Requisites and criteria to get a scholarship

Eligibility criteria

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


  • Nationality and Country of Residence

A candidate should be a national and resident of one of the following 31 countries (not necessarily the same country) at the time of application:


Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Niger
Asia: Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Vietnam
Latin America: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru


  • Age

The maximum age for a Master programme candidate is 35 years for an initial masters and 40 years for an advanced masters. The maximum age for a training candidate is 45 years. The candidate cannot succeed this age on January 1 of the intake year.


Please note that from 2018 onwards, age is no longer an eligibility criterion for ITP scholarship candidates. Depending on the objectives of the programme, the required knowledge of the candidates and the planned follow-up trajectories after completion of the programme, the course organizers can decide to install a selection criterion related to the age of the candidates.


  • Professional background and experience

VLIR-UOS gives priority to candidates who are employed in academic institutions, research institutes, governments, social economy or NGO’s, or aim a career in one of these sectors. However, also candidates employed in the profit sector or newly graduated candidates without any work experience (for Master programmes) can be eligible for the scholarship.

The training candidate should have relevant professional experience and a support letter confirming (re)integration in a professional context where the acquired knowledge and skills will be immediately applicable.


  •  Fungibility with other VLIR-UOS funding

A scholarship is not compatible with financial support within a VLIR-UOS funded IUC- or TEAM-project. Candidates working in a university where such projects are being organized, should submit a declaration of the project leader stating that the department where the candidate is employed is not involved in the project.


  • Former VLIR-UOS scholarship applications and previously awarded scholarships

A candidate can only submit one VLIR-UOS scholarship application per year, irrespectively of the scholarship type. As a consequence, a candidate can only be selected for one VLIR-UOS scholarship per year.


The Master programme candidate has never received a scholarship from the Belgian government to attend a master programme or equivalent or was never enrolled in a Flemish higher education institution to attend a master programme or equivalent before January 1 of the intake year.


Selection criteria

Candidates who meet all the eligibility criteria and are ranked highest on the basis of 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

It is essential that the motivation and the career goals of the candidate focus on development relevant goals which are dealt within the master programme. Not only previously obtained academic results are key, but also the potential of the candidate to act as a 'change agent' in the home country after completion of the master programme.


  • Professional experience

Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a higher possibility of implementing and/or transferring the newly gained knowledge upon return to the home country.


  • Gender

The selection committee will aim at a relative balance between the number of male and female candidates awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship.


  • Regional balance

The selection committee will aim at a diversification of candidates from different countries and continents. The selection committee will also aim to award at least 50% of the available scholarships to candidates coming from Least Developed Countries or Other Low Income Countries (defined by OESO-DAC for ODA recipients), given that there are sufficient qualitative candidates from these countries.


  • 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.


  • Previously awarded scholarships

Preference will be given to candidates who have never received a scholarship to study in a developed country (bachelor or master).


Eligible programmes, amounts and application