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Pre-University Honours Programme: Sustainable Cities

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Sustainability means satisfying the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Young people today have grown up in a world where sustainability is one of the most pressing issues. But aside from its definition, what does it really mean, and how do we implement best practices in order to ensure a livable future for ourselves and the generations that will follow? This online summer programme will bring together high school students from across the world to study an important topic at the university level.

  • Programme at a glance
    Mode of instruction: Online (2 weeks) 
    Academic dates: Monday 26 July - Friday 6 August 2021
    Academic fees: €850 read more about what is included.
    Early admission deadline: 1 February 2021. Admissions will be processed throughout the year on a rolling basis. 
    Final admission deadline: 1 May 2021
    Who is this programme for?                                                                            For current high school students (must be 16+) interested in urban studies, sustainability, and the social and behavioural sciences.
  • Programme description

    In an urban environment, sustainability is practiced and planned for in many ways. This online programme will begin by framing the topic in the varied forms that it takes within a city. We will begin with the most pressing questions of environmental sustainability, and branch out from there to discuss social and economic sustainability more broadly, and investigate key developments in these fields. Amsterdam, and the Netherlands in general, is the perfect case study for these topics. Over the last decade, Amsterdam and other Dutch cities have been at the forefront of sustainable development in many fields. We will use Amsterdam and the home context of our course participants to explore:

    • Sustainability (also from the Dutch perspective): Water management, and planning for climate crisis. We will ask students to reflect on adaptation models for climate change, and discuss and share examples from their home contexts.
    • Neighbourhood transformation: From gentrification and affordability to social sustainability and ageing populations, neighbourhood change is one of the most pressing topics in urban studies today.
    • Sustainable lifestyles: How can we use not only clean technology, but also mobilize behavioural psychology to implement wide-spread change?
    • Mobility: Amsterdam is often called the cycling capital of the world, and in general, mobility is an important topic for urban studies, from cycling to public transit and car-shares. 
    • Urban agriculture: We will investigate ongoing urban agriculture projects from around the world, from rooftop farming to citizen-led initiatives.
    • Waste management: Achieving a sustainable city also requires rethinking our waste-management systems.
    • A new urban economy: (How) should an economic system be changed with sustainable principles in mind? Examples include commons, and sharing/circular economies.

    Students will experience studying in a supportive online international environment hosted by the University of Amsterdam. The lectures and all course materials are in English. Participants in the course will develop study skills and become acquainted with learning methods that will give them an advantage as they continue their education at university.

  • Academic director

    Afra Foli (MSc) completed the Research Master in Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2016. Her study included a research visit at the University of Pretoria. She is currently pursuing her PhD with the Human Geography, Planning and International Development department at the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis is on waste practices/infrastructure in rapidly growing cities, using the case of Accra to investigate socio-political interactions with waste in urban space. 

  • Explore our community

    Want to get to know more about studying in Amsterdam? Follow us on social media and join our summer community. Get a feel for our summer school vibe and our academic and social community, and learn about studying with us through the eyes of past summer school students. 

    Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter 

    Looking for an alumni perspective? Read this interview with Grace Forrest, who attended the Pre-University Honours Programme: Politics & Identity in summer 2018. 

    Want to hear more from Afra? Listen to this episode of our podcast Mokum where they reflect on the concept of home and the factors that go into making and sustaining one. 

Facts & Figures
Mode Online
Credits 0 ECTS, 2 weeks
Language of instruction English
Starts in July