Press Releases

  • TERI University receives support to launch a new Masters programme in Development Practice to train students in sustainable development

    1 July 2009

    U.S.-based MacArthur Foundation awards nearly $8 million US to address challenges of global sustainable development.

    TERI University has been selected by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, globally headquartered in Chicago, as one of 10 universities worldwide to receive significant support in the amount of $ 900,000 to create a new master's degree program in Development Practice.
    The MacArthur Foundation has awarded $7.6 million to seed the creation of Master's Development Practice (MDP) programs that will provide rigorous post-graduate training for a new generation of development experts over the next three years.

    Dr Arabinda Mishra, Dean, Faculty of Policy & Planning, TERI University, said "TERI University is a research institution offering postgraduate education and training in the niche areas of energy, biosciences, environment, public policy, infrastructure management, and business sustainability. All the programmes are interdisciplinary in nature with a strong focus on practice. It allows students to study real life problems through a structured system that progresses from short-term development practicum to 'learn-on-the-job' internships and finally to semester-long field-based rigorous research work. This has led to extensive networking with development agencies and the corporate sector resulting in wider societal participation in the university's academic programmes. The support from the MacArthur Foundation has come at a key time when there an urgent global need to build core competencies in sustainable development practice. It is a unique endeavour involving partnerships with leading educational institutions to reorient the current approach to development education and training. TERI University gratefully acknowledges the support and hopes to soon achieve the goal of developing a committed cadre of 'generalist' development practitioners in the South and South-east Asian countries."

    The MDP programs are designed to provide graduate students with training beyond the typical focus on classroom study of economics and management found in most development studies. The program's core curriculum bridges the natural sciences, health sciences, social sciences and management. It combines classroom study with field experiences in a range of disciplines, including agriculture, policy, health, engineering, management, environmental science, education, and nutrition.

    "Through our work around the globe, we at MacArthur understand that poverty, population, health, conservation, and human rights are all interconnected, requiring sustained and comprehensive interventions," said Foundation President Jonathan Fanton. "These new programs are a model for training the next generation of these critically needed professionals."

    Through financial and other support TERI University (New Delhi, India) will emphasise energy and climate sciences, building on its contributions to scientific and policy research in energy, environment, and sustainable development. The MDP program at TERI University will have partnerships with North Carolina State University, USA, University of East Anglia, UK, United Nations University - Institute of Advance Studies, Japan, The Basque Centre for Climate Change, Spain, and The Public Health Foundation of India.

    Other universities that will receive funding to establish the 10 MDP programs are:
    - Emory University
    - James Cook University
    - Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin
    - Tsinghua University
    - University of Cheikh Anta Diop
    - University of Botswana
    - University of Florida
    - University of Ibadan
    - Columbia University in New York City
    , will serve as Secretariat in helping to manage the MDP network of universities, and will develop an open-source repository for the MDP curriculum and other teaching materials. Ultimately, materials will be shared with other universities as part of an open-source resource on sustainable development for students worldwide, including an online Global Classroom.

    The universities are expected to produce 250 graduates with a Master's Degree in Development Practice by 2012, with a total of 750 students enrolled. They were selected based on numerous criteria, including support from top university leadership, excellent infrastructure and academic programs, the ability to serve as a regional hub, geographic representation among students, exceptional faculty, and a timeline and business plan for financial sustainability when funding ends in three years.

    There was widespread global interest in establishing the programs, and the
    quality and diversity of the proposals indicate strong interest in expanding inter-disciplinary development studies around the world. More than 70 universities in North America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America submitted proposals.