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Human Development and Data Processing Unit

Within the University of Mons, the
Human Development and Data Processing Unit, led by Professor Marielle Bruyninckx, provides introductory courses on quantitative methods and human development. The team works together to implement the curriculum of the Doctoral School in Development Studies. The main objective of Statistics I and Statistics II (first cycle courses) is for students in the human sciences domain to understand the basic principles of data analysis from a descriptive and inferential perspective.

The Unit’s courses are centred on the human development theory of Amartya Sen (Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998).

The Development and Diversity course (an optional course in the Bachelor’s programme) focuses on human development in various contexts, emphasising everyone’s right to live gracefully and with mutual respect, regardless of their nationality, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, language, religion, etc. This is why several collaborations are maintained with professionals in the psychosocial field who share their experience with our students.

The educational component Work Psychology, Organisations and Diversity (I), which is part of the Master's in Psychology (specialist focus), encompasses the learning activities Diversities and Genders and Cultural Diversity, both of which aim to provide students with the basics to understand issues of human diversity (gender equality and national, social, ethnic and cultural origins) in order to develop the skills necessary to deal with various issues and appropriate relationships through psychosocial interventions in a non-discriminatory manner. The Master’s in Psychology (research focus) includes the educational component Statistical Indices for the Measurement of Human Development, which focuses on the importance of well-being and aims to lead students to consider a vision of development that exceeds the simple will of economic growth.

The Master’s in Education (all specialist focuses) includes the educational component Education and Development, which contains three separate learning activities. Firstly, Development in Extreme Contexts addresses human development in particularly difficult situations (precariousness, armed conflict, recurrent natural disasters, etc.) and familiarises students with extraordinary characteristics of human beings in dead-end situations, particularly in LDCs. Next, Language Diversity and Education focuses on development in multilingual contexts, which is studied as a key problem for education both in the development of individuals as well as in that of companies and education systems. Finally, Assessment of Human Development and Education allows students to explore the links between education and development based on national and international statistical indicators. 

The Unit has developed expertise in the development of Southern countries and international cooperation. For over ten years, Marielle Bruyninckx has coordinated the institutional university cooperation partnership with the University of Haiti. 

Regular collaborations are also maintained with the Mauritius Institute of Education, the Université d'Abomey-Calavi in Benin and the Simon I Patiño University in Bolivia.

In line with their teachings, the team's research and publications focus primarily on issues of diversity and human development. The themes studied include gender disparities, domestic violence, reproductive health, sexual orientation, and multiculturalism, from psychological and educational perspectives with social cohesion in both the North and South kept in mind.

Training future psychologists and education specialists, while covering all factors of diversity, respect for fundamental human rights and non-discriminatory ideas, practices and methods of intervention regarding individuals whose human development is characterised by particular circumstances, is a fundamental objective that the Unit upholds and for which the team is constantly developing its scientific expertise.

Presentation of the Human Development and Data Processing Unit (Brochure in French)

Head of Unit: Professor Marielle Bruyninckx


University of Mons
18, Place du Parc
7000 Mons