South Africa


South Africa

VLIR-UOS cooperation in South Africa

South Africa is one of the key partner countries of VLIR-UOS. From 2003 to 2016 VLIR-UOS budgeted € 18.005.877  for cooperation programmes with South Africa, including two institutional university cooperation programmes (with the University of Limpopo and with the University of the Western Cape).


South Africa is also one of the 31 scholarship countries of VLIR-UOS. Nationals can apply for a scholarship to follow a training or Master programme at a Flemish university or university college.

Facts and figures


Total budget South Africa 2003-2016 (in €)



Individual scholars





A country strategy for South Africa

The Country Strategy for South Africa identifies the following main themes for all the future VLIR-UOS interventions in its cooperation with South Africa:


  • Food Security. Subthemes: Biotechnology, Aquaculture, Food Production & Value Chain, Animal Sciences & Production
  • Environment. Subthemes: Water Resource Management, Climate Change
  • Health. Subthemes: Primary Health Care, Public Health, HIV/AIDS
  • Social Sciences. Subthemes: Good Governance, Urban Development, Communication, Local Community Development, Language Development


The country strategy identifies the following main transversal anc cross-cutting themes:


  • Institutional Strengthening. Subthemes: Institutional Policy, Academic Learning, Research Policy and Culture
  • ICT. Subthemes: E-Learning & Distance Learning, Network Development


More information on the Country Strategy process for South-Africa.

Background documents

The VLIR-UOS compiled documents are a work in progress, and your feedback in terms of their completion and/or improvement is much appreciated.


  • The South Africa Fact Sheet is a draft summary (work in progress) on the general status of the country with specific attention for the development aid actors as well as the sector of higher education.
  • Joint Context Analysis (JCA) of South Africa. This document aims at an analysis of the context in South Africa and of the opportunities to collaborate for the non-governmental actors of the Belgian Development Cooperation from 2017 until 2026. It should primarily be seen as an opportunity to identify possible ways of cooperation, complementarity and synergy.
  • Joint Strategic Framework (JSF) of South-Africa. This document presents different joint strategic goals which the non-governmental actors have put forward, based on the JCA South-Africa. Each goal is specified into different approaches, which reflects the contributions of different actors to the joint strategic goal. An elaboration on the development relevance of every goal is also included. The last chapter elaborates commitments for synergy and complementarity between Belgian actors, related to the presented goals and approaches. Special attention is given to the transversal themes gender and environment.
  • Linking the JSF with the VLIR-UOS country strategy. This document provides a general overview of relevant information from the Joint Strategic Framework for each thematic area of the VLIR-UOS country strategy. The Joint Strategic Goal relevant for each theme is listed, together with the Belgian non-governmental actors which are (or will be) active with funding of the Belgian development cooperation in the 2017-2021 period. By providing this list, VLIR-UOS wants to promote synergy and/or complementarity with programmes of other Belgian actors. 


Christophe Goossens

Programme Officer South

[t] + 32 2 550 19 65



Ongoing projects

Overview of ongoing projects



    The Power of Stories brings the oral history of the Batho township to life

    The Power of Stories brings the oral history of the Batho township to life

    The aim of the project is to contribute to the identity formation of the inhabitants of the Batho township in South Africa.

    Read more »

    ‘We have done something extraordinary’

    ‘We have done something extraordinary’

    Ten years of cooperation between Flemish universities and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Its impact? Watch the video and read the book.

    Read more »

    AIDS in South Africa: simulating the impact of early HIV treatment

    AIDS in South Africa: simulating the impact of early HIV treatment

    Research on sexual behaviour in Cape Town provides useful data for policy makers to reduce the number of new HIV infections.

    Read more »

    Purifying water by the coffee filter method

    Purifying water by the coffee filter method

    Engineer Bart Van der Bruggen designed a sustainable water purification system with South African partners and the participation of the local community.

    Read more »


    Jaarverslag VLIR-UOS 2013

    Annual report VLIR-UOS 2013

    What you always wanted to know about VLIR-UOS | Why scholar Pauline want to win the Nobel Prize | How pilotless flights above the Andes lead to better agriculture

    Final evaluation of the cooperation with University of the Western Cape (UWC)

    Final evaluation of the cooperation with University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa (January 2014)

    Mid-term evaluation of the cooperation with University of Limpopo (UL)

    Mid-term evaluation of the cooperation with University of Limpopo (UL), South Africa (June 2014)

    Jaarverslag VLIR-UOS 2014

    Annual report VLIR-UOS 2014

    Flemish professor is given the surprise of his life in DR Congo; Tran Thi Dinh's dream of keeping food fresh in Vietnam; and other stories on the impact of almost 20 years of cooperation with Tanzania, Ecuador, Cuba, South Africa, ...