Delta areas are under growing pressure worldwide due to climate change, population growth and ongoing urbanisation. The water sector has a great need for experts who are capable of developing and implementing solutions for this. The challenge here is to reduce the vulnerability of river deltas, while simultaneously enhancing the opportunities for healthy economic and ecological developments. The new River Delta Development master (MSc) came about in close consultation between the water sector and the VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL), the HZ University of Applied Sciences and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences; it is the Netherlands’ first professional master programme on the topic of water at higher vocational level.
A master programme within higher vocational education distinguishes itself via a practice-oriented approach, an intensive collaboration with the work field and a broad view of the content (the river delta in this case). Participating in innovative practice is an important element of the study programme. This is why students work in so-called Living Labs on location, thereby encountering real issues in the sphere of water, food and health. They cooperate in interdisciplinary teams, together with and under the intensive supervision of professionals from the sector and researchers from applied research groups and research centres of the three universities.
In order to ensure a broad outlook of the various issues, the students literally rotate within the delta during their studies: the master starts at the HZ University of Applied Sciences in Middelburg, where they turn their attention to issues in coastal areas. The programme will subsequently shift to VHL in Velp, where river systems are the focus of attention. Students will finish their studies at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences where the emphasis is on water in urban areas.
The River Delta Development master (MSc) will commence in September 2019. The expectation is that the first ‘facilitators of change’ will be available for the water sector as of February 2021.
Consult www.hvhl.nl/mrdd for more information on the River Delta Development master, or visit the open day at VHL on Saturday 16 February.