VLIR-UOS supports partnerships between universities and university colleges, in Flanders and in the South, looking for innovative responses to global and local challenges.
VLIR-UOS funds cooperation projects between professors, researchers and teachers. VLIR-UOS also awards scholarships to students and professionals in Flanders and the South. Lastly, VLIR-UOS helps to strengthen higher education in the South and to strengthen a specific international dimension of the higher education in Flanders.
VLIR-UOS as forum, funder and defender of interests
VLIR-UOS is a forum in which representatives of higher education work together for development and share information and best practices. VLIR-UOS is also the main provider of funds for development cooperation projects in Flemish higher education. Lastly, VLIR-UOS defends the interests of Flemish higher education in development cooperation with regard to the authorities and third parties.
Global and local challenges
We are faced with global challenges such as poverty, migration and climate change. The effects are felt locally, but the causes and solutions are global. These challenges affect all of us and can only be solved by working together.
We need knowledge to find answers to the challenges. Social innovation is the bridge between knowledge and social challenges. By applying knowledge in innovative ways we can find solutions that were unimaginable in the past.
Universities and university colleges
Universities and university colleges are first-class knowledge centres. They create, spread and apply knowledge. Universities and university colleges can play a key role in social innovation by trying to find solutions in their research and education to the social challenges. This way they enhance their added value to today's society.
Flanders and the South
We need universities and university colleges worldwide that work together to find solutions to global and local challenges. For Flanders and Belgium cooperation with universities in the South especially offers surplus value. Because global challenges can be mostly observed in the South, it's preferable to look for solutions on the spot. In addition, cooperation from different cultural viewpoints promotes outside-the-box-thinking and innovation.
Durable partnerships accross the borders of nations, institutions, disciplines and sectors are the basis to find solutions to the social challenges. VLIR-UOS primarily supports partnerships between universities and university colleges. In addition, cooperation with governments, NGOs and companies is essential. That's because we cannot have an impact on society unless we cover the entire chain from knowledge to application.