The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education is established in 2003. It carries out research, education and capacity building activities in the fields of water, environment and infrastructure. UNESCO-IHE continues the work that began in 1957 when IHE first offered a postgraduate diploma course in hydraulic engineering to practising professionals from developing countries.
The Institute is based in Delft, the Netherlands, and is owned by all UNESCO member states. It is established as a UNESCO ‘category I’ institute jointly by UNESCO and the Government of the Netherlands.
The Institute is the largest water education facility in the world, and the only institution in the UN system authorised to confer accredited MSc degrees.
UNESCO-IHE is instrumental in strengthening the efforts of other universities and research centres to increase the knowledge and skills of professionals working in the water sector.
Vision and MissionEdit
UNESCO-IHE envisages a world in which people manage their water and environmental resources in a sustainable manner, and in which all sectors of society, particularly the poor, can enjoy the benefits of basic services.
The mandate given by UNESCO to IHE is to:
- strengthen and mobilise the global educational and knowledge base for integrated water resources management; and
- contribute to meeting the water-related capacity building needs of developing countries and countries in transition.
Within this mandate, the mission of the Institute is to:
- contribute to the education and training of professionals and to build the capacity of sector organisations, knowledge centres and other institutions active in the fields of water, the environment and infrastructure in developing countries and countries in transition.
The functions of the Institute include:
- Serving as an international standard-setting body for postgraduate water education programmes and continuing professional training;
- Building human and institutional capacities through education, training and research;
- Setting up and managing networks of educational and water sector institutions and organisations worldwide;
- Functioning as a ‘policy forum’ for UNESCO member states and other stakeholders; and
- Providing advice on water education to partner organisations and other members of the UN water family.