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Global Development Issues

Start moment
September, February
20 weeks
Contact hours
15-20 per week
  • Intro
  • Programme
  • Recognition
  • About the Minor
  • Justice
  • Internship
  • Introduction to the development issue
  • Culture and Interculturality
  • Costs
  • How to apply

Enjoy Global Development Issues at Fontys

The unbalanced usage of both human and natural resources is one of the major problems in the world that has been caused, and must be solved, by people. In a world with an increasing level of contact between people of different cultures, you are automatically involved in this issue. In this Minor, we aim to challenge you to find sustainable solutions for these problems. In addition to globally sustainable development, this programme will focus on justice, social inequality and cross-cultural communication.

Target Audience & Entry Level

The Global Development Issues Minor will form a component of a Bachelor’s degree. Students who wish to follow this programme will need to have attained adequate levels of reading and writing in English, i.e. IELTS 6.0 and will need to have completed their first year of a Bachelor degree programme.

Proof language level, a written motivation and a Skype interview are part of the entry requirements. This minor is open to all. Maximum group size is 25.

Programme Format

This programme includes four subjects, as follows (go to factsheet for more information):

Justice & Inequality
Introduction to Global Development
Cultures & Intercultural Communication
Project in Practice

The working methods utilised in this programme will vary from portfolios to examinations, meetings and presentations.

Learning Outcomes

The aim of this programme will be to learn how to identify and analyse global development issues and how to contribute to a potential solution in your own profession, bearing in mind the four, all-embracing aspects of society, i.e. the economical, ecological, social and cultural dimensions of existence.

How will your course programme be recognised by your home university?

Fontys will provide you with a so-called 'Trascript of Record', which will clarify the results that you have achieved. Depending in your results, you will receive a maximum of 30 ECTS credits. ECTS credits are recognised throughout Europe. The agreement between your home university and Fontys University of Applied Sciences will usually include a condition whereby the credits that you obtain will be recognised and transferred into the records kept by your home university.

About the Minor

The world is characterized by  various development issues, such as spatial inequality, the contrast between rich and poor, an environment that is under pressure, access to sufficient and safe food, dealing with violent conflicts and bad health. As a global citizen, consumer and future professional, you are likely to be closely involved in these development issues. Wouldn’t it be interesting to learn more about these issues and be able to partake in this debate with well-argued opinions? Moreover, wouldn’t it be motivating to come up with small-scale possible solutions and put these solutions into practice during an internship abroad? Consider doing this minor if your answer to these questions is ‘yes’!  

Objective different

The objective of the minor is to provide you with useful knowledge, insights and skills that allow you to look to several development issues from a realistic view. It will help you to build a well-argued opinion on these matters and let you think about possible long-lasting solutions. The tools to do so will be provided during the three different courses and one practical internship. In addition, you will find out how your own professional expertise (your major) is linked one way or the other to global development issues and how this minor can contribute in future professional situations.  


The minor consists of four parts. The first three components work from a theoretical foundation using scientific literature and concepts in order to give you tools to analyse various development issues in detail. The last component is a practical internship in a developing country.

The four parts are:
A Course: Justice (4 EC)
B Course: Introduction to development issues (10 EC)
C Course: Culture and interculturality (6 EC)
D Internship (10 EC)


Development is mainly a matter of fair distribution of resources. During the ‘Justice’ module, the central question is always to which extent a distribution policy is just. The judgement whether a given distribution is fair or not, depends not only on the actual distribution, but also on the concept of justice. You will learn different theories about justice, analyse situations based on these theories and come to your own view on what just distribution is.


The internship is the synthesis module of all parts of this minor. For four weeks, you will participate in an existing project in a developing country where – in addition to substantive goals – you will have to show that you are able to collaborate with people from different cultures.

In the months leading up to the internship, you will prepare yourself and your stay abroad during weekly meetings. On the basis of a work plan, you formulate learning objectives, you describe the project and you prepare for local conditions. The preparation includes making the previously mentioned work plan, a culture analysis and several guest lectures by experts.

Examples of internships in a developing country in recent years:

  • Organizing activities for young people in Malawi;
  • Making a video report about a sustainable agricultural project in the Moluccas;
  • Supporting an exchange project between schools in the Netherlands and Romania;
  • Reorganising and maintaining a school building in rural Nepal;
  • Teaching disabled children in Vietnam.

Introduction to the development issue

During this course, you will get to know various development issues. For that, you will initially learn how to  perceive these issues from a general context. That context consists of a selection of literature on development theories, views on (sustainable) development, systems thinking, globalization and working with future scenarios. You will subsequently apply this knowledge to five specific cases, such as the resource conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Finally, you will be expected to show your ability to assess possible solutions to development issues.

Culture and Interculturality

In this course, you will learn how cultural identity is constructed and how culture(s) can be analysed on the basis of different theoretical concepts, from cultural anthropology to cultural dimensions. You will learn to recognize the core values of your own culture and their importance for judging and communication. Moreover,  you will learn to apply theories of intercultural communication in specific situations. You will be able to reflect upon your own cultural position and that of others, using different perspectives on culture (culture visions) and to analyse geopolitical conflicts from a cultural point of view.


In addition to the standard costs of a stay abroad, the internship in a developing country brings additional costs of around €2000 (incl. flight). It also requires necessary preparation concerning, for example, a visa. In cooperation with your teacher you’ll search for a suitable place for your internship.

How to apply as an exchange student

Applications should always be submitted via the International Exchange (or Erasmus) Officer at the home university. If several versions of the programme are offered, please indicate for which version you would like to apply to (Programme I, Programme II, Programme III, etc.) This officer will send your application request (nomination) to Fontys. Once Fontys has accepted the application, your Fontys study department will send you a link to a web application called Mobility Online. Added to the link you will receive all necessary information and a manual. Please take a look at this website to see how it works.

Deadline for application:

Fall semester15 May
Spring semester15 November

Contact person

Ms Marij Zöllner
Coördinator Minor GDI


Professor Goossenslaan 1-01, Tilburg

Locatiekaart op adres: Professor Goossenslaan 1-01, Tilburg