Master in Education and Research for Sustainable Development ( MERSD )


General information of the master program:
Many people are not familiar with the meaning of sustainable development, let alone the meaning of education for sustainable development. Therefore, they do not know how to stimulate their own development.
Often, policies are not aimed at all the different Suriname communities, but focuses on one single group. Educating a new generation of multi-disciplinary and multifunctional specialists will enable a better understanding of the concept of sustainable development.
Therefore, the development of a Master of Sciences programme on sustainable development forms the basis of Project 3. This will result in well-trained policy makers and other graduates, available for society.

Program coordinator(s):
Dr. Randy van Zichem, USB [ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Prof. Tom Vanwing, VUB [ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]

Objectives and Profile

MERSD is an academic program, which aims to train specialists in development. The training is therefore aimed at the student's scientific knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes to enable him to formulate, analyze and implement policies independently in concrete situations. The MERSD is a research-oriented Master's program that focuses on people who can identify with the concept of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and who are prepared to use education for the development of knowledge and skills in service of sustainable development at all levels: personal, social, national and global. The MERSD focuses on bringing forth a development expert who is academically and practically-trained. This development expert uses different perspectives - trans disciplinary - to analyse the existing social structures and individual problems. To achieve this there are four pillars identified, on which this program is based on. They are as followed: Civic Participation, Community Development, Prevention Poverty Reduction and Self-employed Entrepreneurship.

Professional profile
The profile of the development expert is undeniably trans-disciplinary and multi-functional. Trans-disciplinary because during the training the development expert will be provided with practical and theoretical knowledge inherited from various scientific disciplines: legal, economic, ecological, cultural and social. Multifunctional because the development expert will be able to work on three levels: coaching, management and policy. The coach works directly with the target groups, the manager is the head of an organization and the policymaker is active in the fields of policy development, policy implementation and policy evaluation.
The development expert also has a profound expertise in the design, implementation and application of scientific research in sustainable policies. This enables him to act based on scientifically sound principles and practices.
Within the general academic profile, a number of specialization options are offered. They are related to the four pillars mentioned earlier. It is also possible to focus on issues such as globalization, sustainable development, biodiversity and governance. These aspects are guiding principles in the curriculum of the MERSD.
The professional profile of the development expert (MERSD graduate) can generally be described as a trans-disciplinary and multifunctional scientist in the field of Sustainable Development, who is capable of analyzing and solving complex issues at policy, management and support level, independently or as part of a team.

Competences profile
The development expert is capable of taking an integrated, efficient and effective approach to a sustainable development issue, depending on the desires of a potential client. An MERSD graduate can work in a multidisciplinary team and/or independently.

Depending on the chosen pillar and personal interests, the development expert has the following skills:
Project preparation, planning and implementation
Entrepreneur Skills
Developing a vision for sustainable development, methods and projects, chain modeling and observing, identifying and reporting, problem analysis and methodical act and communication.

The development expert has knowledge about:
the dimensions of sustainable development (people, profit (now prosperity) and planet);
how the decision-making process in formulating policy on sustainable development is realized;
process changes surrounding sustainable development;
the legislation and regulations on environmental and sustainable development

Attitudes & Values
Development experts are people who:
are imbued with respect for human life because it is the basis for all other values;
see cultural diversity and biological diversity as a source of strength and potential for wealth;
are consciously living in harmony with the natural environment;
have a strong appreciation for family and family values, community ties and moral issues including responsibility and accountability for themselves and the community;
have a well-developed respect for our cultural heritage;
have versatile skills, can demonstrate independent and critical thinking, put current attitudes and practices for discussion and focus on the practise of using knowledge and facts to solve problems;
are global citizens with a positive attitude toward their own country and people.

Overview Modules

Overview Modules
A. Main Modules (45 ECTS)

Nr. Basic Modules            Year1   Year2  
1 Sustainable development: educational theories and International policy 6  
2 Political planning and institutional policy analysis    6
3 Law and Sustainable society   3
4 Learning for Entrepreneurship 1 3 6
5 Community development: discourse, theories and paradigms 3  
6 Philosophy and development 6  
7 Education, development and change 6  
8 Human Resources Development and manpower planning    3
9 Technology innovations and transfer in third world countries   3

B. Research methods modules (12 ECTS)

Nr. Basic Research Modules Year1 Year2
1 Social Sciences and Research Methods               6  
2 Advanced qualitative research 3  
3 Advanced quantitative research  3  

 C. Applied modules (21 ECTS)

Nr. Applied Modules Year1 Year2
1 Project Cycle Development 6  
2 Oriëntatie Seminars 6 5
3 Leadership and Management                                  3
4 Research seminars   6

D. Thesis Research (39 ECTS)

Nr. Basis Onderzoeksmodules Year1 Year2
1 Research internship (stage: in relation to master proof research)     15
2 Preliminary Thesis 3  
3 Master thesis   15
4 Scientific Communication 3  
5 Academic Writing   3

 E. Optional modules (9 ECTS)

Nr. Optional Modules Year1 Year2
1 9 ECTs to choose from the optional courses list                                  3 6

Optional courses MERSD:

Course Lecturer ECTS
Social Antropology   Dr. P. Tjon Sie Fat       3          
Management & Innovation for the Non-profit Sector  Prof. Dr. T. Vanwing (VUB)  3
Learning and Development for Entrepreneurship Dr. K. de Pryck 3
Transition Management Dr. H. Ori 3
Sustainability in Development in the Region Dr. R. Van Els (Brazilië) 3
Sustainable Tourism Drs. Martin Panday/
Dr. H. Ori
Leadership and Efficiency Dr. L. Schoenmakers 4

Courses ( optional ) offered outside the MERSD programme:

Course Master Programme ECTS
Energy Management FMijW - SMNR 5
Economy and Valuation of Natural resources FMijW - SMNR 5
Gender, Ethnicity & History Research Methods - IGSR 10
History & Heritage Research Methods - IGSR 10
Indian Diaspora (deelvak binnen Migration and Diaspora) History - IGSR 5
African Diaspora (deelvak binnen Migration and Diaspora) History- IGSR 5



Registratie formulier Master in Education and Research for Sustainable Development
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