Madrid, 10 June 2020  –  IE School of Global and Public Affairs has signed today a new alliance with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) to jointly redesign and implement the Bachelor in International Relations with the aim of training tomorrow’s global leaders in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agreement is a new step in the collaboration between both institutions, after the successful experience of the IE Master in International Development launched in 2019.

The renewed IE Bachelor in International Relations (BIR), which is a great example of partnership between the United Nations and a top-tier university, will equip students with the right knowledge, hard and soft skills, and attitudes needed to make a difference on a global level and impact a sustainable change in our societies and economies.

“The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals have become the umbrella under which leaders around the world need to act to ensure a sustainable future for our peoples and our planet. I am very proud to enlarge the IE School of Global and Public Affairs-UNSSC partnership to offer the best education for young professionals who will be tackling the global transformations needed in the private, public and non-profit sectors”, highlights Susana Malcorra, Dean of IE School of Global and Public Affairs.

To build transformative and sustainable change in today’s world, the new Bachelor in International Relations has designed a journey in four very concrete steps, distributed along four academic years. The first will focus on Global Citizenship to make students aware of the challenges ahead in today's world as well as the fundamentals of International Relations. The second will address Impact and Change as students will acquire the analytical skills and knowledge required to evaluate and tackle the global transformational challenges. The third will pivot on Leadership, including negotiation skills as well as advanced knowledge in International Relations. Finally, in the last year, students will focus on Expertise, acquiring concrete knowhow in a variety of fields. Technology, innovation and sustainability will be crosscutting elements of the programme throughout the four years. 

Thanks to the partnership between IE and UNSSC, UN experts and practitioners will participate in course teaching, webinars, workshops and extracurricular activities, such as speaker series, career and networking events, fellowships, study trips, competitions, simulations, tutoring, consultancy projects, etc. Furthermore, students will also have access to unique UN models and the UN Leadership Framework, which applies system thinking, and co-creation, among other techniques, to pursue transformational change and impact.

“We are very excited about this partnership with IE, a renowned academic institution that is committed to fostering leaders capable of driving change”, says Jafar Javan, Director of UNSSC. “The UN System Staff College is a centre of excellence for leadership training. We look forward to developing leaders of the future, prepared to help bring about a more equitable and sustainable world.”

The Bachelor is designed as a full-time face-to-face programme and is delivered in IE’s campuses in Madrid and Segovia (35 minutes by train from Madrid). The next cohort will begin classes in September 2020. The BIR can be completed as a single degree in four academic years, or be combined in a five-year dual programme with the Bachelor of Law or the Bachelor in Business Administration.

Given the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, students will initiate the next course with a unique worldwide ‘liquid’ learning model created with the most advanced technologies and methodologies. Students will attend sessions on campus or remotely (as they prefer), participate in workshops, conferences and seminars, carry out applied projects and develop their professional networks in a highly diverse international environment, while also enjoying the culture of Spain. At a time of global challenges, when education cannot be put on hold because of its strategic relevance, this hybrid format will provide flexibility for students and reinforce active and personalized learning that focuses on solving real-world problems.

"We want to train the global leaders of the future with a sustainable mindset. After studying in this programme, students will be prepared to be part of the Foreign Services of their countries, of multilateral institutions or an international corporation. They can also become social entrepreneurs, development experts in an NGO or foundation, research managers in a think tank or the media, or humanitarian and environmental activists. Whatever they become they will have learned the values and principles on which the UN is founded", says Malcorra.


IE University

IE is an international university based in Spain that offers programmes in international relations, business administration, economics, law, technology and social sciences. Recognized as a leading educational institution in Europe and the world, IE delivers several master’s degrees included in the top 10 in the world according to the Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes, QS and other rankings. With over 7,000 students, 70% of them from foreign countries, and an active network of 60,000 alumni distributed among 165 countries, IE is characterized by its diversity and openness to the world.

The IE School of Global and Public Affairs aims to build talent and knowledge in complex, interdependent and fast-changing environments in which challenges and opportunities can only be addressed through a comprehensive understanding of social, political, technological and economic connections. The School has signed several partnerships to collaborate with the most relevant world organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The School is a full member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), which constitute the 3 top global accreditations in its field.


The United Nations Staff College (UNSSC), based in Turin and Bonn, is the center of excellence for training and knowledge management within the UN System. The UNSSC offers short online and face-to-face courses on leadership, management, peace and sustainable development. Since 2015, the UNSSC has been intensifying its efforts in capacity building for the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.