The Hague Winter School

The Hague Winter School runs for two weeks and is made up of an interdisciplinary action based general module and two elective modules. In the mornings, you will attend inspiring talks and get the chance to work on ‘real life’ challenges with all winter school students during our Global Trends in the Field of Water module. This module is developed in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs with speakers from government institutions, universities and companies.


You will also have the chance to take one of the top rated elective modules from The Hague Summer School:

  • Entrepreneurship for the Next Economy
  • Human Security, Rights and Development

This year we will also be offering the option of a separate full two-week Peace and Conflict course. The course is organised in collaboration with UPEACE and will have a strong emphasis on immigration. Please note that there are limited places on this course (and you will not participate in the Global Trends in the Field of Water module).

The Hague Winter School is an intensive programme with classes running from 9am to 5pm, so you should be willing to invest time in your studies.

You can earn four ECTS at The Hague Winter School by passing different elements (including participation in all classes) and tests.

Each year, we focus on a theme that looks at solving a ‘wicked problem.’ You will work on projects focused on this selected theme in our modules. The theme of The Hague Winter School is “Water”.

General Module: Global Trends in the field of Water

This year the overarching theme of the Summer School is Water. The world has recognized the importance of drinking water as the new Sustainable Development Goal six, which focuses on drinking water and sanitation. Also the rising sea level and changing weather patterns causing draught and floods are recognized in Sustainable Development Goal 13 which focuses on climate change.  The Netherlands is home to many organizations that use their expertise both in The Netherlands as well as in many other countries to deal with water. It has the reputation of a country that knows how water influences everything.  In this module you will look at several global trends that deal with water.

Water brings about many emotions. If you are living in an area where drinking water is scarce and there is not enough water to use for your crops you will have to develop coping mechanisms for that situation. On the other hand when you live in an area that is flooded regularly or is under threat to being flooded this calls for other measures.  Some of these problems seem too big to be overcome but many creative ways are being developed. It requires the public and the private sector to work together.  This module focused on the different global trends recognized in the field of water. How can you recognize these trends and how can you look at the future and predict new trends.

During this module students will be given a specific real-life challenge that they will have to tackle in an multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary team using futuring and practical work methods.  Every morning, from Monday to Friday there will be inspiring lectures from Dutch and international experts from government, the private sector and international institutions. Students will work in groups on their challenges and have in depth discussions on these topics.

The last Friday there will be a closing event in which students will present their work to the group and related stakeholders.

Entrepreneurship for the Next Economy

Entrepreneurs are making important changes in global societies. They are developing new products and services and generating billions of pounds worth of profits. But as the world changes, so does the work of entrepreneurs. Large corporations are working alongside smaller, grass roots organisations to reach the less privileged and entrepreneurs are not just focusing on profit, but their corporate social responsibility. We now even see entrepreneurship thriving in post-conflict societies.

During this module you'll learn about new types of enterprises and become familiar with innovative business models and strategies promoting entrepreneurship in society. We start at the top of the pyramid. In addition we'll present new financial models needed to stimulate these changes. You'll find your 'inner entrepreneur' and get a chance to develop your own business ideas. This module combines theory with practical workshops to develop your entrepreneurial skills.

Human Security, Rights and Development

The Hague, City of International Peace, Justice and Security, is host to about 131 international institutes and 80 justice organizations. The Hague is one of the United Nations cities, like Geneva and New York. Since 1913, the Peace Palace is a centre of world justice, hosting the permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice. You'll also find the International Yugoslavia Tribunal, Europol and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, along with many other courts, tribunals and NGOs.

In this module students will be introduced to modern security challenges, protection of human rights and the socio-economic development agenda of countries and population groups suffering from grave injustices and poverty. While getting acquainted with some general political, economic and legal theory and cases, students will experience how to work with international issues through visits to the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, development cooperation organizations and institutions which encourage democratization. The program is both academic and practical (action-oriented) .

A the end of this module students will have experienced the so-called integrated approach: how to achieve synergy of peace operations, state-building, poverty reduction and basic human rights. Participants write a research paper on specific international questions. The best papers are awarded special recognition by a jury of experts at the close of the program

Peace and Conflict

We hear of ‘Migration’ and its impacts on lives around the world every day in the news. Have you ever wondered how migration may be linked to violent conflicts and their prevention? How people cope with the consequences of migration and conflicts? Why businesses invest in conflict areas and fragile states and how migration can affect such decisions? In this course you will meet like-minded students, lecturers, representatives from NGOs and international institutions, the private sector and the Dutch government on a journey through the politics and business of peace building and state building with a focus on the current topic of migration.

Buddy programme

Please note there is no official social programme for The Hague Winter School, but we do pair students with ‘buddies’ from THUAS to help you find your way around The Hague.

Contact the course