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The Masters programme Development and Rural Innovation aims to develop professionals who are able to deal with knowledge processes in the context of change by linking human and technological dimensions of innovation. It is a predominantly social sciences programme, tailored for national and international students with a technical or management background with an interest in international development. In agriculture, natural resource management and the food industry, there are two types of innovations: new technology and artefacts, and new socio-organisational arrangements involving a variety of societal actors. To direct these innovations, the modern world demands not only engineers, but also skilled professionals who understand the social and technological aspects of innovation processes and can apply that knowledge in a variety of contexts worldwide.
• Communication and Innovation Studies
• Technology and Agrarian Development
• Rural Development Sociology
Development and Rural Innovation graduates are welcomed in a wide variety of organizations and work within a wide range of disciplines. Graduates work for example as facilitators at consultancies, specialists at research institutes, conflict mediators at governments, as project leaders in non-governmental organizations and sometimes setup their own companies. The reason for this high variability is the focus on developing an academic, innovative and interdisciplinary mindset instead of a specific professional occupation. Within Development and Rural Innovation it is not so much about the professional domain you work in what you innovate; it is much more about by which process you do so. Integrating knowledge from both technical and social science is everyday practice!
Development and Rural Innovation alumni are often highly valued employees because:
• they are trained to think on high conceptual levels
• they can translate abstract academic concepts into practical solutions they integrate knowledge from science & practice; and from technical and social science
• know how to be a pro-active agent of change within specific local contexts
In order to fulfill these expectations Development and Rural Innovation graduates often need to integrate different technical disciplines, adapt to multi cultural settings and work usually within dynamic environments of change & innovation.