My studies at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences: „Sustainable Development Management“
An experience report from Lisanne
When I started studying `Sustainable Development Management` in September 2016, the Master program was still relatively new.
As student with a Bachelor’s degree from another university, it was required to take some more Bachelor courses from different programs at HSRW in my first two semesters. Those were chosen based on prior knowledge and my personal interest. The master program as such consists of various mandatory courses but also offers the possibility to choose two different elective courses that aim at deepening the students’ knowledge regarding individual fields of interest. Examples are Gender Development, Management of NPOs and Fundraising, Behavioral Economics, Poverty & Vulnerability etc. For me, these elective courses were especially valuable because I learnt a lot and they also helped me determining which fields are of interest for my future career.
What I appreciate most about the Master program is that it includes different areas like economics, politics and social sciences where theory and practical applications are closely combined. Evaluating the impact of a real-life project only serves as one example. The course `Management of Development Projects`, where we had to develop our own development projects and write a real-life project proposal was a one semester team project. In the end, it was a lot of work but in the process, we applied all the previously learnt theoretical knowledge and could creatively work on certain topics. It provided an insight in the everyday work of a project manager in the area of development cooperation.
Another highlight during my studies were two workshops that were organized by professors. The first one took place in the GDI in Bonn and dealt with different topics concerning EU development cooperation. Apart from applying knowledge and taking advantage of the expertise of experts, we were also able to visit other important players in German development cooperation like the BMZ and the DeGEval and got to know potential future employers. The second one was about water management in Swaziland which was implemented by a HSRW professor and two external guests from Swaziland that are both working in this field for many years already. With them, we closely worked together to develop a poverty alleviation project for small-scale farmers in Swaziland. Apart from intense discussions and Q&A rounds, we also learnt a lot about Swaziland, its history and culture.
Generally, I can only say that I am happy to have opted for this master program. Small groups and a very multicultural environment made studying convenient, less anonymous and exciting. Moreover, the program coordinators have been open to feedback and continuously tried to optimize the program. Regularly office hours and meetings ensured that questions of all kind could be answered quickly and responsively.