About University Development Cooperation

Everyone knows about "classical" development cooperation, but did you know that VUB is involved in several research and teaching activities with universities in the Global South? Each year, VUB professors work together with their colleagues from countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia to tackle global issues and perform excellent research. At the same time, student mobility (North-South or South-North) is geared towards the exchange of knowledge and experience. In these ways (and more), the whole VUB community and their partners are strengthening their capacity and building sustainable relationships.

More information on our vision, news, and projects can be found on this page.

Questions? Ideas? Head on over to the Contact tab.


University Development Cooperation in the news

VUB Today

Who doesn't love chocolate?

Read about Chocolate Science!

Kenyan VUB alumnus on the fight against infectious diseases and the antimicrobial resistance

Read it here!

Our vision on UDC

Coming soon!

Global Minds 2020

Next deadline: TBA

The Global Minds Programme, supported by VLIR-UOS, aims to increase VUB’s capacity in knowledge, scientific approaches and technologies to sustain, improve and expand its collaboration with partners in the South (developing countries). By integrating development issues into education and research, Global Minds strives to foster global citizenship and solidarity in society to better respond to global challenges.

The following paragraphs introduce the various projects and mobilities that are possible within the Global Minds framework. You can find all links to the calls below.

1. XREI: Staff Mobility

The objective of this call is to stimulate the mobility of staff. This can be VUB personnel travelling South, or Southern staff travelling to the VUB or to a VUB organised event in Belgium. However, the mobility should contribute to capacity-building with regard to university development cooperation within VUB (in accordance with the Global Minds objectives). The destination is limited to the 31 countries of the VLIR-UOS list (except Suriname).

XREI Deadlines:

  • 24 May 2020 [ON HOLD]
  • 27 September 2020 [ON HOLD]

Given the uncertainty about (the extension of) measures taken to prevent the rapid spread of the novel Coronavirus, the current deadlines are put on hold. A new deadline for the submission of XREI applications will be decided on in May 2020. This way, we hope to have all necessary information on delays in currently funded mobilities, and VLIR-UOS guidelines.

2. Student Group Mobility

In addition to staff mobility, we also wish to stimulate outgoing student mobility, and to promote structured cooperation between the VUB and international institutions of higher education. The project must be development-relevant. The group mobility must contain at least 10 students and each student must obtain at least 15 ECTS ("study credits") at the host institution. The destination is limited to the 31 countries of the VLIR-UOS list (except Suriname). Students wanting to go abroad, will have to follow UCOS training before applying to the call.

"Small budget, Great impact!"

3. Small Great Projects

Small Great Projects (SGP's) aim to strengthen VUB’s academic capacity to participate in university development cooperation. Project proposals should stimulate an (innovative) development dimension in (one or more of) the three missions of the university (education, research and outreach), which are aligned with the core values of the university.

Examples include (but are certainly not limited to) international seminars, alumni gatherings, awareness raising events on campus and movies on VUB projects; about food, migration, the climate crisis, SDG's, entrepreneurship in the Global South.

Please take note of the new budget conditions for SGP's. From 2020 on the budget allows for a maximum of 2 international travels (return flights). More details can be found in the call.


4. Post-doc

By giving the faculties or departments the chance to hire a Post-doc who can focus fully on development-related proposal writing, research, teaching material, and more, Global Minds hopes to strengthen the capacity of the department (and hence the VUB) when it comes to university development cooperation.

5. Joint PhD

The objective of this call is to ensure a minimum academic capacity in development at the faculty level of the VUB so it can engage in effective University Development Cooperation with other stakeholders and strengthen the scientific collaboration with universities in the South by means of joint research in areas of mutual interest, through joint PhD-scholarships.

Be aware this call requires three annexes: the application file, a letter of recommendation, and a research proposal.



Please download the full calls and application forms below. For more information, please contact Olivia Lebbe or Development.Cooperation@vub.be.

* for all projects and mobilities (except Joint PhD)

Universitas 2020 Call

Submission deadline: 15 February 2020

The International Relations Office (IRMO) is launching the new, revised UNIVERSITAS call 2020 for full scholarships to candidates belonging to VUB-linked institutions, in developing countries.

This call is the first within the framework of the newly developed programme, as approved by the RIB on 5 November 2019.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 15 February 2020.

Please download the full calls and application forms below. For more information, please contact development.cooperation@vub.be or francoise.de.cupere@vub.be.

Programme Coordinator UDC
Jannes Motmans

+32 (0)2 614 80 66

Programme Coordinator UDC
Françoise De Cupere

+32 (0)2 614 80 82

Programme Coordinator UDC
Olivia Lebbe

+32 (0)2 614 80 76


International Relations

UDC is a part of the VUB International Relations Office (IRMO)

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Partner: UCOS

UCOS provides training for staff and students going abroad, and more...

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