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Inventory of advanced training programmes in human nutrition science

Marylou J. Mertens
Department of Human Nutrition, Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands

Two basic requirements for the improvement of the present-day food and nutrition situation in the world, especially in the developing countries, are knowledge and training. In these countries malnutrition is largely responsible for high death rates and high prevalence of disease. In addition, malnutrition reduces the ability to learn and capacity to work and is a daily threat to the well being of a large proportion of the population. There fore, it is not only justified, but also essential, that people in developing countries become aware of the role of food and nutrition in health and disease and in economic development. People should be trained in the science of food and human nutrition in order to formulate guidelines for nutrition in economics, agricultural development, and health policies. Each country should have its own educational structure for training people in the science of food and human nutrition at various levels. However, in many developing countries such training, especially at the advanced level, is still very limited.

In the past decade, international agencies have strongly supported educational links in this field between developed and developing countries, especially at the postgraduate and advanced level. The objectives of these programmes have been mainly twofold: training in food and nutrition science and development of cooperation between institutes.

In this paper, a summary is given of international and regional post-graduate and advanced training programmes in human nutrition science. It is hoped that this information will be of use to people in charge of manpower planning and training in developing countries. The courses listed are mainly job-oriented, that is, training programmes that will benefit the participants directly in their work.


These are a variety of tasks that senior nutrition workers are expected to undertake, but naturally an individual cannot be expected to work directly in all fields, Some of these tasks for which senior nutrition workers should be prepared are set out below (WHO/ Consultation of Directors of Nutrition Training Programmes, Geneva, November 1976):

- assessment of the nutritional status of the community;
- identification of the factors responsible for the overall nutritional status of the community;
- cooperation with colleagues from other disciplines, including economic planning, community development, agriculture, and health education;
- stimulation and participation in the development of a food and nutrition policy at the national level;
- planning, supervision, and evaluation of nutrition programmes;
- development of focal training programmes in human nutrition science;
- promotion of teaching of human nutrition science in universities and medical schools; in most of the activities mentioned above a research component is included, and therefore interest in research questions is needed.

The variety of tasks set out above suggests that postgraduate and advanced training programmes in human nutrition science should be multidisciplinary in approach. This approach is supported both by international organizations and by people in charge of such training programmes.

As participants in these courses come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, multidisciplinary courses offer additional advantages. It may be expected that among the participants, many of whom are at the middle level in the career structure, there will be some with experience in certain topics included in the course. These participants will provide an important extra input for the course.


In the following summary of training programmes, information is included that may be useful in helping prospective participants, and those responsible for advising them, to select the course best suited to the candidate's needs in the light of his or her job require. meets. It can be seen that the actual number of programmes being offered is somewhat limited, and it would appear that the great need for training in this area is not being met.

The distinction between international and regional courses is made on the basis of those who attend and not on the basis of the location of the course. Only training programmes in which nutrition is the main component are listed. This is reflected in the title in most cases. A number of programmes in related fields such as health and agriculture have not been listed, as for example the training programme in child health at the Institute of Child Health, London, and the training programme in public health nutrition at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The list is presented in alphabetical order of the country in which the programme is located. More information on any of the programmes can be obtained by writing to the author of this article, address: International Course in Food Science and Nutrition, Lawickse Allee 11, 6701 AN Wageningen, Netherlands, or by writing directly to the director or the person in charge of the particular programme. Those interested in participating in a particular programme should make application at least six months before the starting date.

Advanced training programmes in nutrition science: international

Name Master of Community Health (Nutrition) International Course in Food Science and Nutrition (ICFSN)/ Cours International sur la Science de la Nutrition et de l'Alimentation (CISNA) a) Magister in Human Nutrition
b) Magister in Food and Nutrition Planning
Production alimentaire, nutrition, sant‚ et developpement (Food production, nutrition health and development)
Address Community Nutrition Programme, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4067 St. Pieters Nieuwstraat39, 9000 Ghent, Belgium Macul 5540 Santiago, Chile Centre International de I'Enfance (CIE), Chateau de Longchamp, Carrefour de Longchamp, Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris, France
Director Mrs. Margaret Gilliland (Admin.) + Committee from University of Queens land, Philippines, and Thailand Prof. Dr. H. Henderickx Ricardo Uauy, M D. Ph.D. Dr. Anne-Marie Raimbault
Institutional Affiliation Cooperating institutes are: University of Queens- land (Australia), United Nations University-Nutri- tion Center of the Philippines (Philippines) and the Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University and Khon Kaen University (Thailand) The course is jointly organised by Belgium and the Netherlands Cooperating institutes: State University Ghent Catholic University Louvain General Dept. for Development Cooperation Brussels (AGCD) The courses are held at the Instituto de Nutrición y Tecno- logia de los Alimentos (INTA), Universidad de Chile, in collabora- tion with United Nations, FAO/PAHO/ WHO, PIA/PNAN (U.N. Inter- agency Project for Food and Nutrition Planning) The course is organized at the CIE (8 weeks on health, nutrition, and food sciences) and at the Institut Agronomique Mediterraneen (JAM) of Montpellier (4 weeks on planning aspects), in collaboration with WHO, UNICEF, the French National Institute of Agronomy (INAPG) and Food and Nutrition Research Centre (CNERNA)
Language of Instruction English Annually alternating in English and French (e.g., 1983: French; 1984: English) Spanish (mastery of English desirable for the candidates) French
Intake Maximum 20 participants About 25 participants About 10 - 15 students 22 participants in 1980
Duration 18 months (before 1982, 12 months) 5 - 6 months (mid-January- July) Minimum 18 months; maximum 40 months 12 weeks (courses held in 1978 and 1980; will be held once every 3 or 4 years)
Admission Requirements In addition to a recog- nised degree in the health, behavioural or agricultural sciences, candidates should have a minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience In addition to a univer- sity degree (B. Sc.) in chemistry, biology, agronomy, home economics food technology or nutri- tion or an equivalent training, some years of relevant work experience is required A degree related to nutrition with at least 8 semesters of training in natural or mathematics areas related to nutrition The course is intended for professionals from such technical minis tries as Planning, Rural Development, Health and Agriculture
Degree or Diploma Awarded Master of Community Health (Nutrition) Diploma a) Magister in Human Nutrition of the University of Chile
b) Magister in Nutrition Planning of the University of Chile
Additional The course, held since 1979 is financed by the Austral- ian Government through the Australian Development Assistance Bureau (ADAB). Fellowships are offered to applicants from developing countries. The academic programme is held in Australia; field work is done either in the Philippines or in Thailand Via the General Department for Development Cooperation (AGCD) the Belgian Government offers fellowships to people from developing countries. Each year the programme is focused on a specific theme The INTA was established in 1976. The programme Magister in Food and Nutrition Planning started in 1977. Both programmes are flexible, which enables an adaptation to personal interest in- sofar as the objectives of the training are met The International Children's Centre was created by France in 1949 to serve the UN in the field of maternal and child health. The International course prepares govern ment officials for the task of planning and evaluating national food and nutrition policies and programmes in multi disciplinary teamwork

Advanced training programmes in nutrition science: international

Name a) Hunger and Society
b) Hunger and Technology
a) Annual Certificate Course
b) M.&. (Applied Nutrition)
International Course in Food Science end Nutri- tion (ICFSN) Advanced Training Programme in Food and Nutrition Planning and Management for Commu nity Development
Address University of Ghana Nutrition and Food Science Department, P.O. Box 132, Legon, Ghana National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, India ICFSN c/o l.A.C., Lawickse Allee 11, 6701 AN Wageningen The Netherlands Nutrition Center of the Philippines South Superhighway Nichols Interchange Makati, Metro Manila Philippines
Director Dr. R. Orraca-Tetteh Dr. P.G. Tulpule Prof. Dr. J.G.A.J. Hautvast, M.D. Dr. Rodolfo Florentino
Institutional Affiliation The courses are given at the University of Ghana Dept. of Nutri- tion and Food Science in collaboration with other departments and institutes of the University and the Food Research Insti- tute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research The course is held at NIN WHO, UNICEF and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research have been supporting these courses The course is jointly organised by the Netherlands and Belgium cooperating institutes:
- Agricultural University, Wageningen
- State University, Utrecht
- Netherlands Universities Foundation for Inter national Cooperation (NUFFIC), The Hague
Since 1977 this training programme has been con ducted by the Nutrition Center of the Philippines, teeing a United Nations University Associated Institute
Language of Instruction English English English English
Intake 1981: 3 participants Certificate courser 15 - 20 participants M.&c. Course: 5 -10 participants About 25 participants Limited number
Duration 9 months to 1 year (October to June) a) 3 months (Dec. - March)
b) 9 months (June - April)
5 months (January ~ June) 5 months (annually)
Admission Requirements a) At least a master's degree and employment in organizations con- cerned with food and nutrition
b) Admission through United Nations Univer- sity selection
a) Certificate course; open to persons directly or indirectly associated with nutri- tion in their profes- signal capacity In addition to a univer- sity degree (B.Sc.) in nutrition, food science, or related field, or an equivalent training, some years of work experience related to the theme of the course is required - at least a college degree in food and nutrition or any related field ─ holding a key position that can contribute to the development of food and nutrition programme in his/her country
Degree or Diploma Awarded United Nations Univer- sity certificate of attendance Certificate awarded by The National Institute of Nutrition M.Sc degree awarded by the Osmania University Faculty of Medicine, Hyderabad Diploma A certificate of completion
Additional Information As an Associated Insti- tution of the United Nations University, the Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science has designed this programme since 1981 to give a broad, multi- disciplinary and mission- oriented training relevant to the solution of problems of world hunger The course is open to candidates from all countries; however, mostly Indian nationals and people from South-East Asia attend these courses
-UNICEF provides stipends for all the Indian nationals
- WHO sponsors fellows from various South-East Asian countries
The course forms part of the Dutch International Education System, coordin- ated by NUFFIC The Dutch Government offers a number of fellowships to participants from developing countries The course has a practical and multi-disciplinary approach. The programme is focused on a theme, which is different each year The general objective is to strengthen individual and insti tutional capabilities in food and nutrition planning and management for community development Participants will receive a UNU fellowship

Advanced training programmes in nutrition science: international

Name M.S.c. in Human Nutrition a) Diploma Course in Human Nutrition
b) MSc. Course in Human Nutrition
Programme in International Nutrition Advanced Study Program me in International Nutrition Planning
Address Nutrition Department Queen Elizabeth College University of London Campden Hill, London W8 7AH, United Kingdom Human Nutrition Department London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Keppel Street (Gower St.) London WC1E 7HT United Kingdom Graduate Faculty Representative Field of Nutrition Sage Graduate Center Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853 U.S.A. Advanced Study Program International Nutrition Planning Program Room 20A - 201 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massa chusetts 02139, USA
Director Prof. A.E. Bender Dr. P.H. Payne Dr. Juan Aguilar, M.D. Dr. Nevin S. Scrimshaw, Ph.D., M.D.
Institutional Affiliation All teaching, labora- tory, and library work is carried out within the University of London. Field study as part of the 3 - month long research project is carried out in the U.K. The courses are given at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which is an institute within the University of London. Especially staff members of the school's Dept. of Human Nutrition are involved A number of courses are offered by the core faculty of the programme. Other courses are given by staff of Cornell Divis- ion of Nutrition Sciences and other international groups The programme is co sponsored by the MIT Harvard International Nutrition Planning Programme of the Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science and the Center for International Studies
Language of Instruction English English English English
Intake 15 - 30 students each year 30 students each year   Limited number
Duration 7 - 8 months (October - August) One calendar year, beginning in October each year M.Sc.: 4 semesters Ph.D.: 6 semesters + dissertation project + exam Non-degree programmes: 1 or 2 semesters 9 months (academic year)
Admission Requirements A first degree in basic sciences, including biochemistry and physiology or a medical or veterinary qualification. Occasional students who do not meet entry requirements of the M.Sc. course may be permitted to take the College Diploma in Nutrition a) For the M.Sc. course: Graduation in science, social science, or medicine
b) The diploma course has broader entry requirements; even non-graduates of exceptional merit may be admitted
Baccalaureate degree or equivalent
Aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examination (ORE) is required
Advanced test in chemistry or biology is recommended
Several years of professional experience
Degree or Diploma Awarded M.Sc. degree in Nutrition (or in occasional cases a College Diploma in Nutrition) A diploma that is a school qualifation M.Sc. degree of the University of London Non-degree programmes M.Sc. M.P.S. Ph.D. No degree
Additional Information In 1960 the course started as a diploma course and was changed and lengthened to a M.Sc. course in 1967 Students are often sponsored by own govern- ments, WHO, FAO, British Council, EEC, etc. Diploma and M.Sc. students take the same course and the same examination, the entry requirements being the only difference. The two courses have devel- oped from:
- The UNICEF-sponsored nutrition course with an academic study in UK and a field study in Nigeria and Ghana. This course terminated in 1967.
- A one-year Academic Post- graduate Diploma in Nutrition (with more emphasis on biochemistry than the first one and no field work)
The Programme in Inter- national Nutrition offers four routes for studying in this field, namely:
- a major in international nutrition at the master's or doctoral level
- a minor in international nutrition at the master's or doctoral level
- the Master of Professional Studies degree in inter- national development with a concentration in inter- national nutrition
- advanced study for the non-degree candidate
Initiated in 1974, the Advanced Study Program me is designed primarily for relatively senior persons from univer sities, research institutes, and inter national agencies who are involved in, or are likely to become involved in the planning, imple mentation or evaluation of programmes designed to combat malnutrition in low-income countries. These are individually tailor-made study programmes utilizing the full resources of the Boston area

Advanced training programmes in nutrition science: regional

Name Specialization Course in Nutrition a) Curso de postgrado en Salud Pública con Enfasis en Nutrición y Materno-infantil
b) Curso de postgrado en Ciencias y Tecno- logía de Alimentos
Regional Graduate Applied Nutrition Courses:
1. Diploma Course
2. M.Sc. Course
3. Ph.D. Course
a) Diploma in Community Nutrition (refresher course)
b) Three months Intensive course in the Implemen tation of Food and Nutrition Programmes
Address Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirƒo Preto, Universidade de Sao Paulo, "Campus" de Ribeirƒo Preto, Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil Centro de Estudios Superiores en Nutrición y Ciencias de Alimentos Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala/lNCAP Apartado Postal 1188 Guatemala, C.A. SEAMEO/Tropical Medicine Project, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Jalan Salemba No. 6, Jakarta, Pusat Indonesia Caribbean Food and Nutri tion Institute Kingston 7, Jamaica
Director Dr. J.E. Dutra de Oliveira, M.D. a) Dr. America de Fern ndez
b) Dr. J. Edgar Braham
Coordinator Board of Directors: A. Djaeni Sediaoetama, M.Sc., Ph.D. Dr. J.M. Gurney
Institutional Affiliation The programme is given at the Medical Faculty of the University of Sao Paulo.
ln addition to a series of classes and seminars, research is included in this programme
The courses are organ- ized at INCAP in collab- oration with the Pan American Health Organ- isation (Organización Panamericana de la Salud/O.P.S.) The courses are run by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Indonesia in cooperation with a number of insti tutes in the field of public health, nutrition, and agriculture The course is held at the Caribbean Food and Nutri tion Institute
Language of Instruction Spanish Spanish English English
Intake 6 - 8 participants a) 15 - 20 participants
b) 5 - 10 participants
Limited number of participants a) 15 - 25 participants
b) 10 - 20 participants
Duration 1 year a) 1 year
b) 2 years
Diploma Course: 6 months (June - December)
M.Sc. course: 2 years
Ph.D.: 3 years (July - June)
a) 2 weeks
b) 3 months, held annually
Admission Requirements Graduation in biology, physics, food engi- peering, economics, etc. For both courses, an academic degree in appropriate medical, biological science or its equivalent Both for the Diploma and the M.Sc. course, minimal requirement is a B.Sc. degree or its equivalent with basic knowledge in bio chemistry, organic chemistry, physiology and biology No particular requirements for admission; participants are usually government nominees
Degree or Diploma Awarded Certificate a) Magister
b) Magister Scientificae Both degrees are granted by University of San Carlos de Guatemala
- Diploma in Applied Nutrition - M.Sc. in Applied Nutrition - Ph.D. in Applied Nutrition a) None
b) Certificate of participa tion
Additional Information This specialization course is inter- sectoral and multi- disciplinary.
The Medical Faculty also offers non-formal training programmes in nutrition for physic- ians (on request)
INCAP, created as a regional technical organisation, agreed in 1964 with the Uni- versity San Carlos de Guatemala on the estab- lishment of the "Centro de Estudios Superiores en Nutrición y Ciencias de Alimentos" to enable the Institute to award academic degrees of the University San Carlos de Guatemala These courses are sponsored by SEAMED/ TROPMED (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation/ Tropical Medicine Project) and the Govern- ment of Indonesia SEAMED awards a limited number of scholarships to participants of SEAMED countries Courses are sponsored by PAHO/WHO (Pan American Health Organization) and the United States Agency for International Develop meet. As these are regional courses, policies and pro grammes developed by dif ferent Caribbean govern meets are discussed and so afford opportunity for comparing different approaches

Advanced training programmes in nutrition science: regional

Name Certificate Course in Food Science and Applied Nutrition International Nutrition Programme i.e.: International Course on Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Planning and Implementation Regional Training Programme on Food and Nutrition Planning
Address Department of Human Nutrition, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria National Nutrition Council (NNC), International Nutrition Programme, NCP Building', Nichols Inter- change, South Superhighway Makati, Metro Manila Philippines Graduate University of the Philippines at Los BaĄos (UPLB) College, Laguna 3720, Philippines
Director Institutional Affiliation Prof. A. Omolulu The course is organized at the Dept. of Human Nutrition, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan Dr. Delfina B. Aguillon
- Training staff is drawn from the National Nutrition Council and its cooperating agencies and from higher insti- tutions of learning
- Field work is included
Dr. N. Deomampo
- The course work is done at the Graduate School of the University of the Philippines at Los BaĄos. The field work is done in the region
- The programme is supported by FAO, WHO, and UNU
Language of Instruction English English English
Intake About 10 - 12 partici- pants   20 - 25 participants
Duration One academic year (starting in September) Short-term trainings 2-5 weeks (held twice annually) 17 months (starting in June)
Admission Requirements School certificate with some professional training and some experience in field work Depending upon the programme: Post-graduate degree or B.Sc. degree in Nutrition or in related field of study + a number of years of work/field experience - B.Sc. degree or equivalent in Agriculture, Basic Sciences, Nutrition Statistics, Home Economics, Food Science and Technology, Education or Public Health
- Some years of practical experience
- Preference is given to applicants employed by their government in the related field
Degree or Diploma Awarded Certificate Not applicable Master of Professional Studies, Food and Nutrition Planning
Additional Information In 1963, the certificate course was started as a UNICEF-sponsored course initially taught between London and Ibadan. From 1968-1980, the course was run by the Univer- sity of Ibadan. After 1979-1980, the programme was phased out and replaced by undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes UNICEF, WHO, FAO, and West African Health Communities sponsored students of this course Through short-term study visits and specialized programs of study, the International Nutrition Programme aims to foster international and regional cooperation.
The programmes are conducted by the National Nutrition Council
In 1978, this programme was ini tiated by the International Course in Food Science and Nutrition (ICFSN), Wageningen and the Netherlands Universities Foundation for Inter national Cooperation (NUFFIC). Before 1982, the duration of the training was 12 months.
The programme is sponsored by the Dutch Government, which also offers fellowships to participants

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