Water Without Borders graduate program welcoming applications

By UNU-INWEH, April 20, 2017
    In 2017, eight McMaster students from the Water Without Borders graduate program travelled to Ghana to learn about water, sanitation and hygiene challenges from Ghanaian professionals, government stakeholders, students and community members. While in Ghana, they visited water and sewage infrastructure and conducted field research, including water testing, key informant interviews and interactions with communities.

The call for applications for the 2017-2018 Water Without Borders (WWB) graduate program is now open to students from all disciplines interested in international issues related to water, environment and health.

WWB is a collaboration between the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)* and McMaster University. The program is intended to compliment graduate degree programs at McMaster University and is open to graduate students in all Faculties and departments.

Two current WWB students – Faria Faiz, who is enrolled in the McMaster Master of Arts in Globalization Studies, and Jorge Sanchez Perez, a PhD student in Philosophy – offered their perspectives on the program.

Faiz says she applied for Water Without Borders to get more out of her year at McMaster. “The Program complements my interest and desire for community development and the sustainable development of natural resources.”

Perez applied to WWB to further his interest in human rights and public policies that enable human rights to become a tool to improve human life. “When it comes to water, I noticed how the human right to access it – although fundamental for our existence – was not given the proper place in the political debates of our times. This lead me to the program WWB, where a strong line-up of lecturers provides the students with a multidisciplinary approach to deal with the different problems that water-related public policies face.”

Faiz explains that her WWB work has related well to her core course on Globalization Studies. “Both programs have a strong focus on the complex political, social, economic, cultural, discursive and theoretical developments related to the processes of globalization and how these come to bear upon our lives, our communities, and the environment in which we live,” she says.

“The ability to collaborate across diverse disciplines and creatively problem-solve using different perspectives will distinguish the water thought-leaders of tomorrow. Both programs offer a multidisciplinary learning environment and explore various topics relating to issues surrounding water.”

What advice do these students have for potential candidates for WWB 2017-2018?

Faiz strongly encourages anyone interested to apply. “This program will inspire you to innovate and immerse yourself in an entrepreneurial mindset, and to grow and learn with your peers, who share your passion for water research. It will furnish different approaches to learning and provide students with an opportunity to gain practical field skills to deal with issues of water… The small class size, combined with a community atmosphere, fosters a unique sense of teamwork among the students and faculty. It will be a great learning journey.”

Perez advises prospective WWB students to keep an open mind. “Successfully completing this program will allow you to contribute solutions to the challenges we all face together as humans.”

For more information on Water Without Borders, and to view the Booklet which shows highlights from the 2017 field trip to Ghana, please go to wwb.inweh.unu.edu.

Deadline for 2017-2018 applications: May 31.

*McMaster is the only host site of United Nations University in Canada.