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Clare Short visits as students flock to York for post-war recovery studies

Posted on 16 October 2003

The Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) at the University of York will celebrate a boost to student numbers at its annual Open Day on 23 October.

The guest speaker at the event will be Clare Short MP, until recently Secretary of State for International Development.

PRDU has just welcomed 28 postgraduate students to its MA in Post-war Recovery Studies. They come from 16 countries, including Colombia, Indonesia, Sudan, and the USA, and include five from Afghanistan.

Most are already experienced professionals. They include civil engineers, aid workers from major international organisations, lawyers and the armed forces.

Clare Short said: "The world badly needs to do better at post war reconstruction. Progress in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq is clearly inadequate. I am pleased that these issues are taken seriously by York University and hope that the work of the PRDU will help increase the effectiveness of the international system."

Staff from PRDU have recently been instrumental in helping to establish a new civil service in Afghanistan, and have urged a grass-roots approach to reconstruction in Iraq.

"PRDU has built up an international reputation for consultancy and training in reconstructing countries after war or natural disaster," said its Director, Dr Sultan Barakat. "The Open Day is our opportunity to outline current work and for professionals working in the field to meet and share experiences."

Notes to editors:

  • Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the Open Day, which begins at 2.15 pm on Thursday 23 October in Heslington Hall, University of York. Please contact Anna O'Connell on 01904 432640 in advance.
  • PRDU is part of the Department of Politics at the University of York. The Department has a research rating of 5 and a teaching rating of 24/24.
  • PRDU specialises in the research, consultancy and training of professionals in the management and planning of reconstruction after war, humanitarian intervention in complex emergencies, and peace-building.
  • Graduates of the MA in Post-war Recovery Studies include Haneef Atmar, Minister for Rural Rehabilitation and Development in Afghanistan, and Dr Ben Hoffman, Director of the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • More information on the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit can be found at:

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153