Foreign students in Development Studies at the Faculty of Science

José Jerónimo Olvera León and Muhammad Ali Anwer
Photo: Šárka Chovancová
tuesday 8. october 2019, 8:00 – Text: Šárka Chovancová

Preparing experts in the field of development policy and practice is the aim of the two-year Master’s programme International Development Studies – GLODEP, which is implemented in cooperation with other foreign universities. Thirty foreign students – one out of the three groups in the programme – will be studying Development Studies and Policy at the Department of Development and Environmental Studies, UP Faculty of Science, this semester.

“Thirty students have enrolled this semester, for example from El Salvador, Mexico, Kenya, Egypt, France, Italy, Ireland, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Most of them are already in Olomouc, but some are still waiting for their visas,” explained Simona Šafaříková from the Department of Development and Environmental Studies.

These students from 27 countries are given knowledge and skills to analyse the socio-economic and environmental problems of developing countries and to support development policies at national, regional, and international levels.

“I come from Mexico City, which is a place full of conflicts. I wondered how I could help my city stabilise and raise itself economically. So I was looking for a multidisciplinary field in which both economics and development studies will be represented. I got to Olomouc to the GLODEP programme, which was a priority for me, also thanks to the scholarship offered by the programme. The facilities for students have very high standards, the university and the city are very well connected. I like it at the Faculty of Science, there is an order to things, and it works. The teachers are very well prepared for their classes, they analyse development issues from various perspectives and listen to their students’ opinions,” said José Jerónimo Olvera León.

Muhammad Ali Anwer from Pakistan has similar motivation as José. “The main reason I applied for the programme is because I wanted to learn about the latest trends in the area of development, because we face big challenges in Pakistan in terms of our society’s development. I want to learn how others are looking at it, to get different views from all over the world so that I can return home and find the best way to develop our country.”

The GLODEP Master’s programme offers students the opportunity to study at three European universities: Palacký University Olomouc, the University of Clermont Auvergne, France, and the University of Pavia, Italy. It is a two-year Master’s programme in which students gradually study one semester at each university. The first group of students successfully completed their studies by passing the final state examination and defending their theses in June 2019 (watch the video from the ceremony); the second group is currently staying at the University of Pavia. The final fourth semester is dedicated to thesis writing, and students can also enrol in internships with academic as well as non-academic partners of the consortium (, FB page).