Issue 8 - Article 8

NOHA 'Three years on'

May 1, 1997
Humanitarian Practice Network

The Network on Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA) is a one year Masters Degree course offered by a network of European academic institutions (see Newsletter no.1 March 1994). Conceived in 1993 it started in 1994 and is now in its 3rd academic year, with some 100 students enrolled every year. The participating institutions have been located within Ruhr University, at Bochum (Germany), Deusto University at Bilbao (Spain), Université Catholique de Louvain at Leuven-Brussels (Belgium), and Aix-Marseille University at Aix-en-Provence (France). As of 1997-1998 another three institutes will collaborate in the initiative: Stockholm (Sweden), Dublin (Ireland) and Rome (Italy).

The Refugee Studies Programme (RSP), Oxford University (UK) was involved in the development of the NOHA degree and was responsible for preparing some of the teaching materials. The regulations governing its new one-year Masters of Studies in Forced Migration, (due to begin in 1998), will not, however, be compatible with those of the NOHA degree and it will therefore not be possible for the RSP to register students for the European degree.

The NOHA course has so far received limited financial support from ECHO and a more substantial input from DG XXII – responsible for education – under its ‘Socrates’ European exchange programme. To a significant degree the costs have been born by the universities to which the participating institutes belong. A recent ECHO commissioned evaluation recommends more EU financial input.

The study programme consists of a 10-14 day intensive course that brings together in one place all students of the participating institutions, followed by two semesters of study. Students have the possibility of attending the second semester at another of the participating institutions. A 6-8 weeks apprenticeship with a humanitarian organisation is recommended although students are expected to take initiatives to find a hosting organisation, with support from their institute.

The key modules of about 30 hours each cover international humanitarian law, management and logistics, international relations, medicine and anthropology. The NOHA course is not skill training but situates itself at an academic level, providing essential information and a broad framework for understanding humanitarian issues. The body of students brings together individuals with and without prior field experience.

UC Louvain: c/o Frognier, Fax: +32 2 764 34 41
Univ. Aix-Marseille: c/o M.J. Domestici-Met, Fax: +33 442 23 09 71
Ruhr-Univ. Bochum: c/o H. Spieker, Fax: +49 234 700 7366
Deusto-Bilbao: c/o J. Gonzales, Fax: + 34 4 445 07 04
Univ. Dublin: c/o J. Phelan, Fax: + 353 1 706 11 01
Univ. Rome: c/o M. Canneba, Fax: + 39 6 49 91 27 04
Univ. Uppsala: c.o E. Hammer-Sandberg, Fax: + 46 18 18 16 00


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