The University of Winnipeg’s Global College is now recognized as a formal academic unit, as approved by the UWinnipeg Senate on October 31. The change demonstrates the University’s ongoing commitment to fostering engagement in human rights activities and exploring what it means to be a global citizen.
“This decision is fundamental to Global College moving forward and building a solid core faculty in human rights and global citizenship,” said Global College’s Acting Executive Director, Dr. Jan Stewart, who is also Deputy Provost and Associate Vice-President Academic at UWinnipeg. “Now more than ever our students need to learn about ways that they can be advocates and supporters to those who are working to combat social injustice, violence and the marginalization and oppression of people and groups.”
Since UWinnipeg’s Global College was established in 2005, it has become an increasingly important part of the university, building a reputation for leadership in human rights education through its three-year and four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Human Rights and a Joint Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies. There are currently 80 UWinnipeg students with a declared major in human rights, and over 80 have already graduated.
These programs create a platform for student engagement, increase international and research opportunities and develop integral partnerships between UWinnipeg and community organizations such as refugee organizations, non-profits and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Students have opportunities to engage in human rights initiatives around the world, gaining academic credit and first-hand experience at field courses in diverse locations such as South Africa, Botswana, Israel, the West Bank, and El Salvador. In June 2019, a group will head to Colombia as part of a joint Human Rights and Indigenous Studies field school.
Each year, Global College offers intensive spring and summer institute courses which are open to students across campus. In 2019, Introduction to Global Citizenship will be offered as part of the summer institute for the first time. This first-year course is a requirement for human rights majors, a popular elective in other programs, and is available to high school students as a dual credit course.
“It’s a popular course for students interested in human rights, social justice and democracy and always has a long waiting list,” said Associate Professor Lloyd Kornelsen, Director of UWinnipeg’s human rights degree program.
Summer institute courses cover a wide range of topical issues such as Conflict, Genocide and War: A Human Rights Response (an intensive one-week course in summer 2019 that is offered in collaboration with UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Education) and Framing of Social Justice and Human Rights, a third-year course offered over three weeks in August.
“Global College is a place for this kind of transformative learning and we are delighted to be able to offer the undergraduate human rights major here at The University of Winnipeg,” said Stewart.
For more information on how Global College fosters engagement in human rights through interdisciplinary teaching, research, dialogue, and action in local and global communities, visit them on campus or online.