The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies can be found in the centre of Geneva – a picturesque cosmopolitan city in Switzerland. It is commonly referred to simply as the Graduate Institute and offers degree programmes specialising in international affairs at masters and PhD levels. It is known in French as Institut de hautes études internationals et du développement and is in fact a bilingual lingual institute – but with more courses offered in English than in French. A significant amount of research is also carried out at the institute on topics such as finance and development, global governance, and conflict, development & peacebuilding.Show more
Based on the EDUopinions rankings, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies rating is 3.2. If you want to know more about this school, read the student reviews on our website.
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I completed my program during the beginning covid years, so there was a lot of changes at that time. In general, for the amount of international students that goes to the school I thought that there was almost not enough clubs or purely social (non-work focused) organizations where students had the opportunity to learn from each other. There just was not enough sources for student support and mental health during this time. It was a challenging time in general sure, however it was also a little challenging being a student there during the covid crisis. Overall I wished it was a better experience.
The academics were okay, but I think the school should have put more emphasis on making sure its students were doing well and taken care of. It focuses a lot on prestige but there needs to be more care for its students in general. That is my unfiltered opinion.
I agree that there is not too much scholarship transparency. There might be some bias towards offering students scholarships from some countries over others. I wish it was also more transparent and made equal–where the school looks at actual earnings and income.View more
I like the fact that the school is international and there is a diversity of nationalities. We can therefore learn from each other experiences. However, I dislike the fact that there is not so much African professors.View more
The Graduate Institute Geneva (IHEID) is one of the worst educational institutions in Switzerland. It’s important to dive into the specifics as to why.
When it comes to a master’s degree in Switzerland, tuition ranges from 500–2,000 Swiss francs, however, IHEID charges foreign students a whopping 8,000 Swiss francs. While you may argue that American universities charge more and so therefore this is a bargain, you would be dumbfounded to experience some of the educational conditions in comparison to American universities.
• Scholarships: For over a decade, IHEID has shown no transparency on its scholarships. At this point, it can be assumed that something terribly wrong is going on behind the scene, as they have refused to show how many scholarship packages are provided but have justified an increase in tuition in this manner. IHEID has been audited by so many governmental agencies it reeks of fraudulent governance. The institute has been financially audited, its governance has been audited, even its sexual harassment mechanism has been audited.
• Student Representation: The Institute has been called out for a lack of student involvement for years, going far as appearing in front of state officials to plead their case. It is clear however that the new director enjoys this level of student participation as she cancelled her meetings with the student association for over 3 months this past 2021 summer, to punish them, for an article that was written in the independent student press. She has called members of the association intimidating and harassing when they have advocated for better housing services. The trauma some members of the association have faced has pushed them into depression, and psychotic breaks. Alumni of the association have experienced these tactics throughout generations and is an integral part of the IHEID student association experience.
• Sexual and Moral Harassment: IHEID Senior administrators have been accused of sexual harassment for over ten years, while the directrice herself has recently been accused of intimidating and threatening members of the Student Association, IHEID student journalists and independent advocates. IHEID’s most valuable asset isn’t its students, but its reputation and anyone that attempts to bring anything to light is disposable. As a 2014 article states, if you do not like the Institute, you can leave”.
• Career Services: As a foreign student, Switzerland is a distinctively difficult country to migrate to. You are effectively competing against the Swiss/permanent residents, and then Europeans as they are legally prioritized in terms of visas. Unless you are in one of those situations, your status will be considered a third-country national (Asians, Africans, Americans). How is it them that career services only have 1–2 people on staff for a 1000 student institution? Furthermore, the IHEID does not recognize institutional racism, and it, therefore, does not provide resistance techniques to counter these policies.
• No skill-based centres: Where American universities may have writing centres, IHEID does not make any effort to close the academic gap between students whose language isn’t English or may have studied in another language in their bachelors. You also do not have any math, Econ, or stats centre to gain help or tutoring when needed.
• The Interdisciplinary program: Additionally, if you happened to have chosen the Masters in International Development, you will soon notice that you are actually not learning much. The quality of the core courses is far below the quality promised. Essentially, you are buying a degree and you do not need to invest too much time or effort into your courses. It is also not expected; Professors in the Interdisciplinary program do not connect with you in the same way other program professors do. Actually, the program is referred to as the Cash Cow of the Institute by professors themselves. This program will not teach you IR concepts, the bare minimum of political science, such as you would in a government 101 class.
○ Students Background: Since there are no IR or Policy sci requirements to enter this program, your peers can have studied biology or English literature. This will impact the level of academic rigour you will be exposed to.
• Teaching Assistants: Their salaries have not been increased in over 7 years. When they sign their contracts they are not shown internal regulations or teaching staff regulations. They are not only the least paid in the entire country when recently told they may get a raise, but their social benefits such as unemployment are also significantly reduced. The manner in which they are treated those not encourage master students to rely on them for academic support.
IHEID’s priority is to build its reputation on the backs of students, particularly students of diversity. The Institute counts on students’ ties with the institution to avoid improving its services. As a student whose visa is associated with the school, I am less likely to revolt. The same can be said for students under scholarships, or employed by it. It is a terrible place to conduct one’s study and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy. Below are some of the articles written that convey the previous facts: particularly the latest developments regarding the ongoing movement; No more silencing students.
The program was good, w some stellar professors.
Another big strength is the excellent reputation the Institute has in the UN/NGO circles. A lot of alumni working in IGOs/NGOs/government/banking so there are numerous opportunities to build a network.
My experience at the Graduate Institute, Geneva was nothing short of amazing! Aside from it’s pleasant and diverse nature, my degree has offered me a great sense of theoretical and practical knowledge in the study of International Affairs.
The advantage of an interdisciplinary course is that you get to understand all aspects of international affairs through disciplines such as law, economics, anthropology, political science and international relations.
The best part is that you are not just a jack of all trades but you also get to specialize in a specific track. The syllabus is also very practical which is great for the simple reason that it prepares you for the real world because having just theoretical knowledge these days is not enough. If you’ve chosen to apply to the Graduate Institute MIA programme, I have no doubt in my mind that you are making the right decision.View more