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VLIR-UOS supports partnerships between Flemish universities or universities of applied sciences and arts, in Flanders and in our partner countries, that are searching for answers to global and local challenges.

About us

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We support partnerships between universities or universities of applied sciences and arts, in Flanders and in the South, looking for innovative responses to global and local challenges. We stimulate cooperative projects between professors, researchers and lecturers and award grants to students and professionals in Flanders and the South. Finally, we help to reinforce higher education in the South and the development-relevant internationalisation of higher education in Flanders.

Bureau UOS


The Bureau UOS is responsible for the overall policy for higher education & science for sustainable development of the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR). It consists of a male and female representative of each Flemish university and a male and female representative for all universities of applied sciences & arts.

Its members are :

For Vrije Universiteit Brussel

  • prof. Ann Peeters
  • prof. Abdellah Touhafi    

For University of Antwerp

  • prof. Peter Bols, chairperson
  • prof. Sarah Van de Velde

For KU Leuven

  • prof. Karen Vancampenhout
  • prof. Chris Verslype

For Ghent University

  • prof. Mieke Van Herreweghe, vice-chairperson
  • prof. Geert Janssens

For Hasselt University

  • prof. Ken Haenen
  • prof. Ann Cuypers

For the Flemish universities of applied sciences & arts

  • ms. Kathleen Van Heule
  • mr. Stijn Coenen

Our network

Our way of working

VLIR-UOS provides funding for each Flemish university to set-up a minimum policy framework, organisational structure and operation of higher education and science for sustainable development (HES4SD) at institutional level of each university.  

The Institutional Coordinators for Development Cooperation (ICOS) are the contact persons for HES4SD at the Flemish universities. The Global Engagement Officers (GEO) are the contact persons at the Flemish universities of applied sciences and arts. ICOS and GEO inform academics, specialists and lecturers about opportunities for cooperation. They help with formulating project proposals and provide support for the execution of VLIR-UOS funded projects and scholarships. 

Through the “associatieve projecten”, each Flemish university commits to offer, in principle and as far as possible, the same or comparable services in the context of HES4SD to the lecturers of the universities of applied sciences and arts (UASA) that are associated with the university, as is offered to the academics of the university. These services consist, among others, of support when submitting project proposals, eligibility check, explanation of the financial framework, support when looking for project partners, etc. 

The “associatieve projecten” also aim, as a second formal objective, at intensifying cooperation among the university and the UASA. The scope of the “associatieve projecten” is primarily focusing on the UASA of the university’s association, but should ideally go beyond and also focus on all Flemish UASA, regardless of the association they are affiliated to.  

Multi-Institutional and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships  

VLIR-UOS is fostering cooperation beyond the borders of a single higher education institution, as well as between academic institutions and other societal actors, with the aim of obtaining better results by pooling all relevant and available expertise and stakeholders. The “associatieve projecten” have been created by the Flemish higher education institutions as platforms that are dedicatedly fostering these types of cooperation in the context of VLIR-UOS projects and scholarships.  

Promoters are advised to reach out to the ICOS for more information. 

Annual reports

Find out more about how we work by going through our annual reports: