Profile of a CERES Institution: University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy and Management.

The Institute of Development and Policy (IOB), situated at the University of Antwerp, is a multidisciplinary institute and divides its functions in three main areas: (i) Academic teaching, (ii) Scientific research, and (iii) Service to the community in the economic, political, and social aspects of development policy and management.

The IOB has its activities and resource commitments focused on the poorest developing countries and in the most vulnerable areas and groups within these regions. It advocates for a multicultural society and worldwide sustainable development. Additionally, the Institute wishes to create added value for the local, national, and international development cooperation community by enabling the exchange of information and critical reflection regarding North-South relations.

The 2017-2020 IOB Strategy Plan has reinforced the Institute’s commitment to achieve further growth as an international player within Development Studies, increasing their performance on publication output, doctoral research, and the acquisition of external funding.  To meet the University of Antwerp’s criteria, IOB will follow up on its education policy, practice, and quality assurance. Accordingly, IOB has built a plan that includes:

  • The inclusion of several components into their Master programmes in and with South partner institutions shaping the globalization aspect of the programmes. The collaboration with global South partners has the purpose of bringing more and other voices into the learning curriculum in Antwerp.
  • With IOB’s partners in Nicaragua, Tanzania, and DR of Congo, it is intended to organize ‘joint modules’ that will be recognized as part of the IOB Master programmes.
  • With partners in Ecuador and The Philippines, IOB focuses on the organization of ‘Mobility Windows’, meaning the provision of research internships among the actors of development within the South partners network.

Currently, IOB offers three one-year Master programmes in Development Studies: Globalisation and Development, Development Evaluation and Management, and Governance and Development. Every year 100 new students join IOB Masters programmes, adding more than 30 different nationalities and different academic backgrounds that contribute to a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment.

The Prize for Development Cooperation was awarded to three Master Students in the Province of Antwerp from programmes that were run by IOB. The award has been handed out by the Province of Antwerp for over 20 years, and all enrolled students in the master programmes (after having finished) at the University of Antwerp or at the Institute of Tropical Medicine are eligible. The winners receive a cash prize of 850 euros each.

Apart from this, the Short-term programmes in Development Studies, offered by IOB and financed by VLIR-UOS, might be a good option for those students who want to focus on the acquisition of practical skills. These programmes last for a minimum of 3 weeks, and a maximum of 3 months. They include: Strengthening National M&E Capacities and Use, Human Rights for Development and the Sustainable Development and Human Rights Law (SUSTLAW) Postgraduate programme.

The IOB PhD programme is related to the research agenda of IOB. In order to maintain its high quality, the number of working PhD students is limited, and IOB has adopted a strict policy in accepting applications. Although many PhD students already have an institutional link with IOB by being part of prior Master programmes or as researchers from partner institutes, IOB also considers other applications that fit into the research agenda and candidates that are able to show proof of funding for their PhD.

The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS) offers 12 scholarships per Master programme. BTC and Master Minds also offer scholarships in accordance with partner countries and/or high standard academic performance.