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Global Development Issues

Explore sustainable solutions to critical global issues like resource imbalance, justice, and social inequality. This exchange programme emphasizes cross-cultural communication and tackles the world's pressing challenges, preparing you for an interconnected, culturally diverse world.

About Global Development Issues

The world is characterized by various development issues, such as spatial inequality, the contrast between rich and poor, an environment that is under pressure, access to sufficient and safe food, dealing with violent conflicts and bad health. As a global citizen, consumer and future professional, you are likely to be closely involved in these development issues. Wouldn’t it be interesting to learn more about these issues and be able to partake in this debate with well-argued opinions? Moreover, wouldn’t it be motivating to come up with small-scale possible solutions and put these solutions into practice during an internship abroad? Consider doing this minor if your answer to these questions is ‘yes’!

Why this programme?

  • Combine theory and a practical internship abroad to tackle global issues hands-on.
  • Learn about inequality and environmental challenges to drive informed solutions.
  • Link your major to global development for impactful future contributions.

Objective of the programme

The objective of this exchange programme is to provide you with useful knowledge, insights and skills that allow you to look to several development issues from a realistic view. It will help you to build a well-argued opinion on these matters and let you think about possible long-lasting solutions. The tools to do so will be provided during the three different courses and one practical internship. In addition, you will find out how your own professional expertise (your major) is linked one way or the other to global development issues and how this minor can contribute in future professional situations.




Content of the programme

The minor consists of four parts. The first three components work from a theoretical foundation using scientific literature and concepts in order to give you tools to analyse various development issues in detail. The last component is a practical internship in a developing country.

The four parts are:

  • Course: Justice (4 EC)
  • Course: Introduction to development issues (10 EC)
  • Course: Culture and interculturality (6 EC)
  • Internship (10 EC)

The working methods utilised in this programme will vary from portfolios to examinations, meetings and presentations.

Development is mainly a matter of fair distribution of resources. During the ‘Justice’ module, the central question is always to which extent a distribution policy is just. The judgement whether a given distribution is fair or not, depends not only on the actual distribution, but also on the concept of justice. You will learn different theories about justice, analyse situations based on these theories and come to your own view on what just distribution is
During this course, you will get to know various development issues. For that, you will initially learn how to perceive these issues from a general context. That context consists of a selection of literature on development theories, views on (sustainable) development, systems thinking, globalization and working with future scenarios. You will subsequently apply this knowledge to five specific cases, such as the resource conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Finally, you will be expected to show your ability to assess possible solutions to development issues.
In this course, you will learn how cultural identity is constructed and how culture(s) can be analysed on the basis of different theoretical concepts, from cultural anthropology to cultural dimensions. You will learn to recognize the core values of your own culture and their importance for judging and communication. Moreover, you will learn to apply theories of intercultural communication in specific situations. You will be able to reflect upon your own cultural position and that of others, using different perspectives on culture (culture visions) and to analyse geopolitical conflicts from a cultural point of view.

The internship is the synthesis module of all parts of this minor. For four weeks, you will participate in an existing project in a developing country where – in addition to substantive goals – you will have to show that you are able to collaborate with people from different cultures. In the months leading up to the internship, you will prepare yourself and your stay abroad during weekly meetings. On the basis of a work plan, you formulate learning objectives, you describe the project and you prepare for local conditions. The preparation includes making the previously mentioned work plan, a culture analysis and several guest lectures by experts.

Examples of internships in a developing country in recent years:

  • Organizing activities for young people in Malawi.
  • Making a video report about a sustainable agricultural project in the Moluccas.
  • Supporting an exchange project between schools in the Netherlands and Romania.
  • Reorganising and maintaining a school building in rural Nepal.
  • Teaching disabled children in Vietnam.



Admission requirements

The Global Development Issues Minor will form a component of a Bachelor’s degree. Students who wish to follow this programme will need to have attained adequate levels of reading and writing in English, i.e. IELTS 6.0 and will need to have completed their first year of a Bachelor degree programme. Proof language level, a written motivation and a Skype interview are part of the entry requirements. This minor is open to all. Maximum group size is 25.



How to apply as an exchange student

Applications should always be submitted via the International Exchange (or Erasmus) Officer at the home university. If several versions of the programme are offered, please indicate for which version you would like to apply to (Programme I, Programme II, Programme III, etc.) This officer will send your application request (nomination) to Fontys. Once Fontys has accepted the application, your Fontys study department will send you a link to a web application called Mobility Online.

Deadline for application

Fall semester: 15 May
Spring semester: 15 November

Note: Not all exchange programmes are available every semester. To find out when this programme is offered, please check its specific details.


How will your course programme be recognised by your home university?

Fontys will provide you with a so-called ‘Transcript of Records’, which will clarify the results that you have achieved. Depending on your results, you will receive a maximum of 30 ECTS credits. ECTS credits are recognised throughout Europe. The agreement between your home university and Fontys University of Applied Sciences will usually include a condition whereby the credits that you obtain will be recognised and transferred into the records kept by your home university.


Practical information

Start moment(s)
September, February
20 weeks
Contact hours
15-20 hours per week

In addition to the standard costs of a stay abroad, the internship in a developing country brings additional costs of around €2000 (incl. flight). It also requires necessary preparation concerning, for example, a visa. In cooperation with your teacher you’ll search for a suitable place for your internship.

For more detailed information about practical matters, such as financial matters, residence permit, health insurance and accommodation, please click on the button below.


Location and contact