International Course programme (ICP) - Master of Statistics & Data Science

  • Two-year international and multidisciplinary training in statistics
  • Combines a solid study of fundamental methodology with up-to-date training
  • Topics such as clinical trials, public health, longitudinal data, survival analysis, genetics, survey methodology…
  • High focus on applications in state-of-the-art statistical software packages

What is ICP?

"The need for well-trained (bio-)statisticians and bioinformatics continues to rise worldwide"

Since 1993 VLIR-UOS has offered International Course Programmes (ICP) scholarships for students from developing countries at Hasselt University. The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS) offers 10 scholarships each year for our ICP Master’s programme Master of Statistics and Data Science which is adapted to the specific needs and interests of statistics in developing countries.

The ICP Master of Statistics and Data Science offers a 2-year international and multidisciplinary training in statistics. The Master combines a solid study of fundamental methodology such as linear and generalized linear models, Bayesian modeling and multivariate models, with up-to-date training in topics such as clinical trials, public health, longitudinal data, survival analysis, genetics, survey methodology… In addition, there is a high focus on applications in state-of-the-art statistical software packages.

3 specializations

The ICP scholarship students follow a specific track within our Master of Statistics and Data Science with a focus on statistics in developing countries. This is achieved by three specific ICP courses organized and taught together with our partners in the South. In total there are three possible International Course Programmes (ICP) specializations within our Master of Statistics and Data Science:

  • Biostatistics: focuses on (generalized) linear models, multivariate methods, longitudinal data, Bayesian methodology, incomplete data, clinical trials and time-to-event analysis, as well as on specific methods and issues related to clinical trials.
  • Bioinformatics: focuses on (generalized) linear models, high dimensional data analysis methods, analysis of omics data, machine learning, computer intensive methods programming, and on very recent and important applications such as metabolomics, genomics, microbiome, …
  • Quantitative Epidemiology: focuses on (generalized) linear models, multivariate methods, modeling infectious diseases, mathematical biology, data mining, incomplete data, spatial and environmental epidemiology.

For a detailed overview of the courses in the curricula of each specialization, we kindly refer to the study guide.

Am I eligible?

VLIR-UOS provide 10 full-fledged scholarships for the ICP-programme of the Master of Statistics and Data Science.

The scholarship eligibility criteria include (non-limitative list, for information purposes only):

Nationality and Country of Residence: candidates should be a national and resident of one of the following 29 countries (not necessarily the same country) at the time of application:

        • Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe
        • Asia: Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Vietnam
        • Latin America: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru.

Age: the maximum age for a Master programme candidate is 35 years. The candidate cannot exceed this age on January 1 of the intake year.

Candidates should also meet the admission requirements for the Master of Statistics and Data Science.

How to apply?


To apply for an ICP scholarships several steps need to be done. Please make sure that you start on time with your application to avoid that your dossier cannot be completed before the deadline.

STEP 1: Online registration

  1. Visit the link online registration.
  2. Complete the online registration form.
  3. Page STUDY PROGRAMME: select "Master of Statistics and Data Science".
  4. Page LEARNING ACCOUNT: if you have not yet obtained a degree in Belgium, the balance of your learning account is 140.
  5. Page SUCCESS RATE: if you weren't enrolled at Hasselt University in the previous year, skip this page and proceed to the next page of the application form.
  6. If you are eligible* to apply for the ICP scholarship, you will see this on the page FINANCES in the online application. To apply for the scholarship, you first have to mark the option "yes" on that page (application for a VLIR-ICP-scholarship: "yes").

STEP 2: VLIR-UOS scholarship application form

To apply for the ICP scholarship, you have to follow a specific procedure. You’ll find more information about this procedure on the VLIR-application form, which you can download on top of the UP/DOWNLOAD page in your online application.

After completing the online registration form, you also have to upload your documents on the up/download page.

STEP 3: Send hard copies of your application by post

  • printout of the VLIR-UOS scholarship application form (see here (pdf, 718 KB) for a sample form)
  • hard copies of certified/legalised (*) degree certificates and academic transcripts (a checklist of the needed documents can be found in the application form)
  • hard copies of additional necessary documents: certified English translations of diplomas and degrees, proof of English proficiency, 2 letters of recommendation, passport picture, ... (see checklist)

(*) Before a public document (like a diploma) can be used in a country other than the one where it was issued, the origin of the document must be authenticated. It is required by the Belgian government to include a legalised hard copy or a certified hard copy of your degree certificates and academic transcripts in your application for a study programme at Hasselt University. A certified true hard copy of a document, is a photocopy of a primary document, which has a confirmation that it is a true copy (it is again signed and stamped by the issuing authority). An authorised civil servant (notary) can confirm that the copy of the diploma is conform to the original.

These hard copies need to be sent to this address:

Hasselt University
attn. Ms. Leen Jorissen
Martelarenlaan 42
3500  Hasselt

Once your documents (electronic + hard copy) have been received and your online file is complete, your application will be submitted to the board of admission who will decide on its admissibility. After the scholarship deadline, all received applications will be reviewed by a selection committee who will rank the applications.
Application forms that are incomplete, illegible or arrive at Hasselt University later than the application deadline, will be rejected.

The top-ranked applications will be submitted to VLIR-UOS for scholarship approval. Once VLIR-UOS has approved the scholarship selection made by Hasselt University, the selected students will automatically be notified by VLIR-UOS (as of end May/June). Applicants who were not selected, will be notified by Hasselt University in the same period.
In case you are academically admitted but at the same time not selected for a VLIR-UOS scholarship, you are allowed to start your studies in the Master of Statistics and Data Science and attend the programme on your own financial means (e.g. self supported, supported by your employer or other).

During the application and selection procedure no information about outcome is given. Please do not contact staff members to request for information.

Please note that the information provided here is intended for informational purposes only and may be subject to changes.

ICP Testimonials

Maxwell Paganga - Zimbabwe

I really enjoyed my stay at UHasselt, thanks to VLIR-UOS scholarship which made my life easy in terms of living expenses. This means I had to spend much of my time studying instead of looking for student jobs to get money for rentals and other stuff. The programme is really good, although tough. I learned a lot and gained a wealth of ideas which I plan to apply back home in the public sectors such as local universities and research organizations.

Mifflin-Rae Calvero - Philippines

The ICP Master of Statistics: Bioinformatics program is a very interesting and exciting program. It might be intensive but you would really learn a lot from the lecturers, who are approachable and very helpful. I enjoyed the program very much and it helped me realize what I want to pursue after Masters. This program equips you with statistical skills in bioinformatics and introduces you to the wonderful, diverse world of bioinformatics. The scholarship was very generous to offer me this opportunity to achieve my dreams, to learn about Belgium and its culture, and to gain friends from around the world. I am deeply grateful to VLIR for this experience.

Bhowmik Kakoli Rani - Bangladesh

I will recommend this ICP Master of Statistics to everyone who wants to gain in-depth knowledge of Statistics and set up their career as a statistician. The ICP programme provided for me the opportunity to meet with people around the world and know about different culture. I will for sure remember all the happy and challenging events which happened in the past two years. And although I am going to miss my life here, I am happy that I have received my diploma. Thanks to VLIR and the ICP programme.

Leonard Wafula - Kenya

My time in Hasselt was a mixture of great success, not-so-memorable and of course absolutely challenging times! On the grand-scale, the academic side [which luckily was the primary reason for coming] was excellent. The width, depth and applicability of Statistics taught at UHasselt was second to none. Widening my social and professional radius by meeting new national and international friends was a definite positive, as was the role(s) each one played in shaping my career direction as a result of more insightful discussions and ideas. But jeeeez, how about the weather? I had never imagined spending a minute (let alone months) at sub-zero temperatures! Interestingly and somehow, it became a norm with time.

Would I recommend the ICP program and generally studying in Belgium (specifically UHasselt) to someone else?.. ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT EVEN BLINKING.

Beatrice Charamba - Zimbabwe

Master of statistics at Hasselt University (UHasselt) is an International Program consisting of more than ten nationalities from several academic backgrounds. Because of that, I could appreciate people from several cultures and backgrounds and learn something from our differences. Teamwork was the order of the day, many projects were done in groups and I gained teamwork skills.  The courses taught were relevant for my career as an academic.  Also, it covers both applied and theoretical statistics which were relevant for my career as an academic. The most interesting part about the program is that you are given the opportunity to apply what you have learnt in form of projects which encompass report writing and presentation. Several presentations done on those projects improved my communication skills and I could confidently present my findings.  Doing my thesis with an external company, I gained consultancy skills and able to work with non-Statisticians. The program had funding for several students and I was one of them which makes life easier, however the fees were affordable even for those not sponsored. Currently I am employed as a lecturer and I intend to start my PhD in July this year. Thanks to U Hasselt for being the stepping stone. What I can say is, if you want a career in Statistics or related field, try UHasselt.

Marsha Nugroho - Indonesia

The opportunity for me to study the Master of Statistics and Data Science in UHasselt was made possible by the VLIR-UOS scholarship. The program is well-designed, with theoretical knowledge and a hands-on application made possible by incorporating projects in the courses. Apart from gaining knowledge, the real treasure I found along the way was many good friends from various cultures and backgrounds. They made the whole journey so much more special and unforgettable. That being said, it was certainly not always an easy path to complete and graduate. Still, through this program, I learned many things about statistics, myself, and how to improve my soft skills as a professional. I greatly appreciate VLIR-UOS for this fantastic experience and highly recommend this ICP Master of Statistics program.

Contact info

General ICP-related questions:

Contact person general:
Mr. Jade Vincent Membrebe
Coordinator ICP Programme

Prof. Dr. Niel Hens
Promoter ICP Programme

Mrs. Martine Machiels

Ms. Stefanie Commeene
International Office

Student Administration  

Our headquarters are located at:
Hasselt University
Martelarenlaan 42
3500 - Hasselt

The courses will take place at:
Hasselt University
Agoralaan building D
3590 - Diepenbeek

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