Healthy and sustainable diets are a global challenge. While large and generally poor populations face hunger and undernutrition, overweight and diet related chronic diseases have taken on pandemic proportions in most countries around the world. In addition, changes in climates, rural and urban environments, global economies and natural resource bases have a significant incontestable impact on nutrition and diets of which re-enforcing effects cannot be underestimated.
The MSc Nutrition and Rural Development pays specific attention to the international dimension of nutrition and nutrition security and challenges faced by populations at various levels of economic development. Using nutrition and rural development as a starting point, students will be able to contribute to sustainable development at household, national and international level.
The programme fosters an understanding of the broad determinants or poor nutrition and need for multi-disciplinary interventions. Rural development in this regard is considered in a wider perspective of international and sustainable development.
In addition, the programme stimulates critical and evidence-based thinking via general and specific courses that integrate new research findings, data sources and experiences from the field.
Two majors are offered: Public Health Nutrition which has a stronger focus on diet and nutrition outcomes on population level and "Nutrition security and management", which deals more with the international development and food security context. These two majors allow the students to further specialise in their fields of interest and ideal career outcome.
The programme provides the necessary tools to deal with these challenges effectively for instance:
The programme also brings students into contact with existing initiatives in the City of Gent and national, international organizations such as the European Commission, United Nations agencies and NGO’s that work in the area of nutrition and sustainable development though invited presentations, internships and site visits.