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ICP Connect 2025

ICP Connect 2025 Phase 1 - Stage 2




5 activity years



Disclaimer: This call for final proposals is only open to the 10 projects that got selected in Stage 1.

ICP Connect projects are:

✔️ accredited international study programmes;

✔️ taught in English and;

✔️ organised at one or more Flemish HEIs;

✔️ focusing on subjects that align with the Agenda 2030 and SDG principles.

We are organising a Q&A session about the VLIR-UOS online submission tool on Monday 22 April 2024 - 14h00 (CET). Please register here.

Why are ICP Connect projects important?

ICP Connect projects aim to more systematically integrate global perspectives and strengthen partnership and network dimensions into existing educational programmes. This implies a strategy that aims to spur the internationalisation and networking of the programme by:

  • adapting content, didactics and approaches;

  • foreseeing modalities to enhance the quality of the learning process and engage participation of international students;

  • linking it with the local context of one or more partner countries by means of student and/or professor mobility and/or partial delocalisation of the programme to (one or more) partner institutions;

  • staying connected with graduates of the study programme, and by connecting alumni with each other and with students and (network) partners, at providing learning opportunities and support mechanisms to alumni.

Through educational networks (ICP Connect) and scholarships, HEIs aim to systematically integrate global perspectives. In doing so, they create a supportive, inclusive, and networked learning environment in which individual scholars, professionals, and academics acquire transversal skills and state-of-the-art knowledge on sustainable development. This enables them to become experts and critical global citizens, motivated to act as change agents in their network.

Key features

  • Medium- and long-term results to be achieved within the project duration of a maximum of 10 years, divided into 2 phases of 5 years.

  • Existing programmes taught in English accredited by the Flemish ministry of Education and organised by and (at least partially) at a Flemish university or a Flemish university of applied sciences and arts, resulting in a diploma:

    o   Master or Advanced Master programmes with a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120 ECTS;

    o   Professional or Advanced Bachelor programmes with a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 180 ECTS;

    o   Bachelor of Arts programmes organised by a Flemish university of applied sciences and arts with a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 180 ECTS.

    o   Programmes that are already accredited at the time of submission that will be organised for the first time during academic year 2023-2024 and meet the criteria outlined above.

  • Other Academic Bachelor’s and postgraduate programmes are not eligible.

  • No thematic restriction as to a specific scientific field but on a subject relevant to sustainable development (relevance in relation to Agenda 2030 in a rapidly changing world with emerging challenges and opportunities)

  • Building and strengthening partnerships that can lead to the establishment and operationalisation of international networks

Who can apply?

Affiliation and statute of the promoters:

Flemish promoter: professor/specialist employed at a Flemish university or a professor/lecturer at a Flemish university of applied sciences and arts. Details on the eligibility requirements can be found in section 3.1.

Optional: in case there is a partner promoter, they need to be employed at a recognised higher education institution or national public (not for profit) research institute located in a VLIR-UOS project partner country.

Additional criteria:

  • Only 1 project proposal per Flemish lead promoter can be submitted. There can only be one Flemish lead promotor per project.

  • Promotors of a current ICP (2022-2027) cannot submit an ICP 2025 project. They can, however, be a co-promoter or be part of a project team.

  • Current ICP Connect projects (2022-2027) cannot submit a new proposal for the educational programme on which the project is based.

  • ICPs that received funding before 2017 but were not selected for ICP Incremental Funding from FYP1 (2017-2022) onwards may apply.

Partner & scholarship countries

Partnerships with institutions from partner country list:

A partner institution should be a higher education or science institution located in one of our 17 project partner countries: Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cuba, DR Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam

This list of possible network partners' countries should be considered when creating the ICP Connect project strategy.

Scholarships for students from scholarship country list:

The scholarships aim to facilitate participation of attendants coming from the VLIR-UOS scholarship country list. A reasonable cross-section of scholars from different countries and regions is targeted, provided there are sufficient qualified candidates. In case of equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates from vulnerable groups (see Leave No One Behind principle). Additionally, a 40%- 60% gender ratio balance as overall guideline between male and female candidates awarded ICP Connect scholarships is targeted.

This list of potential scholars' countries should be considered when creating the ICP Connect project strategy.

Budgetary framework

Selection is valid for a five-year period, with conditional renewal for another five-year term.

The project budget amounts to a yearly budget of:

  • € 150,000 (for programmes of 120/180 ECTS);

  • € 125,000 (for programmes of 90 ECTS);

  • € 100,000 (for programmes of 60 ECTS),

with flexibility in budgeting over the 5 years, starting from the respective maximum of €750,000, € 625,000, € 500,000.

To meet the demand to use a portion of the project budget to finance the necessary costs associated with preparation, an optional phase-in year is foreseen during academic year 2024-2025. A maximum budget of € 50,000 can be used, in order to bear certain costs (promotion, campaign, personnel, etc.).

One-time bonus for inter-institutional programmes: a complementary budget of € 20,000.

The scholarship budget amounts to a maximum yearly intake of:

  • Annual intake of 12 / 10 new 1st year scholarships per study programme per academic year (Phase 1/2) (for programmes of 60-90-120 ECTS);

  • Annual intake of 8 / 7 new 1st year scholarships per programme per academic year (Phase 1/2) (for programmes of 180 ECTS)

Project duration

2 x 5 years - maximum of 10 years + phase-in year.

Phase 1 focuses on exploration and the development and implementation of the ICP Connect strategy. Phase 2 focuses on consolidation, valorisation, and sustaining the network.

Projects can move to Phase 2 on the condition of good performance, as will be assessed during a mid-term evaluation and on the basis of the assessment of a Phase 2 project proposal.

Two-stage procedure

Project submission in two stages:

  1. Stage 1 - Concept note: focused on a narrative description of the sustainable development challenges the project wishes to address, overall strategy for the integration of global perspectives, partnership and network dimensions into the educational programme, project objectives and scientific approach (research and pedagogical methods, type of multidisciplinary and community-based approach, etc.). No operational and budget details.

    Max. 10 selected projects go to Stage 2.

  2. Stage 2 - Final proposal: fully developed Theory of Change, intermediate changes and activities, risk and stakeholder analysis, roles and responsibilities, and budgeting.

    Max. 6 selected ICP Connect projects.

Important dates


Information session (online) – register here
14 December 2023, from 13:00 until 15:00 CET 

This call for final proposals is only open to the 10 projects that got selected in Stage 1. This information session is only for selected proposals.

Call schedule (subject to change)


How to submit a proposal?

Who? An application involves a Flemish and a partner promoter in one of the project partner countries, or can be limited to a Flemish promotor (with no partner promotor). In both cases, it is the (main) Flemish promoter who submits to the ICOS (Institutional Coordinators for Development Cooperation) of the Flemish university (association) for quality control. The ICOS will validate and submit your project to VLIR-UOS.

Each Flemish institution has its own internal deadlines. Please reach out to the respective ICOS.

How? Project applications are submitted via the VLIR-UOS online submission tool.

Deadline for submission 25 April 2024 at 17h00 CET.

Assessment procedure

All project proposals will be assessed by the VLIR-UOS Selection Commission for ICP Connect/ITP based on four standard selection criteria: Relevance and coherence of the project; Quality of the project design; Implementation set-up of the project; Potential impact, and Sustainability.

Since ICP Connect projects emerge from accredited study programmes, the emphasis is on the strategy to delocalise study material to local partners and to establish an international network.

The selection will be based on the submitted proposals, in combination with an oral defence per project. Each of the projects will be given the opportunity to explain the submitted proposal, after which the selection commission will be able to ask questions.

Start of the project

Selected projects will be able to start as of 1 September 2025. The communication campaign for scholarships for the academic year 2024-2025 can be launched from June 2024 onwards.