United Nations University


Spring 2013

Spring 2013 Renewable Energy Courses (RE)

The United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP), Tokyo, invites applications for its new intensive four-week course on Renewable Energy, developed under the framework of the University Network for Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation Research (UN-CECAR), a collaborative initiative of more than 20 leading universities across Asia. UN-CECAR — for which UNU-ISP acts as the Secretariat — is committed to developing postgraduate educational and research programmes on climate and ecosystems change, and sustainability science. This course is organized with the support of the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI) of the University of Tokyo.

This pioneering course will cover a range of issues on the science, technology, economics and policies of renewable energy. It will include such hard topics as small hydropower, solar, geothermal, bio-, wind, marine, fuel cell and hydrogen energy, and such soft topics as energy demand and supply, economics, security, and policy. Students also will receive practical training with clean-energy software (RETScreen and HOMER).

The assessment will be based on a research paper, presentations, class participation, and intermediate tests. The courses are practically-oriented and will be taught by a highly qualified and diverse team of natural and social science scholars.

The courses are practically oriented and equivalent to a regular 4 credit postgraduate course in Japan. Credits also can be transferred to the UNU-ISP postgraduate programmes of UN-CECAR member institutions, as well as UNU-ISP postgraduate programme.

Target applicants:

  • are postgraduate students, researchers, faculty/staff of universities, government officials, international agencies and professionals in relevant professions;
  • wish to deepen their knowledge on, and gain practical training in, renewable energy.

Expected outcomes:

The expected outcomes for this course include:

  • Learning renewable energy (RE) issues in the context of science, technology, economics, policy and society
  • Nurturing the ability to develop RE systems considering sustainable development
  • Developing the ability to relate RE to climate change and other global contemporary issues
  • Understanding the professional ethics of RE
  • Fostering the ability to function in a multi-disciplinary team that could consist of persons with varying backgrounds of policy, science, engineering, and business;
  • Ability to engage in lifelong learning on RE issues.

Course Information

Applicants for this course should be currently enrolled in a master’s or PhD programme (in any discipline); seek to deepen their knowledge on, and gain practical training in, renewable energy; and desire a future career in renewable energy.

The course will run for four weeks, from 25 February to 23 March 2013, with three two-hour sessions on each weekday.

Students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a certificate of completion and a transcript from UNU-ISP. While UN-CECAR members have negotiated credit transfer agreements with UNU-ISP, the final decision will be made by each student's university.

Daily Schedule

There will be three sessions of courses each weekday:
10:00-12:00, 13:00-15:00 and 16:00-18:00 hours.

Faculty and Learning Environment

Students will benefit from working closely with an expert teaching faculty comprising distinguished UN-CECAR scholars and practitioners, and UNU-ISP academic staff. Because it shares a building with many UN agencies, UNU-ISP offers a unique learning environment.

The UNU Library offers access to a wide range of academic books, over 10,000 electronic journals, World Bank and OECD publications, and official UN documents. All students will receive a comprehensive library orientation session at the beginning of the course.

A dedicated computer lab will be provided for students, with software to cater to the needs of each course. An online tool will be provided for students to lecture notes, reading lists and other materials specific to each course, as well as a message board and forum to facilitate discussion among faculty and students.

Student Support Services and Housing

UNU-ISP will assist students through the courses, acknowledging that students may experience difficulties in adjusting to a new country and culture. Students will be provided accommodation (in an affordable hotel close to UNU) during their stay in Tokyo.

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