Being a pioneer in implementing UN SDGs in education, the School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM), Tsinghua University (THU) and the Geneva School of Social Science (G3S), the University of Geneva (UNIGE) recently welcomed their initial cohort of SDG dual master’s students from a variety of different universities globally and a broad range of backgrounds.

“I am genuinely thrilled by this program – not only because it is serving as a great support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals but also because it is aiming to train our future leaders with a broader global vision and a deeper sense of responsibility towards mankind.” – Lan Xue, Co-Chair, SDSN Leadership Council; Dean, School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM), Tsinghua University; and Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Development Goals(TUSDG), Tsinghua University.

In the past two weeks, totally 41 students registered at THU and UNIGE. They will spend their first academic year in their home university and then exchange to the host university in the second academic year. Students enrolled in this highly interdisciplinary 2.5-year dual master’s program will gain both theoretical understanding and practical field experience that will prepare for employment on sustainable development projects. Upon successful completion of the dual master’s requirements including coursework, hands-on workshops, internship and academic thesis, students will obtain both the degree of Master of Public Administration of THU and the degree of Master of Science of UNIGE.

Lisanne Jong, a student from Netherlands, expressed her excitement of being enrolled by THU in this dual master’s program. “Studying at Tsinghua gives all of us the opportunity to be part of a global community here on campus. Students from our school come from all over the world. In my program alone, we have students from Canada, Colombia, Brunei, Vietnam, Netherlands, Brazil, U.S. and China, and even more countries. Over the years, this will provide us with a global mind-set that will benefit us for the rest of our life. It will create cultural understanding and friendships that cross borders. ”

In January 2017 at World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland), President Xi Jinping of China and then President of the Swiss Confederation, Doris Leuthard, jointly witnessed the signing of the memorandum between THU and UNIGE on comprehensive cooperation on UN SDGs. During the roundtable, President Qiu Yong of THU and Rector Yves Flückiger of UNIGE signed an agreement on the dual Master Degree of Public Policy for Sustainable Development Goals (MPP-SDG) and the establishment of a SDGs research center (TUSDG).

Photo of the Rector Yves Flückiger of UNIGE (left) and the President QIU Yong of THU (right)

Within this cooperative framework, SPPM and G3S jointly established a SDG Master Student Exchange Program from last year and a Dual Master’s Program for UN SDGs (MPP-SDG) from September this year. These SDG-oriented programs focus on defining and developing concrete solutions for the UN SDGs through hands-on, team-based and project-driven activities, in parallel with courses on the fundamentals of sustainable development taught by experts from THU, UNIGE and a range of IGOs and NGOs in Geneva.

Photo of the Dean Bernard Debarbieux of the Geneva School of Social Science, UNIGE (left) and the Dean XUE Lan of the School of Public Policy and Management THU (right).

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Website of Tsinghua University MPP-SDG program: http://www.sppm.tsinghua.edu.cn/english/mid/Admission/AboutMPPSDG/

Website of TUSDG: http://www.sppm.tsinghua.edu.cn/english/ResearchCenters/UniversityAffiliated/26efe48960740c88016141285d430056.html

Edited by SPPM and TUSDG