United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations. It bridges the academic world and the United Nations system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at teaching, applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 as an autonomous organ of the United Nations General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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UNU-FLORES: Research and Teaching Cooperations Explored

On 15 March 2011, United Nations University (UNU) and the Dresden University of Technology (TUD) explored ways of cooperation in research and teaching for UNU-FLORES. The one-day meeting was a follow up to the first scoping workshop in November 2010. The meeting intended to

  1. Elaborate the research topics listed during the scoping workshop of November 2010

  2. Develop proposals for joint study programmes offered by TUD and UNU-FLORES

  3. Clarify legal and administrative issues

Workshop Summary

The research topics listed during the scoping workshop were found to be in line with the proposed structure of the institute. The Institute to be consisted out of five departments: Systems and Flux Analysis, Global Change, Water Management, Soil and Land use Management, Waste Management and Contaminated Sites. Responsibilites of research departments for overarching topics and the research topics covered by the Twin Institute in Mozambique will be further discussed at the occasion of the third workshop to take place in Maputo, Mozambique, later this year. The workshop resulted in a common understanding that all proposed research departments should focus jointly on research and teaching in accordance with the Humboldt-principle.

The successfully established MSc course at TUD on “Hydro Science and Engineering” (HSE) was identified as an excellent starting point for a joint degree programme. About 70 per cent of the offered modules are suitable for a joint Masters programme with UNU-FLORES. Additionally, the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) were identified as obvious cooperation Partners. Beyond the joint Masters programme, also joint PhD programmes will be developed between UNU-FLORES and TUD due course.


Since November 2010 significant progress was achieved. The most important milestones are:

  • Creation of a working group responsible for the establishment of UNU-FLORES

  • Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNU, TUD, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), and the Saxon State Ministry for Science and the Fine Arts (SMWK)

  • Finalization of the funding agreement between UNU, BMBF and SMWK

  • Kick off premises search for UNU-FLORES in the historic City of Dresden provided by government of Saxonia.

Further information: Press Release


First row (from left to right):

Dr  Hülsmann, Project Officer, UNU-ViE; Dr Helmig, Research Associate, Institute for vocational education ; Prof. Bilitewski, Director, Institute of Waste Management and Contaminated Site Treatment ; Ms. Johmann, Head of Executive Office/Programme Coordinator, UNU-ViE; Dr Ardakanian, Vice-Rector in Europe a.i.; Mr. Seegert, CEO of Dresden Water Centre.

Second row (from left to right):

Mr. Lehmann, Director, Department Research Promotion and Public Relations; Prof. Krebs, Director, Institute for Urban Water Management; Prof. Bernhofer, Director, Institute for Hydrology and Meteorology; Prof. Berendonk, Director, Institute of Hydrobiology ; Dr Jungmann, Research Associate, Institute of Hydrobiology