AUN-HRE begins work on creating a Regional Collaborative Graduate Program on Human Rights and/or Peace Education

By Phasawit Jutatungcharoen, Programme Officer
Edited by the AUN-HRE Secretariat
1 December 2020

Initiated by the AUN-HRE Secretariat hosted by Mahidol University in Thailand, the first meeting on the AUN-HRE Regional Collaborative Graduate Program in Human Rights and/or Peace Education was remotely held on 6th November 2020. The meeting was attended by 15 participants, including AUN-HRE Secretariat team and representatives from various human rights related faculties in five ASEAN countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss plans for the establishment of an ASEAN Regional Collaborative Graduate Program in Human Rights and/or Peace Education. The concept was endorsed during the 13th Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOMED)at Nay Pyi Taw in 2018 and its concrete proposal was further endorsed by the SOMED early 2020. AUN-HRE held a consultative meeting among its members on 25 August 2020 pursuant to this idea, with eleven universities expressing interest in developing such a collaborative program. It was decided that a series of consultations with these universities was necessary, with this meeting being the first part of this process.

During the meeting, the AUN-HRE Secretariat team and the consultant presented a review of the existing graduate programs related to human rights and peace studies offered by interested universities. This included a brief profile of the course requirements and activities offered in these programs, the credit system used in each university, and the language of instruction. Additionally, models of existing international collaborative graduate programs, including the Asia Pacific Master Program in Human Rights and Democratisation, being coordinated by the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University and organized by the Global Campus on Human Rights, were presented for further discussion.

It was concluded during the meeting that a model for collaboration must draw from the strengths of interested universities, avoidance of overlapping as well as the need to discuss and agree about the goals and objectives for such a program. Therefore, the Meeting agreed to set up a task force to discuss, deliberate, and identify the objectives of such collaboration as well as a possible model to be formulated. The task force would comprise eight members from the current meeting, including the Secretariat, who would propose concrete recommendations regarding plan, goals and objectives as well as potential model(s) for consideration and deliberation of all partner institutions.