Writing retreat for MPhil (Human Rights) Students

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For the second year running, MPhil-Human Rights students participated in a retreat hosted by the UNESCO ‘Oliver Tambo’ Chair of Human Rights Centre which is housed under the Nelson R Mandela School of Law.  The engagement took place on 15 October, at Senate Chambers, Alice campus, and was an opportunity for the students to write and reflect on various aspects of human rights education and law.

According to Professor Nomthandazo Ntlama, Head of Research at the Nelson R Mandela School of Law, the purpose of the retreat was to breed a new crop of researchers that will transmit the acquired knowledge for socio-political change. In turn, the researchers will contribute to the growth of a vibrant and emerging community of postgraduate students who will produce knowledge that is socially and ethically relevant, as envisaged in the University of Fort Hare’s mission statement.

 “In essence, the retreat was meant to foster a collective vision in response to UFH’s motto which envisions ‘excellence’ in the promotion of the institutional culture of teaching and research. The students chose their own topics and reflected on the connections between what they have learned in other disciplines and the new knowledge in a different discipline.”

Student Supervisors Professor Ntlama and Dr Bellita Chitsamatanga presided over the session while Drs Cyril Ekeke and Pheliwe Mbatyoti served as external moderators.

 Prof Ntlama said the outcomes of presentations were informed by the interdisciplinary nature of the MPhil programme which acknowledges the inter-relationship that exists across disciplines.

“This means students learn by acquiring knowledge from one area in order to deepen their learning experience in another discipline or be able to link different disciplines and courses in line with their studies”, explained Prof Ntlama.