About IHE Delft

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. The Institute confers fully accredited MSc degrees, and PhD degrees in collaboration with partner universities.

The Institute

Since 1957 the Institute has provided graduate education to more than 15,000 water professionals from over 162 countries, the vast majority from the developing world. Numerous research and capacity development projects are carried out throughout the world. The Institute offers a unique combination of applied, scientific and participatory research in water engineering combined with natural sciences, social sciences and management and governance. Since its establishment the Institute has played an instrumental role in developing the capacities of water sector organizations in the Global South, not least by strengthening the efforts of other universities and research centres to increase the knowledge and skills of professionals working in the water sector.

IHE Delft carries out educational, research and institutional strengthening activities that complement and reinforce each other in the broad fields of water engineering, water management, environment, sanitation, and governance.

IHE Delft in a nutshell

Highlights 2017

In this edition of Highlights we look back on key moments of the past year and make more visible the people and stories behind our work.

Innovations booklet, 2nd edition

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of IHE Delft in 2017, we have selected 60 examples of innovation to feature in this second edition of the Innovations booklet. An important aspect of our innovation, and indeed of much of the activity at the Institute, is that ideas are created with our global partnership network to develop, implement and validate novel solutions that ultimately aim to improve the quality of life on our planet.


IHE Delft signed a partnership agreement with UNESCO for the transition period from 2017 to mid-2018 when a decision on its category 2 status is expected. As from 1st January 2017, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (formerly UNESCO-IHE) operates as a Foundation under Dutch law, working in in partnership with UNESCO. Throughout this period and once the new status is obtained, the Institute will continue to cooperate closely with the UNESCO  Secretariat, the Science Sector and the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), and the Institute will remain a flagship institute in the UNESCO Water Family. 

Download the IHE Delft Statutes here 

Beneficiaries & clients

IHE Delft provides a wide range of services to a variety of target groups in developing countries and countries in transition:

  • Education, training and scientific research – for water sector professionals, engineers, scientists, consultants and decision-makers working in the water and environment sectors.
  • Water sector capacity development – for water sector ministries and departments, municipalities, water boards and water utilities, universities, training and research institutes, industries, non-governmental and private sector organisations.
  • Partnership building and networking – among knowledge centres, public and private sector organisations.
  • Standard setting for education and training – for water-related institutions, universities and other education and training agencies in the water sector.
  • Policy forum on water – for UNESCO member states and other stakeholders.


IHE Delft’s campus is located in the centre of Delft. The premises, comprising three interconnected buildings, cover an area of 14,000 square metres, extending from the main entrance of the new building on Westvest 7, to the historic buildings of Oude Delft 95 and 93 along one of Delft’s main canals.

The Institute offers a wide range of facilities:

  • Four modern teaching and research laboratories: aquatic ecology, microbiology process and analytical laboratories;
  • library with online connections to a worldwide network of libraries, and a reading room containing many international journals and magazines;
  • Multifunctional lecture theaters and a fully equipped auditorium that seats 300;
  • Extensive ICT facilities, including a studio with videoconferencing facilities;
  • Innovative learning tools, including smart boards, WiFi and remote access to all digital resources
  • A restaurant offering a wide variety of meals and snacks;
  • An in-house prayer and meditation room;
  • Residential accommodation equipped with computers, internet connections and other facilities.

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