From January 2012, Oxford Brookes University will be offering students the UK’s first university-accredited course in Shelter After Disaster.
Equivalent to one third of a Masters, the 12 week postgraduate certificate (PGCert) targets three main groups: those who have already accrued humanitarian experience but wish to turn their hand to shelter; built environment professionals; and those with significant experience in the field but want to improve their knowledge of shelter.
The Centre of Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) is currently running a successful module in Shelter After Disaster which acts as a pilot for the full course. Caroline Dewast, an Architecture Student taking the pilot module for Shelter After Disaster commented: “The aid agencies need to understand the complexities of shelter to get it right.
“The theory and practical information is co-ordinated here at Oxford Brookes and the university has the network of contacts to disseminate and share that knowledge. The course looks at the complexities of shelter with a cross-cutting dimension, as part of a broader picture within disaster responses. It considers how shelter impacts on every part of life, rather than simply standing alone. That’s why I prefer the term ‘housing’ rather than shelter. It’s more long-term.”