NOHA Story

NOHA is an international association of universities that aims to enhance professionalism in humanitarian action through education & training, research & publications and projects. As a network of academic institutions, NOHA brings a university ethos to the existing humanitarian principles that govern humanitarian action.


NOHA Network on Humanitarian Action was born from the idea that higher educational institutions have an essential role to play in enhancing professionalism in the delivery of humanitarian aid through education.

In 1993, the 5 universities that composed NOHA at the time set on board the pioneering task of finding space for universities among the then limited humanitarian stakeholder mix. They established a network of universities across Europe delivering a multidisciplinary Masters programme that would be managed and administered by academics from a range of related disciplines.

NOHA in short

  • Founded in 1993
  • Network of 9 European and 9 global partner universities
  • Joint Master's Degree in International Humanitarian Action
  • Multiple annual thematic schools and an undergraduate module
  • Journal of International Humanitarian Action
  • 150+ professors and lecturers
  • 3,500+ graduates and an active NOHA Alumni Community

NOHA 25th anniversary video


NOHA 20 Years

Growing network and activities

Over the past 25 years the network has expanded and now comprises universities from 9 EU member states as well as 9 global partner universities on different continents.

With the support of the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC), NOHA has been able to grow its network and expand its range of activities. NOHA currently develops education & training programmes, research & publication initiatives, and projects to serve students, professionals, researchers as well as institutions and organisations in the humanitarian action sector.

NOHA currently offers the inter-university and multidisciplinary Joint Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action, annual thematic schools, thematic and regional seminars and undergraduate modules.

Early 2015, NOHA launched NOHA Global which aims to support academic institutions in other regions of the world to establish their own NOHA networks. NOHA has also founded the Journal of International Humanitarian Action and is implementing several projects aiming at professionalisation of the humanitarian sector.



Foundation of NOHA and preparation of a joint curriculum by:
Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Universidad de Deusto, Spain
Aix-Marseille Université, France
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
University of Oxford, UK


First year of the Joint Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Action


New members:
University College Dublin, Ireland
Uppsala universitet, Sweden

University of Oxford withdraws from the network


New members:
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands


NOHA is established as an International Not-for-Profit Association under Belgian law (AISBL).


NOHA Alumni Community established.


The European Commission awards the NOHA Master's the status of an Erasmus Mundus Programme. The Master’s moves from 60 ECTS to 90 ECTS.


European Commission awards the NOHA Master’s the status of an Erasmus Mundus Partnerships Programme which launches cooperation with: Monash University (AU), Universidade de Brasilia (BRA), York University (CAN); Universidad Javeriana (COL), Universitas Gadjah Mada (IDN), Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (LEB), University of the Western Cape (ZAF), and Columbia University (USA).


NOHA starts to develop educational and training programmes beyond the Master’s such as seasonal thematic schools.


NOHA Master’s is selected for the European Commission’s Socrates II programme.


New members:
Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland
Vilniaus Universitetas, Lithuania


NOHA Master’s is selected as an Erasmus Mundus Master course in the new Erasmus Mundus II programme for the period 2009-2015.


A European Commission Erasmus Network of 30 universities and 3 humanitarian organisations launches the 3-year European Universities on Professionalization on Humanitarian Action (EUPRHA) project under the coordination of the University of Deusto.

Save the Children UK, the Institute Bioforce and NOHA jointly implement a series of pilot projects within the framework of the European Humanitarian Volunteer Programme to establish the European Humanitarian Volunteer Corps. Three pilot projects are implemented from 2011 to 2014.


Resilience in Practice, awareness raising seminar organised by the University of Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark)


New member:
Københavns Universitet, Denmark

NOHA celebrates 20 years of commitment and experience.

Humanitarian roundtable, awareness raising seminar organised jointly by the University College Dublin, VOICE and DOCHAS (Dublin, Ireland)

Understanding humanitarian action, awareness raising seminar organised by the University of Vilnius (Vilnius, Lithuania)


New members:
Università di Pavia, Italy
L-Università ta' Malta, Malta

NOHA launched the 3-year European Humanitarian Partnership (EUHAP) project jointly with 21 European universities and 4 humanitarian organisations, within the framework of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme.

Understanding humanitarian action: different stages and mandates, awareness raising seminar organised jointly by University of Pavia, CISP and the Italian Development Cooperation (Pavia, Italy).


NOHA Global launched establishing regional networks outside Europe.

Journal of International Humanitarian Action launched with Springer.

Humanitarian action and International Humanitarian Law: perspectives from Ukraine, awareness raising seminar organised jointly with the Riga Graduate School of Law and the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


European Humanitarian Roundtables co-organised with the European Commission (DG ECHO) in the build up to the World Humanitarian Summit (Aix-en-Provence, Uppsala, Warsaw, Dublin).

NOHA participated in the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, 23-24 May 2016.

The first partner-network launched on December 20: NOHA Southeast Asia.


A number of partnerships with universities outside Europe (regional training) and humanitarian organisations (work placements) established within the framework of restuctured NOHA Joint Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action.

NOHA+ Master’s selected as an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree for the period 2018-2020.

NOHA launched the 120 ECTS Joint Master's Programme in September, with H.E. Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management develiring an inauguration speech 

NOHA Latin America is launched on December 7, with three founding members: Universidad Javeriana, El Colegio de México and Universidade de Brasilia


NOHA celebrates its 25th anniversary by showcasing the changes and challenges in the life of humanitarian professionals


Københavns Universitet and Università di Pavia withdraw from the network


NOHA+ Master’s selected as an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree for the period 2020-2023.

Université catholique de Louvain withdraws from the Network.

This site uses cookies to enhance user experience and to track usage statistics. For more information, see NOHA’s Data Privacy Policy.