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United Nations University

The United Nations University formally called the UNU, is the academic research arm of the United Nations. The mission of the university is to contribute, through collaborative education and research, as well as, resolve the disturbing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare that concern the United Nations, its people, and members. The United Nations work with top-ranking universities and research institutes in the UN member states, that function as a bridge between the United Nations and the academic world, as a way of achieving its aim. Its headquarters is in Tokyo, Japan.

There are a few postgraduate programmes offered by the UNU. However, it will continue to extend its global scope and build on its list of postgraduate courses in order to accommodate top academics and postgraduate students who are willing and ready to address some global issues faced by the international community.

Master’s Programme at the University

The United Nations University (UNU) Master’s programmes are made available to graduates who are ready to take up researches in relevant areas mandated by the university. A Master of Science (MSc) degree is conferred on students and prepares them for advancements to a PhD programme.

To qualify for the master’s degree programme, applicants must present proof of the completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree programme from a relevant university. The master’s programmes include:

MSc in Sustainability;  MSc in Public Policy and Human Development; and MSc in Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security (an international joint MSc programme).

Doctoral Programmes at the University

Currently, there are a few doctoral programmes offered by the United Nations University. To qualify for the doctoral programmes, applicants must demonstrate that they have completed their master’s degree programme or its equivalent from an accredited university.

There are various accreditation processes for each programme and institute. Therefore, applicants are asked to reach out to relevant institutes for further information on the process of application.

The different doctoral programmes include:

  1. Dual Career Training Programme to obtain a PhD in Governance and Policy Analysis ( GPAC2) in Maastricht.
  2. PhD Programme on Innovation, Economics and Governance for Development ( IEGD) in Maastricht.
  3. PhD in Sustainability Science in Tokyo.
  4. Integrated Management of Water, Soil and Waste (Joint PhD programme) in Dresden.

Admission, Scholarships and Funding at the University

The tuition schemes at the United Nations University have packaged separately for each programme: masters and doctoral programmes. Applicants should visit the official website of the institute of interest for information on each programme, admission procedure and tuition package.

The university also offers financial support to individual students with outstanding performance in form of tuition fee waivers. Applicants should inquire about the financial support and other information about the programme from the admissions office.

A limited number of scholarships are awarded to the students who demonstrate signs of outstanding performance in their results. They include:

The United Nations University Japan/PhD in Sustainability Science. The scholarship is open to those who seek PhD admission in Sustainability Science. The programme lasts for three years. Applicants must be from developing countries and have financial needs. Those who live in Japan under a working visa or are pursuing a second degree at the UNU -IAS are not eligible for application.

The United Nations University Iceland / The UNU Fisheries Training Programme. The scholarship programme is available to postgraduate students offering a variety of training in the fishery and its related sectors at the Iceland universities. Eligible students must be former UNU -FTP fellows.

Master’s Degree in the United Nations and the Art of Peace. The master’s degree programme focuses on 70years of action in peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding. Students are expected to develop a deep understanding of the UN’s role in international peace and benefit from it.

The United Nations Office of the High Commission / Fellow Programme for People of African Descent. The fellowship programme is offered to Africans living in the diaspora. They must have, at least, four years of working experience and good knowledge of English language. Fellows travel to Geneva to gain relevant experiences while working and learning about issues facing the people of Africa. The value of the scholarship includes a monthly stipend and health insurance.

The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research   Visiting PhD Fellowship Programme. The fellowship is available to register doctoral students with assistance at UNU -WIDER as they work towards a PhD dissertation on developing economics. The programme lasts for three years and the fellow must write one research paper and present a seminar in the course of the stay. The value of the fellowship includes a monthly stipend, travel allowance, and medical insurance.

Codification Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs / International Law Fellowship Programme. The fellowship programme is designed to help professionals from developing countries learn more about the United Nations’ legal works. The programme is offered in the Netherlands for students with legal backgrounds and international law. The value of the scholarship includes a living stipend, cost of travel and accommodation, insurance, as well as registration fees.

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