THE INTERNATIONAL Human Rights Exchange (IHRE), an annual intensive undergraduate course in human rights theory and practice, takes place at UCT again this year, (June 21 to July 22), co-hosted by the University of the Western Cape. This year marks the second year of the IHRE, following a successful pilot run in 2001.
The IHRE is an initiative of UCT's Centre for the Study of Religion and the Institute for International Liberal Education at Bard College, New York. It operates as a consortium of 14 universities working in association with various human rights groups, which together offer a humanities-orientated course in human rights to students from a range of disciplines.
Countries represented by current and past IHRE student bodies include Bulgaria, Namibia, India, Zimbabwe, Holland, Rwanda, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Israel, Tanzania, the United States, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Mauritius. Students participating in this landmark international education project benefit from exposure to the working world of human rights through a diverse array of teaching mediums, such as practically orientated workshops extending from theory based seminars, open panel discussions, site visits, core theory lectures and stimulating elective courses.
A new addition this year is the week long IHRE International Film Festival, highlighting local and international documentaries and features.
Six undergraduate students from UCT have been selected to take part in this year's course. They are Alicia Alvarez (politics), Henri YÃ©rÃ© (history), Jonathan Hoffenberg (social work), Mahendra Shunmoogam (politics), Luke Jordan (maths) and Vinay Jagjivan (philosophy).
Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal, will welcome students, invited guests and staff to the IHRE when the course starts in late June.