The Network on Humanitarian Action turns 30!


The Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The network operates the NOHA Joint Master’s in International Humanitarian Action, which is one of the EU’s longest-running Erasmus Mundus Master’s programmes. Study at at least 2 universities in Europe is involved, with study on other continents or an internship also being possible. There are now thousands of NOHA alumni active in emergencies around the world, and they help to keep the programme relevant. NOHA Uppsala is based at the Department of Theology.

The NOHA Joint Master’s in International Humanitarian Action aims to provide a high-quality education to future and current relief workers; it has been awarded the Erasmus Mundus Master’s Programme of Excellence label on 4 occasions by the European Commission and is a successful example of European higher education collaboration.

The network’s current members are Aix-Marseille Université (France), Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany), Universidad de Deusto (Spain), University College Dublin (Ireland), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (the Netherlands), University of Malta (Malta), Uppsala Universitet (Sweden), Vilniaus universitetas (Lithuania, a non-teaching member) and Uniwersytet Warszawski (Poland). Uppsala joined NOHA in 1997; like the other members, it offers a specialisation in the second semester – in our case, Conflict and Peacebuilding plus Religion in Humanitarian Action. NOHA also works with 12 universities outside of Europe and has links with a range of partner organisations such as Action against Hunger and Handicap International.

The long-standing collaboration between the member universities has led to a unique understanding of each university’s needs and is one of NOHA’s strengths. However, what really holds the network together is the ongoing relevance of humanitarian relief work. In the words of Dr Lars Löfquist, Director of the NOHA Programme in Uppsala: “The staff in this network share the belief that what we do matters. When we hear of our alumni working to provide support in countries such as Ukraine, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, we know that we are helping to make a difference.” The programme has more than 4 000 graduates, and many work in the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding sector.

NOHA is planning a series of events during the year to highlight this important anniversary. One of the main events will be the traditional Intensive Programme, which will be held this year at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The Intensive Programme is an annual kick-off week that brings together students, staff and humanitarian organisations. The event not only reinforces the NOHA brand each year, a brand built up over 3 decades, but also allows the network to take stock of current humanitarian trends and to keep the NOHA Master’s relevant for future generations of humanitarian workers.

The NOHA Joint Master’s is just one of several international programmes run by the Department of Theology – see the links below for more information.

Last modified: 2023-01-18