In Their Own Words: Student Perspectives

  • “We are constantly pushed out of our comfort zone and challenged to innovate and propose practical solutions, rather than reproduce knowledge. Lectures are thought-provoking and fast paced. The unique UN environment provides us with exposure and access beyond my expectations to world-class scholars, scientists, and personalities that are addressing the most pressing global concerns.”
    Julia Lopes Ferreira (Brazil; Graduated from MSc in 2019)

    “The courses, taught by highly distinguished professors, are designed to allow us to look at various subject matter from multiple perspectives. Class discussions and activities involve collaboration and exchange of knowledge from the various academic disciplines from which I and my classmates come. Through this transdisciplinary approach, UNU-IAS is providing us with not just essential skills but also the ‘heart’ to contribute to solving complex problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and desertification.”
    Elson Ian Nyl Ebreo Galang (Philippines; Graduated from MSc in 2019)

    “Even if you are not from a hard science background, the programme is accessible. My fear when I applied was that it would be mainly directed towards those who already had a background in environmental sciences or environmental politics. I had taken a few lectures that touched upon the subjects that we study here, but some of it was still very abstract to me. Through the intensive courses of the first month, I quickly developed a greater understanding of issues such as climate change and UN institutions. It was very intense, but I believe that that knowledge has provided a strong foundation on which to continue to build.”
    Alice Yamabe (France/Japan; MSc Candidate in Sustainability)

    “I come from one of the poorest regions in the world, which is in need of development. And not simply development: sustainable development which takes into account social needs and environmental issues, in addition to economic development. Most of the issues that I am studying here are relevant to the situation in my country–whether it is food security, gender, or education. I was a university lecturer back home, so my plan is to go back and resume my job after I finish my degree. I will have the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills that gained here. That is the best way that I can help my country.”
    Denabo Billo Juju (Ethiopia; Graduated from PhD in 2019)

    “Having studied agricultural/rural economics and rural development, I developed interests in a variety of subjects. Sustainability science was my choice in order to conduct trans-disciplinary research on what I wanted to know. UNU is the optimal place to follow my path because experts and students from diversified backgrounds work on global issues such as the SDGs.”
    Yukako Inamura (Japan; Graduated from PhD in 2020)

    Student Interviews

    In the videos below produced in 2016 during a UNU-IAS science communications course, master’s students interview each other about their backgrounds as well as their future goals.