It is a truism that our world is not only plagued by inter and intra-regional disparities but also with mounting challenges to sustainable urban and rural development. Regional Planning offers a foundation to all development which seeks to bridge the yawning gap between regions, nations and societies with the overall aim of satisfying the basic human needs of food sufficiency, health, clothing and shelter etc. Even though humanity’s needs and requirements vary from region to region due to natural, human and economic factors, the bottom line is that regional planning remains a major intervention to address human wants. Recognizing the unwanted effects of regional inequalities, strategies to balance the observed regional imbalance have been contextualized in regions and nations. With particular focus to the developing world, the masters program in regional planning and project management is designed to train professionals who can address urban, rural and regional development challenges today. For meaningful developmental outcomes to be registered, plans must translate into projects. This therefore requires participant to acquire skills in project planning and management which can enable them to provide directives in the area of regional planning and the management or projects.
The main objective of the Masters program in Regional Planning and Project Management is to train participants to become highly skilled experts who can plan to address the observed urban, rural and regional developmental challenges of their respective nations/regions especially at a time when most governments in the developing world desire road maps for sustainable development. The program also intends to equip participants with the necessary skills for project design, management, monitoring and evaluation. This program also provides on the job training where students work in real life situations and working environment during the course of their training. This will allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge of the course to research and planning.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the Masters program, participants are expected to acquire skills and expertise in urban/rural and regional development planning especially from a developing world/African perspective. This will enable them to be serviceable to national and international development planning agencies. In addition, it is expected that by the end of the program, participants will have gained the skills required to translate plans into projects and to ensure their management and implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The masters’ program runs for two years. The first three semesters are designed for lectures, tutorials, field placement/internships. Although the Second year also includes some lectures, focus is placed on internship and thesis writing.
This program targets rural, urban and regional development practitioners, institutional heads, municipal stakeholders, government officials, project management officials, consultancy firms, members of Aid agencies/NGOs and Bachelors degree holders drawn from within and beyond the African continent who seek to strengthen their skills in this direction. The target audience is carefully chosen because as persons who are charged with the duty of directing development, they need to be informed on current directions to take so as to ensure sustainable development.
Graduates with a Masters degree in regional planning and project management have a wide range of opportunities in urban/rural development institutions, regional planning organizations, consultancy firms, government institutions, project management enterprises and in municipal councils/local governments. They can fit into specialized agencies of the UN such as UN-Habitat, UNCRD, UNDP, UNEP etc Furthermore, they can also engage in private or self-employed activities especially in the areas of project management while others can pursue higher degrees (Ph.D.).
The structure of the two year masters program in regional planning and project management is presented below. Courses are designed for full-time study.