Improving and protecting the public health
by strengthening education and training
of public health professionals
for both practice and research
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The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.


4 Jun 2024
The World Health Organisation has just launched a suite of papers from its two-year programme “Building the national workforce for essential public health functions (EPHFs): A Roadmap for aligning WHO and partner contributions. The introductory...
29 May 2024
Download the statement PDF here. The role of the public health community is to prevent disease, disability, injury, and death. The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) has expressed grave concern about the horrific...
24 May 2024
ASPHER endorses the statement of one its members, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in its call to ignore misinformation and unite against pandemic threat.  We agree that attacks on the draft pandemic agreement and the...


Education for Global Public Health


A regionalized even fragmented world – as it was – is converging rapidly in our days at the beginning of the 21st century. Countries embark increasingly on global arrangements (like e.g. the World Trade Organisation) and a globalizing civil society – supported by mobile technologies - connects across borders. At the same time unprecedented waves of migration diversify the Northern societies and deplete the qualified workforce in the South. Social disruption, military conflict, and climate change create increasingly a 90/10 situation where 90% of the global disease burden affects the South but only 10% of the world’s resources are available there. To really change this state of affairs we have to think new and to try new avenues (Panter-Brick et al., 2014). A recent publication attempts to define Academic Global Health as relevant for training and research (Didier et al. 2016).

The World Federation of Public Health Associations published early in 2016 a Global Charter for the Public’s Health (WFPHA, 2016). Europe as a privileged region also shares responsibility beyond its continental borders. In the ASPHER Charter (ASPHER, 2013) on ‘The global dimension of education and training for public health in the 21st century in Europe and in the world’ it is underlined that “The implementation of effective and sustainable interventions for health is a long-term endeavour where much depends on reliable global partnership, as noted in MDG 8. We, the Schools of Public Health in Europe, accept our global responsibility, which is guided by the two key principles of Solidarity and Subsidiarity. We act as part of the international community, focusing on education for practice and research to contribute to the global public goods essential for health, the building block for our future...Both education and research are core composite parts in the development of globalization, with international students numbering 2.5 million globally and constituting 20.5% of the total enrolment of the European Schools of Public Health. Global health is an emerging topic of highest relevance in the academic public health curricula.”

In conclusion a defined professional public health workforce with global experience and leadership qualification is required.


All professionals in the ASPHER community are welcome. Meetings take place online via Skype. A first call was sent out by the chair Ulrich Laaser ( early in 2014.

Alam, Wasif M. (Dubai); Aluttis, Christoph (The Netherlands); Babich, Suzanne (USA); Banoob, Samir (USA); Bjegovic-Mikanovic, Vesna (Serbia); Buckingham, Robert (USA); Burazeri, Genc (Albania); Cayon, Joaquin (Spain); Czabanowska, Katarzyna (Poland); Djikanovic, Bosiljka (Serbia); Gjorgjev, Dragan (FYR Macedonia); Grancharova, Gena (Bulgaria); reen, Manfred (Israel); Haigh, Fiona (New Zealand); Hamdan, Motasem (Palestine); Harris, Meggan (Spain); Jankovic, Janko (Serbia); Jovic-Vranes, Alexandra (Serbia); Kovacic, Luka (Croatia, deceased 2015);  Laaser, Ulrich (Germany); Lietz, Francesco (Italy); Lomazzi, Marta (Italy); Lueddeke, George (England); Magana Valladares, Laura (Mexico); Malik, Muzzaffar (England); Marstein, Egil (Norway); Matejic, Bojana; Miron, Ehud (Israel); Martin-Moreno, Jose (Spain); Stamenkovic, Zeljka (Serbia); Nurse, Joanna (England); Otok, Robert (ASPHER); Potter, Christopher (United Kingdom); Rohin, Rameswarapu (India); Santric-Milicevic, Milena (Serbia); Schroeder-Baeck, Peter (Netherlands); Senkubuge, Flavia (South Africa); Stikova, Elisaveta (FYR Macedonia); Surjadi, Charles (Indonesia); Terzic, Zorica (Serbia); Tozija, Fimka (FYR Macedonia); Varelo Santos, Carmen (ECDC); Wenzel, Helmut (Germany).



Prof. Dr. med. Ulrich Laaser DTM&H, MPH
Section of International Public Health (S-IPH)
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Bielefeld
POB 10 01 31 D-33501 Bielefeld



Prof. Robert Buckingham

University of Michigan, USA


The Global Public Health Curriculum
See at: 

DOI: 10.4119/UNIBI/SEEJPH-2015-106

The ASPHER survey of Schools and Departments of Public Health (SDPH) in Europe (Bjegovic-Mikanovic et al., 2013) has shown that the subject of global health is taught already by 82% of SDPH with a median of 40 teaching hours per year. Details about the content of the respective modules, however, are not available. Therefore the Section of Education for Global Public Health took up the challenge to develop a standard module for Global Public Health, based on the experience of SDPH already teaching the subject The learning objectives have been defined as (1) to understand the concepts and the language of global health and be able to develop global partnerships to advance solutions for global public health challenges; (2) Acquisition of knowledge and skills needed to be part of high level public health management to implement and evaluate policies and strategies to improve health globally.

Based on recent publications (Bjegovic-Mikanovic et al., 2014; Laaser et al., 2014; Hobbs et al., 2011) the Section on Education for Global Public Health has embarked on developing a standard curriculum of Global Public Health, which should serve as a an inspiration and material source for primarily for lecturers and teachers of Global Health in Master of Public Health Programmes of SDPH in Europe and beyond. However, the rich study material can and should also be used in adapted versions for Continued Professional Development and for Online/Distance Learning.

Themes 1.0 Background 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Global public health functions and services: the history 1.3 Global public health definitions and challenges 2.0 Global health challenges 2.1 Demographic challenges 2.2 Burden of disease 2.3 Environmental health and climate change 2.4 Global migration and migrant health 2.5 Social determinants of health inequalities 2.6 Gender and health 2.7 Structural and social violence 2.8 Disaster preparedness 2.9 Millennium Development Goals 2.10 Health and wellbeing 2.11Global financial crisis and health 3.0 Governance of global public health 3.1 Global governance of population health and well-being 3.2 Health programme management 3.3 Role of the civil society in health 3.4 Universal health coverage 3.5 Public health leadership in a globalised world 3.6 Public health ethics 3.7 The global public health workforce 3.8 Education and training of professionals for global public health 3.9 Blended learning 3.10 Global health law 3.11 Human rights and health 3.12 Global financial management for health 4.0 Going global


ASPHER (2013). The global dimension of education and training for public health in the 21st century in Europe and in the world. Charter of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) at the occasion of the 6th European Public Health Conference in Brussels, Belgium, November 13-16, 2013; Available at:

Bjegovic-Mikanovic V, Vukovic D, Otok R, Czabanowska K, Laaser U (2013). Education and training of public health professionals in the European Region: variation and convergence. Int J Public Health 2013;58/6:801-10; DOI: 10.1007/s00038-012-0425-2.

Bjegovic-Mikanovic V, Jovic-Vranes A, Czabanowska K, Otok R (2015). Education for public health in Europe and its global outreach. Global Health Action 2014:7. Available at: (accessed 2 February 2015).

Didier W, Tanner M, Kickbusch I, Escher G, Paccaud F, Flahault A (2016). Moving global health forward in academic institutions. JOGH 6/1 (in print). DOI: 10.7189.jogh.06.010409.

Hobbs S, Marstein E, Anderson S, Cockerill R (2011). Development of a common curriculum core for doctoral training in health leadership: perspectives from an international collaboration. Work Based Learning e-Journal 2011;2/1: 303-17.

Laaser U, Brand H (2014). Global Health in the 21st Century. Global Health Action 2014;7. Available at: (accessed 2 February 2015).

Panter-Brick C, Eggerman M, Tomlinson M (2014). How might global health master deadly sins and strive for greater virtues. Global Health Action 2014;7. Available at: (accessed 2 February 2015).

WFPHA, World Federation of Public Health Associations (2016). A Global Charter for the Public’s Health. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2016).

Recommended literature

Forum for Public Health in South Eastern Europe; A Handbook for Teachers, Researchers and Health Professionals: Health: Systems – Lifestyle – Policies. Editors: Burazeri G, Zaletel Kragelj L; Assistant editor: Petrela K. Volume I, 2nd edition; Jacobs Publisher, Lage 2013, 455 p., ISBN: 978-3-89918-806-6. Free of charge at:

Forum for Public Health in South Eastern Europe; A Handbook for Teachers, Researchers and Health Professionals: Health Investigation: Analysis – Planning – Evaluation. Editors: Burazeri G and Zaletel Kragelj L; Assistant editors: Petrela K and Muja H. Volume II, 2nd edition; Jacobs Publisher: Lage 2013, 579 p., ISBN 978- 3-89918-807-3. Free of charge at: