Profile of the Programme

Summary of the most important study contents

Need for educational expertise in developing countries

The need for educational expertise has grown significantly over the last decades. This applies notably to the African continent, where educational systems – not least due to the UN initiative ‘Education for All’ – are expanding rapidly.

This trend is going to continue. At the same time it must be recognised that people in charge of school management have often received not enough training to cope with the challenges of educational and ethical orientations towards an increasing quality management in a global society.

Implementing compulsory schooling, training and in-service training for more than four million teachers will be needed in Africa and other developing regions during the next decade.



Public teacher training and in-service training systems are not yet prepared for this challenge. In addition, during the training, it will be necessary to focus on topics which until now have hardly been taken into account: sustainability and the question of how to shape globalisation, the strengthening of the including function of education within societies or rather the minimisation of its excluding effects, and the challenges arising from educational planning and didactics in view of migration, multilingualism and the pluralisation of cultures. Attending to these challenges in the training of decision makers in the educational sector – both from developing countries and from agencies in donor states – is a pivotal challenge the Master’s programme tries to respond to.

Furthermore, the Master’s programme deals with another phenomenon closely related to this development: in many countries and for different reasons, governments do not sufficiently meet their educational responsibility. Therefore, programmes in public education often do not reach the whole population.

At the same time, in many countries where educational responsibility is recognised by the civil society (e.g. schools run by minorities or denominations), its subsidary support is often insufficient. In Rwanda, for example, 60% of all schools are not state schools and schooling expenditures are not completely covered by the state.

In this context, a new culture of school sponsorship is developing, which is referred to as the ‘low-fee private school sector’. These private schools are founded through the initiative of parents, parishes or other providers in areas where the state, due to many different reasons, cannot offer any or adequate education. Until today, it has often been the educational stimulus from religious communities which has led to the foundation of schools in the low-fee private school sector. 

The Master’s programme focuses on theoretical basic knowledge as well as specialised knowledge related to the work of management staff in schools and the school system. A special focus is placed on management tasks under difficult circumstances such as poverty, educational alienation, and fragility. The Master’s programme equips students with the competencies necessary for assuming responsibility in the educational sector. It builds on the professional experiences of the students.

The international Master’s programme imparts knowledge and professional skills regarding

  • The normative orientation of education, schooling and qualification both from a general perspective and with regard to the religious foundation of education and schooling as the majority of low-fee private schools are faith-based schools
  • The relation to state and the perspectives of plurality
  • The methodological and task-orientated basics to reflect on educational quality
  • The reflection upon the participation of the state and non-governmental providers in the educational sector, understanding of the legal and fiscal basis of this co-operation, and the advocacy resulting from this legal situation
  • Process requirements for achieving educational quality
  • The management and organisation of education systems.

The Master’s programme builds on students’ existing professional skills and experiences. It offers

  • Thematic profiling regarding the normative foundation of education and schooling and the foundations of education
  • A broad knowledge in educational science and scientific research methods
  • A focus on work-oriented, research-based learning and the experience of interculturality and heterogeneity.
  • International experiences and intercultural exchanges through an international student group and international teaching staff.

After successful completion of the programme, PhD options are available.

The Master’s programme is designed to fit the professional demands of management staff or persons involved in teacher training, school administration and development services in the field of education.

The Master’s programme is open to international candidates; it aims to reach individuals from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as from the international context of development cooperation.

The Master's programme promotes international and intercultural exchange.

Learning from and with others is a guiding principle. The programme tries to bring together people from different countries to exchange about their experiences and challenges and help each other in promoting educational quality. After the program, graduates continue to work together in the IMPEQ alumni network.

The following countries have been represented in the programme so far:

  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Madagascar
  • Rwanda
  • South Sudan
  • Tanzania