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Chapter 5 Essentials of Higher Education in Disaster Risk Reduction: Prospects and Challenges

Disaster Education

ISBN: 978-0-85724-737-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-738-4

Publication date: 6 July 2011


When discussing disaster education, the usual focus in more on the school or family or community education. Very little focus has been given so far to higher education. However, higher education (college and university) is the key to professional development in the subject. Higher education in disasters is still lacking in most countries and regions. In this context, the lessons of environment or the field of sustainable development can provide useful tips. Of equal importance to higher education is not only the curriculum, but the approach or mode of delivery. To develop an appropriate higher education, a system of educational governance is important (COE, 2005). Given the role education has for overall societal and economic development, it is necessary to ensure the responsiveness of higher education to the changing needs and expectations of society. In this respect, it is important to ensure participation of external actors in the governance of higher education and to allow the flexibility to accommodate the continually change needs and requirements over time. COE (2005) made several recommendations for higher education that can be considered as the base of disaster education in colleges and universities. These include: serving the needs and expectations of the society, having appropriate academic freedom, having a process of setting up long-terms goals and developing appropriate strategies for achieving them, providing reasonable scope of innovation and flexibility in research, promoting good educational governance through regional and international networks, and ensuring quality control of teachers and students.


Shaw, R., Mallick, F. and Takeuchi, Y. (2011), "Chapter 5 Essentials of Higher Education in Disaster Risk Reduction: Prospects and Challenges", Shaw, R., Shiwaku, K. and Takeuchi, Y. (Ed.) Disaster Education (Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-113.



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