Beginning in January 2017, the University of Geneva is offering a completely new programme that capitalizes on its unique proximity to global affairs: The Master of Advanced Studies Programme in European and International Governance in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
The programme is co-organized by the Centre for European Legal Studies (CEJE) and the Global Studies Institute (GSI) of the University of Geneva in cooperation with UNITAR.
“We researched different universities and found that a programme like this, offering studies on subjects from both European and international perspectives doesn’t exist — what we’re offering is original,” Yoanna Nedelcheva said, the programme’s coordinator Nedelcheva is a lawyer with eight years of experience working for both the French government and the European Commission. The directors of the programme are Prof. Christine Kaddous and Prof. Nicola Levrat—both from the Faculty of Law and Global Studies Institute at the University.
The Master of Advanced Studies programme is designed to help professionals from various backgrounds improve their career objectives through a nine month course focusing on high-level scientific and interdisciplinary knowledge in European and international governance, thanks to the Interdisciplinary excellence at the University of Geneva in cooperation with UNITAR. The programme is meant to attract applicants from all over the world with diverse backgrounds.
The ideal applicants have professional experience and a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, and want either to move up in their current career or switch to an international-facing profession. This unique degree will allow graduates of the programme to start a wide range of careers in international organizations and offices around the world. It is also designed for professionals who work or wish to work in national or European administrations, international and nongovernmental organizations, associations and foundations dealing with international affairs, including diplomatic or civil servant of ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Trade, Economy, Finance, Agriculture, Justice, and Home affairs.
No matter what career path participants are drawn to, every student will gain an in-depth knowledge of how to best analyse current affairs and evaluate today’s challenges with an expert eye and act according to the programme’s directors.
“The diploma is delivered by the University of Geneva and develops a close cooperation with the UN’s Institute.,” Nedelcheva said.
The English-speaking programme runs from January to October, with five months spent in class and a threemonth internship in an international organization, as well as the writing of a Master’s thesis or a professional project. Upon graduation, participants in the programme will receive a Master’s of Advanced Studies (MAS).
Through the programme, students will complete eight thematic modules covering subjects such as international trade and governance, human rights and migration, European governance and the Union’s role in international affairs, practice and skills for multilateral negotiations, peace and security issues, as well as Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. For example, the module Key Skills for a National or International Career Dealing with Global Issue, will significantly improve participants’ negotiation, crisis management, leadership, public speaking, report writing, and other skills that are indispensable for a successful career at the national or international level.
Each thematic module lasts three weeks and students are required to be in Geneva three days a week. Besides the programme, participants may stay on the university’s campus for a conventional professor-led course, might attend international conferences, or simply continue their professional activity in parallel.
“We are aware that it may be difficult for participants to continue working while studying, which is why we structured our programme in a way that requires students to only be in Geneva for five months,” Nedelcheva said.
Student will spend five months going through the eight modules, completing coursework and taking exams. Half of those courses will be taught by university professors and the other half will be taught by experts from the UN and other Geneva-based international organizations as well as from the European institutions. Over the remaining three months of the programme, students have the choice of writing an academic thesis on issues related to their current profession, writing a thesis on one of the modules studied in the programme, or engaging in a three-month internship at the U.N., the European institutions, or a similar agency.
“We want to not only show participants how these global-level issues work on a theoretical level, but also how they work in its practical application,” Nedelcheva said.
The application deadline for the programme’s first wave of students is September 30 and tuition is 25,000 Swiss Francs. Scholarships and financial aid are available to students according to their needs. The University of Geneva will limit its first class to 25 students.
“We are trying to give our participants a global view of what is happening in today’s world—to consider international problems and challenges from many different perspectives,” Nedelcheva said.
Article by Paige Baschuk