MUNDUS URBANO - Master of Science in International Cooperation and Urban Development

MUNDUS URBANO (MU) provides adequate professional and academic solutions that are required to address the steadily increasing social and economic needs in the field of urban development and international cooperation. In particular, MU tackles the rapid urbanization process now typical in many
developing regions of the world and teaches strategies to prevent or alleviate the problems invariably associated with this process. Innovative strategies are needed because conventional wisdom of town planning has proven of little use. This way, MU seeks to address an enormous need. Since 2010, for the first time in human history, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities: over 3.5 billion people. And this number is expected to nearly double to 6.4 billion by 2050, then representing over two thirds of the earth’s population. Thus within only forty years we will need to build all existing cities
one more time—besides maintaining current urban areas and/or catching up with the existing back log in infrastructure and services.

The objective of this proposal is to further the already existing Interdisciplinary ERASMUS MUNDUS Master's Course 'International Cooperation and Urban Development' and to...(i) Continue an international, intercultural and interdisciplinary master program of high academic excellence, addressing a soaring social and economic need in the large number of highly vulnerable developing countries with rapidly urbanizing societies facing huge challenges through this process. (ii) Maintain an institutional framework that has proven highly successful, with the first year at TU Darmstadt providing students an introduction and laying the foundation for the second year specialization in either Barcelona (emergency architecture), Grenoble (urban  management and social programs) or Rome (development economics). (iii) Deepen the academic cooperation between the European founding partner institutions, including the migration from double to joint degrees and an increase in the mobility components: for example by including joint annual workshops hosted by any one partner every year.(iv) Migrate towards full financial sustainability and self-reliance whilst at least maintaining, if not furthering the high standards of academic excellence enabled during the first round of funding. (v) Develop partnerships with academic and non-academic institutions in third countries with a particular focus on enhancing the master students’ access to and understanding of on-the-ground realities in developing countries. Besides enriching academic quality and program mobility, this will also further improve the student’s employability. Furthermore, the different cost structure implied for rolling out a program portion in the South will aid in achieving financial sustainability.

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