The sustainable development of mountain regions has to consider economic, ecological and social aspects. Currently, in particular the environments of the European Alps are facing ecological (e.g. climate change, glacier retreat, hydrological changes) as well as land-use changes (e.g. urbanization, abandonment of mountain agriculture), the latter often driven by socio-economic reasons.
The sustainable development of mountain regions has to consider economic, ecological and social aspects. Currently, in particular the environments of the European Alps are facing ecological (e.g. climate change, glacier retreat, hydrological changes) as well as land-use changes (e.g. urbanization, abandonment of mountain agriculture), the latter often driven by socio-economic reasons. While human activities in the mountain areas should be economically viable and broaden opportunities for local communities in terms of profit and jobs, it also has to match the goal of contributing to improving the degree of conservation and renewal of biotic and abiotic resources at the ecosystem level, which ultimately represent, over time, the essential ingredients of sustainable management. Social changes including immigration from countries outside Europe as well as ageing of resident populations are also changing the social structure of the society in mountain areas. Additionally, there is an increasing need for expanding the production of energy from renewable sources (e.g. wood biomass, biogas, and hydropower). There is a common understanding that environmental problems should be solved by an international and interdisciplinary cooperation.
Thus, the Free University of Bozen - Bolzano (unibz, Northern Italy) and the University of Innsbruck (Austria), both located in the Alps, have developed an international Master program which focuses on sustainable landscape development as well as ecosystem and land-use management in mountain regions. The cooperation between these universities combines in an integrative way the ecological as well as the socio-economic perspective of ecology and management of mountain landscapes. Additionally, it contributes to an intensification of cooperation between Italy and Austria on the university level. These two universities integrate their particular expertise into the Master Program, i.e. the University of Innsbruck contributes with basic, applied and landscape ecology, information technology for landscape analysis and planning, and bioengineering technology, and the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Faculty of Science and Technology) with applied landscape ecology, mountain agriculture, mountain forestry, and ecosystem management.
The Master Program focuses on river management, ecosystem restoration, sustainable management of agricultural and forest systems, natural hazards and energy production. The study program takes advantage of the particular location of the partner universities and includes both student and teacher mobility between the cooperating countries. Courses will be taught by professors from both universities. The students will spend the first year at unibz and most part of the second year at the University of Innsbruck.
The teaching language is English!
Scholarships & support programs
All eu citizens can apply for a study grant by the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol. It is income based and might amount up to 5900 €. If you are eligible, you will also be exempted from the tuition fees. Non-EU students can apply for a study grant of the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol when they have a long-time permit to stay or if they have their residence in South Tyrol for at least one year without interruption.