Scholarships for master programmes (ICP Connect)

Introducing: ICP Connect

Presenting ICP Connect: a new VLIR-UOS framework for ICPs. This aims to integrate global perspectives in a systematic way and strengthen partner countries and network dimensions into existing Master’s programmes.

ICP Connect study programmes are accredited international study programmes organised at one or more Flemish universities. The programmes focus on subjects aligned with the Agenda 2030 and SDG principles. VLIR-UOS supports a selection of 15 ICPs and provides an annual intake of 10 new first-year scholarships for each ICP.

VLIR-UOS promotes diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all qualified applicants, regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, cultural, religious or socio-economic backgrounds, feel encouraged to apply.

VLIR-UOS respects and seeks to empower each individual and support the diverse cultures, perspectives, skills and experiences by creating conducive, inclusive environments for students, staff and alumni to act as critical global citizens.
Visit the open call page of Scholarships for Masters (ICP Connect)

Can I apply for an ICP Connect scholarship? 

Candidates that meet the following criteria may apply for an ICP Connect scholarship:

  • Nationality and country of residence: Candidates’ must be nationals of one of the 29 eligible countries and must be a resident of one of these countries (not necessarily the same country) at the time of application.
  • Age: candidates' age on January 1 of the year of intake must be no higher than 35 for an initial master and 45 for an advanced master.
  • Professional background and experience: Preference will be given to candidates employed in higher education, government or civil society, or those targeting a career in one of these sectors. Candidates employed in the private sector or newly graduated candidates with no work experience may also be considered if they provide a strong motivation and profile.
  • Scholarship applications: Candidates may apply for only one ICP Connect scholarship application per year.
  • Previously awarded scholarships: Candidates may not have previously received a scholarship from the Belgian government to attend a study programme and may not have enrolled in a study programme at a Belgian higher education institution before January 1 of the year of intake.

What are the scholarship selection criteria? 

Within the ICP Connect framework, scholars are seen as potential agents of change that may contribute to societal change in their home country (or region) after completing their studies. Scholars are selected following an objective evaluation of their scholarship applications based on the following criteria:

  • Motivation: Candidates' motivation and professional goals must reflect their competence in transferring knowledge/skills or setting up extension activities and highlighting themes relevant to sustainable development and pertinent to the study programme. Not only are academic results important, but so are - especially - the potential and commitment of the candidates to become an 'agent of change' after completing their studies.
  • Professional experience: Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a greater chance of implementing and/or transferring newly gained knowledge/skills upon completion in a sustainable development context, such as in the higher education sector, government, civil society or the private sector, thereby contributing to positive societal change.
  • Gender balance: A balance between male and female candidates awarded ICP Connect scholarships is targeted. VLIR-UOS strongly encourages female candidates to apply. Read more about our gender policy here.
  • Regional balance: A reasonable cross-section of scholars from different countries and regions is targeted, provided there are sufficient qualified candidates.
  • Leave No One Behind (LNOB): In case of equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates from vulnerable groups.
  • Previously awarded scholarship: Preference will be given to candidates who have never received a scholarship to study in a higher income country (bachelor or master).

 Which costs are covered by the scholarship? 

VLIR-UOS scholarships cover tuition fees, travel, insurance and living expenses (board and lodging). We only offer scholarships for the full duration of the Master's programme (12/24 months). It is not possible to apply for a partial scholarship.

Scholarship costs may change in line with government funding decisions. Detailed figures for academic year 2022-2023 are not yet available. Keep an eye on our website for updates. 

What is the application procedure?

Five steps to apply for a scholarship:

  1. Confirm your eligibility based on all given criteria.
  2. Take a look at the selected Master's programmes (15).
  3. Learn more about the Master's programmes on their respective websites.
  4. If you are interested in a specific programme, go to the website of the university organising this and follow the instructions.
  5. On the university website, apply for admission to the programme as well as for the scholarship itself. When you apply for the programme, be sure to mention whether you wish to apply for a scholarship. Do not apply for more than one Master's programme per year.

What happens next?

  • Deadlines are determined by the programme. We receive selection results from the programme organisers.
  • We will contact selected candidates as well as the candidates on the waiting list by e-mail as soon as possible after selection, no later than mid-June.

For questions regarding your application or selection process, please contact the university directly.

Why study in Flanders?

Flanders - the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium - is a great destination for students from around the world. Studying in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt or Leuven means being welcomed by an open multilingual society, with higher education that offers excellent value for money, in a financially sound area in the heart of Europe which boasts a high quality of life.

Six students share their reasons for choosing to study at one of the universities in Flanders or Brussels!

scholarship for master programmes