2024 School for Water & Life

Application deadline extended: 31 May 2024!

The NEWAL Seasonal School 2024 will take place in Kumasi Ghana from 28 August to 8 September 2024 and has a thematic focus on water and livelihood: sustainable WASH, solid waste, agriculture and renewable energy. Input presentations, excursions and group works provide students an insight into real life challenges and enables them to develop solutions with practical application in West Africa.

The school is organised by the NEWAL Network and financed through Swiss universities.

General objectives

  1. Create a network of students and lecturers from West Africa and Switzerland around the topic of water and life.
  2. Allow for international and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange.
  3. Provide the opportunity for gaining practical experience in applied science and project design.
  4. Foster research projects for practical solutions to water challenges faced by local communities and businesses.

Learning goals

  1. You will learn about theoretical and practical aspects of interdisciplinary work for global sustainable development.
  2. You will understand the foundations of water, sanitation, solid waste, and the links to agriculture.
  3. You will apply knowledge on thematic topics, applied research and project design to a real-world problem.  


          The programme includes four phases: an application phase, a preparation phase, the school itself in September, and a project implementation phase.


          The NEWAL Seasonal Schools address Bachelor and Master students (5th and 6th semester) that want to gain first experiences in global health engineering. Criteria for participation are:

          • Being a student matriculated in one of the participating universities.
          • Having conducted or planing to carry out a study project related to the Newal school thematic focus.
          • Being fluent in English
          • Participation in two online preparation sessions (ca. 3 hours).

          If you fulfill the criteria you can apply with your CV and a letter of interest by sending an email to: dorothee.spuhler[at]ost.ch

          In the letter of interest clearly lay out your main area of interest and how you will use your experience in your career. Travel and accommodation are provided. Participants are responsible for their Visa, vaccinations, and health insurance.

          Preparation process

          During a virtual on-boarding meeting, students, and resource persons from the collaborating universities will get to know each other and start working together. The meeting will cover three sessions: 

          • Introduction to the SDGs, with a focus on SDG6 and the status in West Africa. 
          • Introduction of the country challenges and project proposals  
          • Team building: students can assign themselves to a topic/project. 

          The aim is to build teams that have a thematic focus but different backgrounds in terms of disciplines, universities, and countries. Each team will assign a team leader and receive a coach from one of the collaborating universities.  

          Additionally, students will work with the contact person from their university to prepare a semester project (Bachelor/Master project or thesis) that will be carried out September to December as a follow up of their team project from the week.

          Seasonal School in Ghana

          During the 8-days seasonal school, students will learn about relevant topics through thematic and transversal inputs by resource persons from all collaborating universities. This will be complemented with inputs from external experts on specific topics such as sustainable value chain creation or business model development. 

          The gained knowledge will be applied in the group works. Excursions will additionally provide insights into the specific challenges and solutions in Ghana. At least one coach is always available to guide the work from problem definition to solutions design and action planning. Each day will have the same structure, starting with a thematic input, followed by a long group work session and rounded up with a transversal inputs and social activities. 

          Project proposal and awards

          At the end of the NEWAL School, the teams will present a project proposal for the solution developed during the week.  

          After having completed the school students will be invited to respond to a call for project proposals to implement the solutions developed in real. NEWAL will select up to 4 projects that will receive a small grant for implementation. 

          We look forward to receiving your applications!

          Contact: dorothee.spuhler[at]ost.ch.