News and Views
Water quality programme draws students from 12 countries
The UN Environment GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre at UCC has attracted students from 12 countries for its new Postgraduate Diploma in Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Assessment.
The new, online programme, which runs over two years, has recruited 20 students from 10 African countries and two Caribbean countries.
Developed with funding to the UN Environment GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre, a Centre of the School of BEES and the ERI, the programme aims to support countries in establishing or improving their freshwater quality monitoring systems.
“We have been both surprised and extremely pleased to see the level of interest from low-income countries in this new online programme. For most of our students this is a totally new approach to learning, but they are enthusiastic and keen to take on the challenge,” said Dr Deborah V Chapman, Director, UNEP GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre, UCC.
The new Postgraduate Diploma has been developed after consultation with low-income countries, primarily in Africa, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, about their needs to improve national efforts to monitor freshwater quality.
The online, flexible nature of the programme provides students with an opportunity to gain a higher-level qualification relevant to their careers which would not otherwise be available to them. Most of the first cohort of registered students are working full-time in Government departments or laboratories within their own countries.
Providing postgraduate education to staff in government departments, agencies and laboratories in these countries will enable them to implement best practice and to train their own staff who will go on to be responsible for future monitoring programmes.
The UN Environment GEMS/Water programme has been encouraging countries to monitor water quality and share the data, as a key component of their sustainable management of water resources, since the 1970s.
Part of the work of the UN Environment GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre is to support low income countries in developing monitoring programmes that will track their progress towards achieving good water quality.
It is expected that students will be recruited from Asia and Pacific regions for the the next intake of the programme in 2019. For the rest of this year and in 2018, the UN Environment Centre will be actively engaging with those regions to promote the Diploma and working with partners in Brazil to develop short Continuous Professional Development courses.
For more on the Postgraduate Diploma in Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Assessment: https://www.ucc.ie/en/gemscdc/postgraduatediploma/
Follow the UN Environment GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre at UCC on Twitter @GEMSWaterCDC.