Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Degree programme: Master Sustainable Energy Systems
Type of degree: FH Master´s Degree Programme
Winter Semester 2021

Course unit title Diversity and Sustainable Development: Focus - India
Course unit code 800101020401
Language of instruction English
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Elective
Semester when the course unit is delivered Winter Semester 2021
Teaching hours per week 4
Year of study 2021
Number of ECTS credits allocated Second Cycle (Master)
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6
Name of lecturer(s) Stefanie CHEN, Wilfried MANHART

Prerequisites and co-requisites
  • With your registration the participation in the study trip is obligatory. 
  • This course welcomes students from all areas of study, and does not require any previous knowledge!
  • However, good knowledge of English is necessary due to the field trip in Part 2. A minimum requirement of English at level B2 (according to the CEFR) is required. In India, you will be expected to interact with English-speaking people having strong dialects. Thus, a degree of fluency in English is necessary.
  • This course requires active attendance and participation.
  • There are costs involved for the mandatory 10-day study trip in India. Please see „additional comments“ below.

Course content

Part 1: Diversity and Sustainable

    Development In order to understand the meanings and significance of how diversity and sustainability impact each other, you will need a basis. By way of a game, a film, a speaker, some research and much in-depth discussion, you will gain understanding of the complex systemic interrelationship between human diversity issues and the environment. 
    Topics that will be addressed are population growth, development of wealth vs. poverty, and access to resources and how these impact cultural development. In turn, culturally-based behaviors impact the environment and sustainable development. In an international context you will learn what similarities and differences exist among DACH countries compared to India.
    Due to human and climatic changes, you will discuss our own unsustainability problems (social, economic and ecological), and we will build a frame for the field trip to India how national rights issues, population growth, and struggles between rich and poor, as well as international interests impact the environment as well as other diversity issues. We will establish links to developments in India and how they might increasingly affect Europe,
    You will understand how our cultural contexts influence the way we think and act, in ways that we think are correct or convenient but often without being aware of our assumptions or cultural stereotypes and expectations. Thus, in a connected world you will learn to understand that not only sustainability problems but also the interrelationships between humans and the environment are essential to creating meaningful change. This part will create the context of understanding for much of what we will do in India.

Part 2: Field Trip to India

    For this part, you will take a 10-day field trip to India, a country under British colonialization until 1947, finally achieving independence after 90 years of the Independence Movement. Thus, diversity is still influenced by the British culture and values imposed the various individual territories which today form India. In India, you will also be exposed to diversity in the form of different cultures, lifestyles, and economic development, as well as learning about environmental differences.
    You will be talking to local experts on the campus of our partner university to understand more what is happening with sustainability and how diversity issues are impacting it. You will travel to countryside to see how wealth is distributed by visiting villages and an NGO in one of the most difficult areas of India, differences in gender development via local experts, and ecological impact due to human-related actions by, e.g., seeing water management solutions in villages.
    Discussion with experts and stakeholders as well as traveling will reveal the importance of sustainability issues (such as pollution, water problems, impact on biodiversity) mostly caused by people in India, but also how other countries (especially the so-called first world countries) have impacted India’s environment. This means that, to further their own interests, foreign countries have greater influence on diversity and sustainability development in India than we may think. And for those that have never seen the famous Taj Mahal and Red Fort, we will visit these as well!

Learning outcomes

This course strongly supports the idea of interdisciplinary and intercultural learning experiences with changing perspectives on the topics covered. The 10-day fieldtrip to India is designed for working students with limited time for international travel.

Sustainable development is a key topic that is needed for any higher education institution, and along with diversity is a topic that benefits from the inclusion of students from all different degree programs.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Part 1: Lectures, speaker(s), a game, a film, some student research, and much discussion

Part 2: Field trip with access to experts and relevant locations dealing with diversity and sustainability issues

Assessment methods and criteria

Part 1: Presentation in English (showing not only an understanding of the course topics but also how they are linked)

Part 2: Written reflection paper showing learnings from Part 1 along with learnings from the field trip to India.


You will need to commit to the blocked time with departure on February 7, 2021 with arrival shortly after midnight on February 8th until departure on February 16th, 2021. These dates could vary depending on the FHV’s semester planning, which will be determined later.  The program in India takes place from ca. February 8 – February 15, 2021. If your schedule allows it, extend your time there and visit Goa or other interesting places.

The costs for the field trip to India is roughly as follows:

Program costs:

€1100 per person (less, if we can organize that). The program costs include all experts, visits, sustenance, accommodation and travel costs within India. Accommodation is based on 2 people per room. Individual rooms are possible but with additional costs.

Travel and other costs:

These include flight, visa, vaccination and insurance costs. They are NOT included in the program costs, and need to be paid separately. These costs depend on your individual needs. 

_ Check for recommended vaccinations to India with your doctor.

_ For further information to this course, click on the following link:

Student program and flight costs are tax deductible. Upon request, you will receive a program cost confirmation from FHV’s International Office to submit to your tax authorities.

Recommended or required reading

Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)
  • Face-to-face - attendance is mandatory.
  • Travel to India is an integral part of the course and thus mandatory.
  • All presentations, documentation and reports will have to be in English.