• The University of Oviedo will be the international coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Degree in Public Health in Disasters

    July 23, 2012

    This degree, which is to be introduced in the 2013-2014 academic year, is a collaboration with the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm and the University of Leuven

    Erasmus Mundus students at the University of Oviedo

    The Emergency and Disaster Research Unit, subject to the Department of Medicine of the University of Oviedo, will be in charge of organising the first Master's Degree that covers, specifically and comprehensively, the problem arising from disasters in the public health of the locations involved. The European Union has backed up the Master's Degree in Public Health in Disasters presented by the University of Oviedo among a total of 177 proposals, from which only 30 have been given the green light (5 of them to Spanish universities). The Asturian academic insitution will coordiante this program, in which the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm and the University of Leuven also participate.

    The Erasmus Mundus Master's Degrees are high quality courses offered by at least three universities from different countries. In order to be selected, the Master's Degrees must be "integrated", that is, they must plan a study period in at least two of the three universities which will end up with the achievement of an accredited joint diploma, double and multiple. As regards this Master's Degree, the students will be allowed to do their practicals in Harvard, the Centre for Desease Control and Prevention of Atlanta and the National Institute of Public Health of Cambodia.

    The program, which has been backed up by the Campus of International Excellence, has received a favourable report by the external assessing committee who, apart from the unique character of the approach, have highlighted that the three centres offering it are worldwide references in their respective fields.

    Thus, the Emergency and Disaster Research Unit is the only one belonging to a university department in a country that works on public health in the already mentioned field, and it keeps the Spanish disaster database. For his part, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, centre of reference worldwide, is in charge of granting year after year the Nobel Prize for Medicine, whereas the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the University of Leuven- one of the four oldest universities in Europe- is the reference point of United Nations for disaster research and keeps the world disaster database (EM-DAT).

    The Master's Degree will consist of a common compulsory module which will be exclusively taught in Oviedo between September and December (to start in 2013), and of two optional itineraries among which the students will choose following their interests: the one developed in Karolinska Institutet, focused on intervention on the ground, with operational aspects in health intervention; and the one developed in the CRED at the University of Leuven, devoted to disaster research. In May and June the students will continue their training in some of the associated centres (University of Harvard, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta, the National Institute of Public Health of Cambodia, among others) to do carry our their practicals or a research project.

    With the granting of this Master's Degree, the University of Oviedo becomes the coordinator of three Erasmus Mundus programs, as next year the Erasmus Mundus Master's Degrees in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing and Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems start to be taught. Besides, the Asturian academic institution has offered in the last few years the three Erasmus Mundus programs in which it participates: Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Mechatronica and Micro-mechatronic Systems and Women's and Gender Studies.