Full Scholarships for Masters in Developmental Studies in Belgium

Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) Antwerpe

The Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) currently offers three one-year Master programmes in Development Studies:

  1. Master in Globalisation and Development
  2. Master in Development Evaluation and Management
  3. Master in Governance and Development

Every year, the Institute is home to some 100 students of more than thirty different nationalities and from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. This creates an extraordinary multicultural and multidisciplinary learning environment.
With backgrounds in economicspolitics and other social sciences, IOB staff bring a multidisciplinary perspective to their teaching, research and policy advisory work.

Educational and professional background

Applicants must hold a university degree of at least four years of study in Social Sciences (Economics, Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, or related disciplines), preferably at Master level,  with good study results. Applicants with only a Bachelor’s degree of three years of study will not be admitted to the Master programmes. Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree of four years of study can be admitted. However, applicants with a Master degree will be given priority.

Applicants who obtained their University degree under the European Bologna system, must hold a Master’s degree.

Language requirements for the Masters

All of our programmes are offered in English, in which applicants must be proficient.
Applicants must submit an English language certificate:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): minimum score of 550 for the paper-based test or 79 for the internet-based test. Information about this test is available at www.toefl.org. IOB does not accept the TOEFL ITP.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): minimum overall score of 6.5 and a minimum score of 6.0 on each component. Information about this test is available at www.ielts.org.

IOB does not require a language certificate from applicants from the following countries: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cameroon (English-speaking region), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, UK, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe and Oceania..

Applicants from the following countries are required to submit a language test: all Middle East countries / all French speaking countries / all Spanish speaking countries / European and Asian countries where English is not the language of instruction at University level.

Applicants from the following countries are required to submit a language test but in case of unavailability of this test or in case of inability to take the test, they can be admitted to the Master programme provided they attend the intensive English language course offered by IOB:  all Asian countries where English is the language of instruction at University level, except for India and the Philippines / Rwanda / French-speaking part of Cameroon.

Special facilities are offered for students from other language backgrounds (particularly for French- speaking students). Students with paper-based TOEFL scores between 500 and 550 (or internet-based TOEFL scores between 61 and 79) or IELTS scores between 5.5 and 6.0 may thus be admitted  to the Master programme upon successful completion of an intensive two-week language course organised by the University of Antwerp. The cost of this language course will be borne by the Institute.

The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS) awards scholarships to students from 54 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin-America to follow a master programme at a Dutch speaking university or university college in Belgium.


Applicants for the scholarship need to meet the following criteria

  1. You are a national AND resident of one of the countries on the country list (not necessarily the same country for residence and nationality):Africa (26): Benin,  Burkina Faso,  Burundi,  DR Congo,  Ethiopia,  Gambia,  Ghana, Guinea,  Ivory Coast,  Cameroon,  Kenya,  Madagascar,  Malawi,  Mali,  Morocco, Mozambique,  Nigeria,  Rwanda,  Senegal,  Tanzania,  Togo,  Tunisia,  Uganda, Zambia,  Zimbabwe,  South Africa,


  2. You are not older than 40 years if you apply for a scholarship to follow a master programme.
  3. You have the required English proficiency (refer to academic admission requirements).
  4. Professional experience and employment perspectives are not required for a master programme, but they can be a competitive advantage for selection for the VLIR-UOS scholarship.  The candidate must be currently employed or have a written (future) employer’s guarantee of (re)integration in an employment where the acquired knowledge and skills will be immediately applicable.
  5. Earlier applications and scholarships : You do not apply for more than one VLIR-UOS scholarship a year. You have never received a Master scholarship funded by the Belgian government before.
  6. Employees of a university department involved in a  VLIR-UOS IUC programme or OI programme are not eligible.

Selection criteria

  1. Motivation : It is essential that the candidate’s motivation demonstrates the possibility of transferring knowledge or creating extension activities, and having a specific developmental dimension.
  2. Professional experience , preferably in a research institution, a higher education institution, the government sector (national/regional/local), the sector of social economy, or an NGO. Preferably expertise in development relevant matters.
  3. Present employment/reintegration perspectives , preferably in a research institution, a higher education institution, the government sector (national/regional/local), the sector of social economy, or an NGO. Preferably with the possibility to generate an impact through the transfer of knowledge, extension activities or otherwise. Not in the commercial profit sector.
  4. Previous scholarships : Priority will be given to the application of a candidate for a master programme who did not already has been granted a previous master scholarship. For a candidate for a training programme, the selection committee assesses the opportunity of a VLIR-UOS scholarship award, taking into consideration the candidates’ previous study and scholarship curriculum.
  5. Gender : In case of two equally qualified candidates of different sexes, preference will be given to the female candidate. The selection commission will aim at a parity or relative balance between the number of men and the number of women awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship.
  6. Regional balance : The selection commission will try to ensure that 50% of a programme’s scholarships are granted to candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  7. Social background : In case of two equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates from a  disadvantaged area within their country or an ethnic or social minority group, especially when these candidates can provide proof of leadership potential.

The scholarship covers all expenses related to the studies. For detailed information please check http://www.scholarships.vliruos.be/

Submission and deadlines

  •  Applicants who apply for both academic admission and the VLIR-UOS scholarship must send in their application (online application form + hard copies) before 1 February 2016.
  • Applicants who apply for academic admission only and who need a student visa for Belgium, may apply until 1 April 2016 (online application form + hard copies).
  • Applicants who are not applying for the above scholarship and who are exempted from applying for a student visa for Belgium may apply until 10 September 2016(online application form + hard copies).

​As for the hard copies: we consider the stamp of the postal office as a proof for timely submission of your documents.

All applicants will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of their application by e-mail. Applicants, who are accepted both academically and for the scholarship, will be contacted by e-mail by VLIR-UOS and IOB at the latest on 15 May 2016. All other applicants applying in the second round will be informed by 30 May 2016. Students who are exempted from applying for a student visa, applying after 1 April, will receive feedback within two weeks after their file has been received.

Address and contact details

IOB / University of Antwerp
Admission office
Prinsstraat 13
B-2000 Antwerp

tel:   +32 (0)3 265 57 70
fax:  +32 (0)3 265 57 71
email: iob@uantwerpen.be
website: www.uantwerp.be/iob

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