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

Country strategy process

Between May 2012 and March 2013 several steps were taken to come up with a country strategy for South Africa. Starting from a desk study with a contextual analysis, stakeholders were consulted in Belgium and South Africa.


The Identification mission report South Africa presents a match between the reommendations from Flemish stakeholders through consultations and interviews (March 2013) and the South African priorities for cooperation as gathered during the mission and the seminar in South Africa (April 2013).


Based on this mission report and its strategic considerations, VLIR-UOS worked out a strategy paper for South Africa that draws the outlines for all future interventions in the cooperation with South Africa. This document was discussed at level of the Flemish university associations and was confirmed as the reference farmework for programming and more in particular as reference for calls and selections.

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.
  • The South Africa thematic and strategic framework present the various VLIR-UOS interventions along thematic lines with reference to partners and nationalo development priorities.
  • 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 syngergy.
  • 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.


The combined information gathered from the interviews and the North seminar were brough together in a Strategy Status Summary Report, which was shared with the main stakeholders in South Africa.


EU - South Africa country strategy paper 2007-2013

Flanders - South Africa country strategy paper 2012-2016

Belgium - South Africa indicative cooperation programme 2007-2010


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, ...