutional University Cooperation IUC programme or TEAM programme: you need a letter or statement from the IUC or TEAM coordinator stating that your department is not involved in IUC or TEAM.


Selection criteria

Candidates who meet all the eligibility criteria and score the strongest on the selection criteria, will be proposed by the university to VLIR-UOS as a candidate for the scholarship.


The following criteria will be taken into account for the selection of candidates for a scholarship:


  • Motivation. The candidate who is not able to convincingly motivate his application, is unlikely to be selected for a scholarship.


  • Impact. Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a higher possibility of generating impact through the transfer of knowledge and extension activities upon return to their home country, to address developmental problems or challenges of the country concerned. Professional experience and employment (perspectives) give a competitive advantage for selection.


  • Previous scholarships. Priority will be given to candidates for a Master programme who have not been granted a scholarship to study in a developed country before. For training programmes, priority will be given to candidates who have had less opportunities to attend a training or study programme in a developed country before. 


  • 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 male and female candidates awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship.


  • Regional balance. The selection commission tries to ensure that 50% of a programme's scholarships are granted to candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa, provided there is a sufficient number of qualifying candidates from this region.


  • Social background. In 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.


Eligible programmes, amounts and application