Factors influencing disaster risk and resilience education in Asian HEIs

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Educational initiatives can provide the crucial foundation for capacity-building of stakeholders in the field of disaster risk management and disaster resilience. The purpose of this paper is to scope current initiatives to deliver disaster risk and resilience education (DRRE) in higher education institutions (HEIs) in Asia and explore factors that serve as barriers or as opportunities for promoting DRRE.


This study implemented mixed methods – scoping of existing programs of Asian universities, an online survey and a small-group workshop of Asian HEI representatives – and explored both the development and implementation phases of degree programs and coursework and other educational initiatives. Primarily involved were country partners of the Erasmus + CABARET network (CApacity-Building in Asia for Resilience EducaTion).


Results reflect that most of the existing formal degree programs are at the graduate level though a wide range of courses and research opportunities exist for both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Findings underscore the importance of institutional support from university leaders as a key factor for overcoming barriers, given the resources and logistics needed by DRRE as an interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral endeavor. Universities who participated in the small-group workshop gave mixed feedback on the level of adequacy of the potential drivers for DRRE, which indicates the need to level off capacities and expertise in the region.


This study provides a baseline assessment of DRRE currently lacking for the region, with recommendations for how to further build capacities of Asian HEIs.