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Community Talks

Community Talks is a monthly webinar where experts from Flanders and abroad can meet and share their knowledge & academic research.

With this platform, we aim to build sustainable research connections and increase local (societal) impact through knowledge sharing on a global scale.


Multidisciplinary collaboration between UCB and Flemish universities

25 May 2022

In this community talk we will present the importance and the impact of a long term and multidisciplinary cooperation: the case of the Institutional University Cooperation (IUC) with the Université Catholique de Bukavu (UCB) in the Eastern part of the DRCongo.

Given the context in which the cooperation program started, i.e. after more than a decade of wars in the country, the choice was made to concentrate on the management of the post-conflict recovery process, with a focus on three key areas: Agriculture, Mining & Health.

Scientific research is needed to create new knowledge but also to generate data that inform decision makers on choices they have to make to promote development. 

The collaboration between UCB and the Flemish universities started in 2010. A Closing event was organized in November 2021.

Via this link you can access to several video’s (French spoken) and presentations, used for the Closing event.


During this talk we will illustrate how this type of cooperation has been important for the region and for the UCB in particular.

Check out our previous talks

Alumni Impact Barometer

Are graduates from VLIR-UOS ICP programmes making a difference?

The Alumni Barometer Research project seeks to study precisely this highly relevant, yet complicated question.  A team of 17 alumni researchers from Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam and two IOB staff members were engaged to enable robust data collection through participatory action research. The study utilized a mixed-method approach and jointly designed and employed several research instruments such as an online alumni survey, employer survey, alumni impact stories and social network mapping. Using this mixed-methods approach, the study maps the impact of an international study experience on the individual graduates, the organizations they work for, and the broader society.  

As such the barometer project set out to :

a) develop tools to map the impact of international study experience

b) gain insight into the contributions of graduates to development

c) based on these insights improve the quality, relevance, and impact of international study programmes;

d) and build capacity in evaluation and alumni policy


Entrepreneurship as a driver for change within Higher Education in Morocco

In a challenging economic context, promoting private investment and stimulating entrepreneurship are becoming essential to address the major unemployment issues, especially among youth. It is, therefore, crucial to foster synergies between the various supporting entities, to create, improve, nurture and evolve a geographically clustered ecosystem that is conducive to successful entrepreneurship. This will contribute to the development and emergence of more businesses, and to the dynamization of the regional economy and entrepreneurship.

A circular note from the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education was sent in 2019 to the University Presidents to initiate the establishment of the National Status of the Student-Entrepreneur (SNEE). The SNEE will be a facilitating tool for students to build relationships with the various stakeholders in the business world (bankers, suppliers, customers, etc.) while embedding an entrepreneurial project in the training curriculum.

Accordingly, and to support this endeavour, we were able to initiate, through the institutional university cooperation program at Moulay Ismail University of Meknes, with the support of VLIR-UOS and the Flemish universities of Belgium, an entrepreneurial dynamic among students, young researchers and professor-researchers through a number of coordinated initiatives :

  • The implementation of a structuring tool for supporting students-entrepreneurs via workshops and co-working spaces, including the CAPE (Center of Assistance to the Promotion of the Student Employment), in partnership with the national and regional socio-economic actors, the APEFE (Min Ajliki Program), the ANAPEC and INJAZ Al Maghreb.
  • Creation of an Entrepreneurial and Employment platform, gathering offices and contact points of several programs and actors, including INJAZ AL MAGHREB, Min Ajliki, Youth Employment Program (Enabel-APEFE), CREPP Project of ARES, Sustainable Territorial Development Project supported by the IUC program of VLIR-UOS, and the University Agency of ANAPEC.

This Community talk will shed the light on these initiatives and will present the strategic framework we developed and which provides structure and guidance for students, start-ups and cooperatives, that sell innovation and growth opportunities through ecosystem collaborations. We will also give a brief about the initiative we are starting toward developing a collaborative online platform for Entrepreneurship in Africa (ENTRAFRICA). To make the content more engaging and add practical insights, the CT-Talk Morocco will include testimonials from people with different backgrounds, but all have one thing in common – insightful thoughts on entrepreneurship.

More information here

Looking for more ?

Missed out a Community Talk, check our YouTube channel

Are you interested in getting in touch with one of our speakers? Or looking for more info on a particular project? Or even interested in presenting your own project?

Contact us at communitytalks@vliruos.be

Change towards an e-portfolio is not easy, it is a long learning process. But progress is even more satisfying when working on it together.

Olive Tengera, University of Rwanda

Finally we took the time and energy to bring all information together and present to a broader public

Leo Van Audenhove (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

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