The perfect recipe for sustainable joint programmes

The perfect recipe for sustainable joint programmes

Joint programmes are everywhere nowadays, but did you know that half of universities offering joint programmes have been forced to discontinue at least one programme on grounds of unsustainability? The latest publication in our Pathways to practice series tackles how to design and implement successful, sustainable joint Master’s programmes.

Today we’re launching the newest Pathways to practice publication: Designing and delivering sustainable joint Master’s programmes. This how-to series focuses on succinct practical information, with each publication taking a big challenge or best practice and breaking it down step-by-step to help you implement it in your institution.

In the latest publication, authors Andries Verspeeten and Mirko Varano look at both the growing popularity of and the many challenges facing joint programmes. In doing so, they offer key steps and considerations for each phase of the process, from planning a new joint programme to ensuring its long-term sustainability.

Success stories

Some higher education institutions have already reaped the benefits of the approach laid out in Designing and delivering sustainable joint master’s programmes.

The University of Ghent’s International MSc in Fire Safety Engineering, for example, was organised to cater to the clear training needs of this sector, within which a limited educational offer was available. Three partner institutions in three countries joined forces, overcoming the differences between their local tuition fee policies with a strong structural commitment to the programme. This consisted of local fee waivers by the UK partner, a commitment for the funding of administrative staff by the coordinator, and the search for additional scholarship funding.

Also at the University of Ghent, the International MSc in Marine Biology attracts about 100 students per cohort, with no sustainability issues in terms of recruitment. The programme was based on structural research cooperation, a sound needs analysis, and partner locations connected by several European seas. It offers a prime example of the rationale behind and added value of organising a programme within an international consortium.

The Technical University of Turin’s Master’s programme in Automotive Engineering trains professionals to contribute to the development and management of integrated auto-vehicular systems. Thanks to the engagement of teaching staff from the sponsoring companies, training is geared to the competitive development of products for the global automotive market. The programme also offers the possibility to achieve a double degree at the University of Windsor in Canada by spending the final year of the programme there and by defending a thesis in both Italy and Canada. As part of the curriculum, some student teams take the opportunity to design and build prototypes to compete in international university competitions. The sponsoring automotive companies in the two countries are also the main employers of the programme’s graduates.

Sustainable joint programmes

Download the publication 'Pathways to practice: Designing and delivering sustainable joint Master’s programmes' to get started on developing or improving joint programmes at your institution.