A specific cooperation process between Asia and Europe in the field of education – and more specifically higher education – has been set up in the context of the Asia-Europe Meeting. During the Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers of Education held in Kuala Lumpur in 2013, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation announced it would participate in the ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme as of 2014.
DUO/Wallonia-Brussels has been established at the Wallonia-Brussels Federation in order to promote “paired exchanges” between professors from Wallonia-Brussels HEIs and Asian ones. Mobility must be carried out over a period of 3 weeks to 2 months and by "pair", i.e. a professor/researcher from an FWB institution goes to an Asian partner institution and vice versa. However, candidates don't necessarily have to work in the same field of study.
Generally, the ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme (dating from 2011) aims at:
- Promoting balanced mobility of higher education professors between the two regions;
- Setting up regular exchange programmes between HEIs;
- Reinforcing cooperation and dialogue across both regions.
The list of partner countries is: Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
What kind of financial support?
The DUO Belgium/Wallonia-Brussels grants are awarded annually to a pair of professors for a project that should take place between August 1st of the academic year and August 31st of the following academic year.
The duration and the amount of the grants enter these conditions:
01/ Duration of stay
The duration of the exchange should be of at least 3 weeks and of maximum 2 months.
02/ Amount of the scholarship
The amount of the grant awarded to the pair of professors is 5,000€ for the two professors. This amount includes mobility and per diem costs.
How to introduce an application?
The institution belonging to the FWB applies for both partner institutions. In each higher education institution, a contact person must be clearly identified. The person responsible for the application is the one belonging to the Belgian institution and should ideally be the institution’s representative for international relations. This person is responsible for coordinating the exchange and for sending a complete application, including the documents for both applicants.
01/ Documents to enclose
Documents have to be sent in ONE single PDF document:
- The completed application form of the current call for the DUO/Wallonia-Brussels Fellowship Programme. The application form must be typewritten and submitted in PDF format;
- A copy of the academic cooperation agreement between paired institutions or the declaration of intent to sign one in the two following years;
- The passport copies of the two applicants;
- The résumé of both applicants (maximum 5 pages).
02/ Eligibility criteria
The applicants must meet ALL eligibility requirements:
- Applicants must be member of the academic or scientific staff of an institution of a Wallonia-Brussels HEI or an Asian HEI (i.e. they must be remunerated by the HEI and it must be their main occupation). However, the following groups are not entitled for a fellowship:
- Students and PhD students;
- Professors emeritus, honorary professors;
- Teaching assistants;
- The Wallonia-Brussels and Asian HEIs must be recognised/accredited by the competent authorities in the field of higher education;
- The Asian institution must be located in one of the following countries : Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam;
- The Wallonia-Brussels and Asian HEIs must have a signed cooperation agreement or must have expressed the intention to sign one in the two following years;
- The citizenship of the professors is not a criterion for eligibility;
- The fellowship programme is open to all disciplines.
03/ Selection criteria
ARES selects beneficiaries of the ASEM DUO Wallonia Brussels Fellowship Programme based on the following criteria:
- The scientific, academic or artistic quality of the submitted project;
- The original character of the project;
- The scientific, academic or artistic quality of the applicants (e.g. publications, publications with the partner institution, research or artistic project, exhibitions, work experience, competitions, academic background, etc.);
- The expected impact of the grant on the work and professional career of the applicant;
- The expected impact of the grant on the applicant’s institution;
- The explanation for the duration of the trip;
- The quality of bilateral relations between the Wallonia-Brussels institution and the Asian partner;
- The relevance of financial support for the applicants.
After the exchange?
A mission report must be sent not later than two months after the end of the exchange. The report must, in 2 to 4 pages, present the mission, the objectives reached through the programme, some guidelines for improvement, etc. The last instalment is paid after both professors have submitted a joint mission report (maximum 4 pages).
01/ What are the eligible higher education institutions (HEI) in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB)?
There are 6 universities, 19 university colleges and 16 school of arts and 84 adult HEIs in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The full list of HEIs eligible is available here: https://www.studyinbelgium.be/en/higher-education-institutions-french-speaking-belgium
02/ How to find an eligible partner?
If you already have a partner, you must then check that he or she actually works for an eligible higher education institution (HEI) of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) and meets the conditions of eligibility.
If you do not have a partner yet, you can inquire with the international relations office of your institution to find out whether your institution already has a partnership with a HEI in the FWB. Alternatively, you can check the list of HEIs dealing with areas related to your project and contact, for instance, the head of international relations office, the head of the research department, or the heads of faculty / department of these institutions.
03/ Are electronic signatures accepted?
You have two options regarding signatures: either the document is signed by hand and then scanned, or you save the completed form in PDF format and you, and your authorities, append your authenticated signatures.
04/ Can I split my stay of min. 3 weeks and max. 2 months in two trips?
Yes, you can split your stay in two trips in order to meet, after your second trip, the minimum length of stay of three weeks in total. However, in this case, we draw your attention on the fact that most of your grant will be spent in transportation fees.
05/ If my application is selected, will I be allowed to modify the travel dates stated in my application file?
Yes, you can change your travel dates up to one month after the deadline for signing the agreement between you, your partner and ARES, i.e. until September 30.
06/ How do I demonstrate the intent to sign an agreement to meet the eligibility criteria?
This is a co-signed letter (or two separate signed letters) from the authorities of both institutions, or their representatives, stating the intention of both parties to sign an inter-institutional agreement within the next 2 years.