International Human Rights Exchange (IHRE)
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The International Human Rights Exchange (IHRE) is a joint semester program offered by Bard College and the University of the Witwatersrand (commonly known as Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa .
IHRE is the world’s only full-semester, multidisciplinary program in human rights. Viewing human rights through a comparative global lens, IHRE brings students and faculty from North America (through Bard), and from Africa and other parts of the world (through Wits) together in an intensive dialogue. Students do a substantial internship with a human rights-related NGO or other appropriate organization.
The IHRE international student body consists of approximately equal numbers of North American and African students—though typically many other nationalities are also included. IHRE’s faculty is also international. Students in the IHRE program take a full semester of four courses and participate in classroom discussions, attend lectures, and perform fieldwork. Students may accumulate 16 credits, to be issued by Bard College (for North American students) and Wits (for African students).
Students currently enrolled in any North American institution are invited to apply through Bard College to participate in the IHRE program. For more information: http://www.ihre.org
The International Human Rights Exchange (IHRE) is a collaborative project, founded on a commitment to genuine international exchanges, inter-institutional cooperation, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning. It is designed to support an annual intensive undergraduate program in human rights aimed at second-, third- and fourth-year students.
The program seeks to promote a critical understanding of human rights as part of a broad intellectual and social movement, not simply as a code or set of laws, but as a discourse in transformation and often in contest, extending to the humanities, social sciences, arts, and sciences.
IHRE was founded in 2000 as a collaborative venture of 14 Southern African universities and U.S. liberal arts colleges, plus three civil society organizations working in the area of human rights. For five years, it offered a month-long intensive course during semester breaks (June-July). In 2006, IHRE became a joint semester program of Bard College and Wits. The semester course makes possible a deep and many-sided intellectual engagement with human rights, and opens up possibilities for substantive student participation in the form of internships or research projects.