VKI is a non-profit international educational and scientific organisation, hosting three departments (aeronautics and aerospace, environmental and applied fluid dynamics, and turbomachinery & propulsion). It provides post-graduate education in fluid dynamics (Research Master in Fluid Dynamics (Master-after-master level), former "VKI Diploma Course", Doctoral Programme, Short Training Program and lecture series) and encourages "training in research through research". Fifteen NATO countries among twenty-eight contribute to the financing of the von Karman Institute. Those countries are actually represented at several levels in the governance bodies of the von Karman Institute: Board of Directors, General Assembly, Scientific Advisory Committee and NATO Working Group on the Financing of the von Karman Institute.
The aim of the association is to promote the exchange of information among Alumni & between Alumni & the von Karman Institute, coordinate the organization of events of common interest & perform actions favouring the further innovative development of the von Karman Institute and enhancing its visibility by strengthening the links between von Karman Institute & the Association