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Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Caïro (NVIC)

The NVIC – Catalyst for Flemish-Egyptian scientific collaboration

What is the NVIC?

The Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Caïro (NVIC) is an academic knowledge centre contributing to the profiling, stimulation and internationalisation of the teaching and research activities of the participating Dutch and Flemish universities in the Middle East. In addition, the NVIC focuses on advancing the Dutch- and Flemish-Egyptian collaboration and on spreading the Flemish and Dutch culture in Egypt.

What does the NVIC do?

Initially, the focus of the NVIC activities was set on Arabic & Islamic Studies, Egyptology, Archaeology, Papyrology, Middle East Studies, social sciences and humanities in the broad sense. In 2012 however, the NVIC started to further broaden its work field to themes such as Caïro as an urban challenge, studies concerning politics, law and society in Egypt and art and culture. An overview of the NVIC’s current teaching portfolio can be found here.

What is the link between the NVIC and FWO/Flanders?

Since its establishment in 1971, the NVIC has been under the managerial and administrative responsibility of Leiden University. Currently, at Flemish side, KU Leuven, Antwerp University and Ghent University are official partners of the NVIC. Additionally, the NVIC closely collaborates with the Dutch and Belgian Embassies in Caïro and has close partnerships and contacts with relevant academic, cultural and political institutions in Egypt, Flanders and the Netherlands.

The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) provides funding for the position (postdoctoral fellowship) of the Flemish assistant-director Arabic/Islamic and Middle East Studies of the NVIC, who represents the Flemish research community.

What can the NVIC mean for students and academics in Flanders?

The NVIC has a broad portfolio of academic courses, assists in the supervision of theses, internships, (individual) archaeological expeditions and fieldwork, offers support for obtaining local permits, facilitates research and accommodates and manages an impressive academic reference library of about 13,000 volumes.

By gaining practical knowledge and academic experience in Egypt, students and researchers from Flanders can add an additional dimension to their career. The NVIC staff itself also performs scientific research, acts as partner in (international) projects and obtains funding to do so. Thanks to its broad local network the NVIC can be the link par excellence for researchers from Flanders to get into contact with their peers in Egypt specifically, and, by extension, in the Middle East.

Moreover, upon request, the NVIC puts its teaching experience at the disposal of companies, embassies, international organisations and individuals by offering intensive private language courses Arabic and Dutch. The NVIC also organizes movie nights, lectures, conferences and workshops for a broader audience.


Relevant websites and documents

  • NVIC website: About NVIC - Leiden University (
  • Resident Fellow programme (for Flemish researchers)
    To increase collaboration with researchers from Flemish Universities, one scholar per semester from a Flemish University may apply for a research stay at the NVIC for a duration of 3 - 12 weeks. NVIC will provide any logistical assistance needed to the scholar as well as desk space. In return, NVIC will ask the scholar to give a public lecture at the end of the stay, or teach some classes to our students.
  • Annual report NVIC 2021
  • NVIC FAQ – Study Abroad
    This FAQ tackles several relevant questions such as: What are the requirements to participate in a Study Abroad at the NVIC? How can I register? Do I need a visa? Once I am in Cairo, how can I find accommodation?
  • Arabic & Islamic Studies
    The focus of the courses is on acquiring language fluency, and stimulating the four main language skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing.
  • Middle East Studies
    Since 2017, NVIC offers an interdisciplinary semester in Middle East Studies for students of Dutch and Flemish universities, primarily in the fields of International Studies. Half the semester (15 ects) is devoted to Arabic language acquisition, both Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic, while the other half is devoted to content courses on themes related to the Egyptian context and the Middle East at large.
  • Egyptology in the Field (study programme) – Student Diary
    Every year the MA Egyptology students from Leiden University and KU Leuven spend two months in Egypt during January and February for the "Egyptology in the Field" study programme. You can read about their adventures and experiences in this weekly diary, written by the students.
  • NVIC TAFL Course (Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language)
    This intensive, interactive course is developed for (future) teachers of Arabic. It addresses both the practical aspects of teaching Arabic as a foreign language as well as the underlying linguistic and cognitive processes.