UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

  • 400 Students (400 int'l)
  • Public University
Delft, Netherlands
UNESCO-IHE offers a wide range of short, intensive and highly specialised courses for mid-career and senior experts who wish to upgrade and refresh their knowledge and skills. They are intended for individuals or groups of professionals with a specific area of interest, and limited time at their disposal.

About UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education is an international institute for water education that was created in 2003 from the previous IHE. This in turn grew out of the International Course in Hydraulic Engineering (set up in 1957), whose name was changed in 1976 to International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE).

UNESCO-IHE is based in Delft, the Netherlands and is owned by all UNESCO member states. It is established as a UNESCO Category I institute jointly by UNESCO and the Government of the Netherlands.

The Institute operates entirely on extrabudgetary funds and as such represents a new and unique model within UNESCO that implicitly requires an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to ensuring its funding. The Institute is the largest water education facility in the world and the only institution in the UN system authorized to confer accredited MSc degrees.

UNESCO-IHE is instrumental to the strengthening of efforts by other universities and research centres in increasing knowledge and skills of professionals working in the water sector. The Member States of UNESCO will have access to the knowledge and services of UNESCO-IHE in human and institutional capacity-building, which is vital to their efforts in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (Agenda 21) and other global water objectives.

UNESCO-IHE's functions are defined as follows:

  • Offer education, training and research programmes
  • Provide capacity-building services particularly for developing countries;
  • Set up and manage networks of educational and water sector institutions and organizations worldwide;
  • Serve as a policy forum for UNESCO Member States and other stakeholders;
  • Provide professional expertise and advice on water education; and
  • Play a leadership role in international standard setting for postgraduate water education programmes and continuing professional education.

Since its inception in 1957, IHE as it was known has provided postgraduate education to more than 14,500 professionals (engineers and scientists) almost entirely from developing/transition countries, representing 160 countries. It has also graduated more than 100 PhD candidates and executed numerous research and capacity building projects throughout the world.

Accreditations of UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

All MSc Programmes are accredited by NVAO


The Institute offers a wide range of facilities:

  • four modern teaching and research laboratories: aquatic ecology, microbiology process and analytical laboratories;
  • a library with online connections to a worldwide network of libraries, and a reading room containing many international journals and magazines;
  • multifunctional lecture theatres and a fully equipped auditorium that seats 300;
  • extensive ICT facilities, including a studio with videoconferencing facilities;
  • a restaurant offering a wide variety of meals and snacks;
  • an in-house prayer room;
  • residential accommodation equipped with computers, internet connections and other facilities.

Student life at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

UNESCO-IHE is at the centre of a vast international network of water-related institutions, and functions as an interface between knowledge networks and centres, public and private sector organizations, scientific and professional associations, and other members of the international water community.

Through these partnerships, the Institute is able to broaden its knowledge base and to increase its effectiveness in responding to the demand for its services. All participants can benefit from the many professional contacts the Institute has built up since it was established half a century ago.

While studying at UNESCO-IHE, participants can expect to meet leading figures from the international water arena. The professors and lecturers place each study in the context of global dialogues and targets such as the Millennium Development Goals.

The Institutes approach applies an international perspective to solve domestic problems: think globally, act locally.

Participants will meet fellow students from around the globe. Their cultures and professional experiences will offer a taste of the Institutes network on a more personal level.

Throughout the year the Institute hosts a number of activities that aim to make life as pleasant as possible, and arranges frequent excursions to locations in the Netherlands and Europe, as well as the field trips that form part of each study curriculum.

Master's Programmes at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

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Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education!

Other Degrees by UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

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