UNESCO Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE)
UNESCO Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE) is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. The Institute confers fully accredited MSc degrees, and PhD degrees in collaboration with partners. Since 1957 the Institute has provided graduate education to more than 14,500 water professionals from over 160 countries, the vast majority from the developing world.
UNESCO-IHE provides a variety of services, listed below by functional area:
- Education, Training and Research: UNESCO-IHE offers a wide range of educational programs, tailor-made training & online training courses for engineers, scientists and managers working in the water, environment and infrastructure sectors. UNESCO-IHE is implementing its educational activities with partner institutes. The Institute offers four fully accredited Masters of Science Programmes with nineteen specializations in the fields of water, environment and infrastructure, with a focus on poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The programmes are modular in structure, thereby creating opportunities for increased flexibility in the exchange of modules between programmes - including those of partner universities – and optimizing the ‘blend’ of learning scenarios. The Institute also offers PhD research programmes and short courses, both face-to-face and on-line, including tailor-made training programmes and study tours.
- Research and Innovation: The Institute’s research activities focus on and contribute to the knowledge base concerning the water environment, and therefore complement its education and capacity development activities. With over 110 academic staff, 140 PhD fellows and 25 post-docs active in water-related, problem-focused and solution oriented research on development issues, UNESCO-IHE has a vibrant multicultural and multidisciplinary research atmosphere.
- Capacity Development: UNESCO-IHE strives to strengthen the programmes of universities and research institutes, as well as the knowledge and capacity base of ministries and other water sector organizations around the world. The Institute’s capacity building efforts are a response to the need to achieve more visible impacts in the water sector. UNESCO-IHE has engaged in long- and short term international co-operation programmes that aim to strengthen the indigenous capacities of local water-related knowledge organisations. Capacity building activities include staff development, facilities improvement, research and development support, education and curriculum development, training methods and tools upgrading, and managerial systems and skills enhancement.
UNESCO-IHE encourages its 15,000 alumni community members from over 160 countries to actively engage in knowledge and information exchange. Alumni reach senior positions in their home countries and become nationally and internationally recognized experts in the development of the water and environmental sectors. UNESCO-IHE alumni have access to and remain part of a global network, consisting of alumni, guest lecturers, experts and renowned centres of knowledge, together providing a vast source of expertise to draw upon.
Within the UN system UNESCO is dealing with the most comprehensive range of water activities, resources management, gender equity in sustainable water provision and management, transboundary and international water-related disasters and risks management. UNESCO's water activities rest on three pillars: the International Hydrological Programme (research), the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education (capacity development) and the Secretariat of the World Water Assessment Programme (data).