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VLIR-UOS Governance & Development Scholarships for Developing Countries

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“Is better governance critical for the future of inclusive and sustainable development?”
“What do conflict, governance and development have in common?”
“Which potential solutions for good governance present themselves on the local and the global level?”

This programme explores insights, tools and best practices for good governance in order that graduates could apply them in their future professional contexts. Graduates shall understand and be able to analyse, from the local to the global level, the governance problems which confront developing countries today.

The governance programme offers two tracks with specific objectives and courses:

Track 1: Governance and Conflict.

Track 2: Local Governance and Poverty Reduction Contact: Greet Annaert Institute of Development Policy and Management

The future of sustainable development is critically related to the promotion of better governance at the local, national, regional and international level. At once a cause and a consequence of governance failures, violent conflict is incompatible with sustainable development. Central in this nexus between development, governance and conflict are processes of state formation, state failure and state reconstruction. Adopting a political economy perspective, the study programme analyses governance problems and possible responses with due account of specific historical pathways of countries and the interaction between the national state level, local society level dynamics and the impact of global developments.

Most of our students are engaged in development, professionally and/or as researchers. The objective of the Master’s programme is to provide them with multidisciplinary theoretical insights and practical tools that will improve their capacity to analyse governance challenges at different levels and how they relate to processes of violent conflict and development. Graduates will understand and be able to analyse, from the local to the global level, the governance problems confronting developing countries today. Theoretical insights, policy strategies and best practices as well as failures are explored in order that graduates could apply this knowledge in their future professional environments.

The Master’s programme in Governance and Development offers two tracks with specific objectives, courses and target audiences. The first track explores governance and development issues against the background of violent conflict and the challenge of post-conflict state reconstruction. The second addresses governance and development challenges from the particular perspective of local institutions and poverty reduction.

Track 1: Governance and Conflict

The Governance and Conflict track focuses on the actors and factors involved in the governance dimensions of development in the particular contexts of conflict-prone environments and states that face a multitude of reconstruction challenges after violent conflict. A theoretical but at the same time contextualised insight is offered in the political economy of governance and development, with focus on the state as a central actor in a nation’s development process. The track furthermore explores critical dimensions, drivers and dynamics of violent conflict, peace and conflict resolution processes and post-conflict state reconstruction. It adopts a thematic perspective, supplemented with in-depth case-studies drawn from Sub-Saharan Africa. Students receive analytical as well as policy-oriented tools that prepare them for knowledge-based interventions, in particular in conflict-affected environments.

This study track is intended for participants with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds who are professionally active in conflict-prone environments or post-conflict situations or who are interested in policy-oriented research on these topics. Participants should have work experience in the public action domain, either within government institutions (including public research institutions), donor agencies (including international non-governmental organisations, bilateral and multilateral donors) or civil society (including advocacy groups, research institutes and universities).

Module I (12 weeks – 18 credits)

Theories of Development: provides an overview of recent evolutions in the literature on the politics and economics of development, and on poverty and inequality.
Research Methods I and II: update of contemporary quantitative and qualitative research methods; possibilities for combining these methods and applying them within ongoing development processes.

Module II: Governance for Development (9 weeks – 12 credits)

This module deals with the particular nature of the state in developing countries and how it impacts on (under)development and conflict. Further, it analyses how the division of wealth and power among (ethnic and other) identity groups and their elites affect poverty, inequality and growth. It also considers the role, the potential and the constraints of global and decentralised governance structures as well as civil society within the context of the development process. The module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘The Political Economy of the Great Lakes’.

Module III: From violent conflict to state reconstruction (9 weeks – 12 credits)
This module first defines basic concepts and, adopting a political economy perspective, highlights contemporary trends and addresses root causes and explanatory factors of conflict. It subsequently focuses on conflict resolution policies and practices and the constraints and challenges faced by a range of actors (mediators, peacekeepers, donors, etc). Finally, it addresses key political, socioeconomic and governance dimensions of state reconstruction and development after violent conflict. The module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘The Political Economy of the Great Lakes’.

Module IV: Dissertation (15 weeks – 18 credits)

To be developed on the basis of one of the assignments written at the end of either module II or III.

Track 2: Local governance and poverty reduction

The ‘Local Governance and Poverty Reduction’ track focuses on the interaction between (trans)national and local actors in governance processes. Decentralisation has become an important part of the agenda for governance reform and democratisation in many countries. Likewise, public service provision and property rights issues can hardly be discussed without taking due account of local-level institutions and political dynamics. The partial autonomy of local levels of decision-making is part and parcel of countries characterised by weak or fragile national-level state structures and it requires careful scrutiny in the conceptualisation and assessment of development initiatives. Special attention is also paid to the dynamics of poverty and the politics of poverty reduction.

The track is intended for participants who are professionally active or interested in research on the interface between the (trans)national and the local level and/or between state and non-state development actors. Students should have work experience in the public action domain, either within government institutions (including public research institutions), donor agencies (including international NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donors) or civil society (including research institutes, universities).

Module I (12 weeks – 18 credits)

Theories of Development: provides an overview of recent evolutions in the literature on the politics and economics of development, and on poverty and inequality.
Research Methods I and II: update of contemporary quantitative and qualitative research methods; possibilities for combining these methods and applying them within ongoing development processes.

Module II: Governance for Development (9 weeks – 12 credits)

This module deals with the particular nature of the state in developing countries and how it impacts on (under)development and conflict. Further, it analyses how the division of wealth and power among (ethnic and other) identity groups and their elites affect poverty, inequality and growth. It also considers the role, the potential and the constraints of global and decentralised governance structures as well as civil society within the context of the development process. The module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘The Political Economy of the Great Lakes’.

Module III: Local Institutions and Poverty Reduction (9 weeks – 12 credits)
This module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘Poverty and Well-being as a Local Institutional Process’. The module explores how the interactions of actor strategies and institutional structures generate inequality and poverty as well as well-being. It applies this analysis to specific policy domains: value chain development, microfinance, land policies, gender, public services, role of local government, management of natural resources, migration and the impact of trade.

Module IV: Dissertation (15 weeks – 18 credits)

To be developed on the basis of one of the assignments written at the end of either module II or III.

Admission requirements

The following candidates are eligible to apply for the Master’s programmes:
• Applicants from the South must hold a university degree (Bachelor or Master) of at least four years of study in Social Sciences (Economics, Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, or related disciplines). Applicants from the South who hold a Bachelor’s degree of only three years of study must demonstrate very strong and relevant professional experience and/or have successfully completed additional training. Applicants from the North must hold a Master’s degree in Social Sciences Only applicants with excellent academic records will be accepted.
• Our ideal participant has at least two years of professional experience in a sector relevant to the programme. Applicants from the North should have relevant field experience in the South.
• Applicants must be proficient in English. Those who have received a university education in English must provide an official certificate confirming this. Other applicants must submit one of the following test results:
o TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 550 for paper-based test or 79 for Internet-based test. Information about this test is available at http://www.toefl.org.
o IELTS (International English Language Testing System): minimum score of 6.0. Information about this test is available at http://www.ielts.org.
o Special facilities are offered for students from other language backgrounds (in particular for French-speaking students). Students with paper-based TOEFL scores between 500 and 550 (or TOEFL Internet-based between 61 and 79) or IELTS scores between 5.0 and 6.0 may also be admitted provided they successfully complete a two-month intensive language course organised by the University of Antwerp before the start of the Master’s programme. For students selected for a VLIR-UOS scholarship, the cost of this language course is borne by the Institute (see below for details).
• Motivation and Matching: see description of student profile per Master and Trajectory.

Target Candidates

Only persons who are resident AND national of one of the following countries (not necessarily the same country for residence and nationality) are eligible for a VLIR-UOS scholarship. Please note that candidates must reside in one of these countries at the moment of application.

  • Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Latin America: Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay

You can apply for a scholarship if you meet the following requisites:

  • You are a resident AND national of one of the countries on the country list (not necessarily the same country for residence and nationality). Please note that candidates must reside in one of these countries at the moment of application.
  • You are not older than 40 years* if you apply for a scholarship to follow a master programme. Or you are not older than 45 years* if you apply for a scholarship to follow a training programme. (* on 1 January 2012)
  • You have the required English proficiency. You need a proof of at least 1 year of comprehensive English-based instruction at a university or recognized equivalent. If not, a TOEFL test is required with a minimum total score of 550 on the paper based test (PBT), or 79 on an internet based test (IBT); or an IELTS test with a minimum overall band score of 6,5; or a proof of another test of similar level as TOEFLE or IELTS.
  • Professional experience and employment perspectives are not required for a master programme, but they can be a competitive advantage for selection, depending on the programme. Present employment or reintegration perspectives are required for a training programme. 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.
  • 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. You are only admissible for a training programme scholarship if you have not received a VLIR-UOS scholarship for a training programme before.
  • When you are an applicant from a university engaged in a VLIR-IUC partnership, it is required that the Flemish or local IUC coordinator declares that you are not linked to an IUC funded department. If you are linked to such a department, you do not qualify for a scholarship from the scholarship programme from VLIR-UOS but can apply for funding from the IUC budget in case you would be academically admitted.

For selection we take into account the following criteria:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Previous scholarships: Prioririty 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.
  • 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.
  • Regional balance: The selection commission will try to ensure that 50% of a programme’s scholarships are granted to candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 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.

How to apply

You can apply for a scholarship by following the procedure below:

1. Go to the information page of the training or master programme of your interest.
2. Look for the inscription link on the programme website and apply via the application form of the Flemish host university or university college.
3. Receive a return e-mail from the Flemish host university or university college.
4. Send a printout of your application file along with all required documents (diploma transcripts, motivation, etc…) to the International Office of the host university or university college (not to VLIR-UOS!). You will find the information on the website of the programme.

Then you have correctly applied and can your application be considered. Scholarship application deadlines are:

Master programme: 1 February 2012

Scholarships

The scholarships cover all related expenses.

– Allowance 800€/month
– Family supplement 62€/month
– Accomodation premium 200€/month
– 1 return ticket, economy class

Period: September 2011 – September 2012
Language: English
Number of VLIR-UOS Scholarships: 10

Contact:
Mrs G. Annaert
Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB)
University of Antwerp
T +32 (0)3 265 57 70
F +32 (0)3 265 57 71
dev@ua.ac.be
http://www.ua.ac.be/iob/education
http://www.scholarships.vliruos.be/

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6 Comments

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    Our university has so many plans to increase educated man power within our country and East of Africa. So I need your cooperation by giving free MASTERS scholarship in this field of study. I want to further my education in Universiteit Antwerpen.
    I wish I would like to develop my skills and to gain additional knowledge from your university. I’m very interested in give me free scholarship in your good university upon receipt of my question to increase and upgrade my skill and knowledge that makes my day & night dream is my first choice to pursue my study. Since my parents are socially minority group in ETHIOPIA the so called shinasha & poor too poor family , they could not able to afford me the fees for GRE and TOEFL exam and then to pursue further thus I need financial aid to process the scholarship. I will send you any information immediately as soon as requested. Notify me any information through my Tel: 0923366355, or e-mail:temesgendesta99@gmail.com
    Thank you for taking time to read this letter of application for free scholarship.
    I look forward to hearing from you with HOPEFULLY & SENSITIVELY!!!!…..

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