Fostering higher education through academic mobility and cooperation

The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) at the University of Pretoria recently received funding for a new collaborative project, entitled “Fostering research-based education through academic mobility and measuring the domestic impact of core human rights treaties”.

Picture of four persons, presumably students, gathered around a table with a laptop and some books. They are discussing.

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This project, focused on collaborative education and research-based activities, establishes a partnership between the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) at the University of Pretoria. 

The project was granted funding in June 2021 through Dikus UTFORSK programme (, which aims to strengthen higher education for a sustainable future.

Mobility and collaborative research

The project’s main goal is to improve the quality of our respective Master level programs through enhanced mobility and cutting-edge research. It fosters student and academic staff mobility through student exchanges for several Master students, and short research stays for academic staff. Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions in 2021, the student exchanges and research stays are planned to start during 2022, provided the situation allows. 

The project will also include the development of two new courses, focusing on human rights methodology and on business and human rights. Information about these courses will be available online, and might serve as a model for developing similar courses - both at the institutions involved in this project, but also in higher education institutions around the world.

Domestic impact of UN treaties

The project connects teaching and research through collaborative exploration of a key human rights topic: the domestic impact of core UN human rights treaties. The joint research will be based on five workshops, to be held once annually between 2021 and 2025. The research results will be shared through various publication channels.

The larger project, led by the CHR, shall lead to the establishment of an online database which allows users worldwide to track the extent to which the ten UN human rights treaty bodies have an impact domestically. 

While starting with Norway and South Africa, the human rights impact research project aims to extend this impact assessment to include all 193 UN member states. This extension encourages cooperation well beyond the duration of this project. 

Planned activities and outcomes

  • Student exchange of 10 students in total throughout the project period; 5 Master students from each university.
  • Short research stays (3 months) by 6 PhD candidates in total throughout the project period; 3 PhD candidates from each university.
  • Shorter research stays (2-4 weeks) for a few senior researchers.
  • Joint development of two courses: HUMR 5133 “Business and Human Rights” and HUMR 5191 “Human Rights Methodology: Research, Analysis, and Thesis”.
  • Publishing joint research on the domestic impact of UN human rights treaties.
Tags: NCHR, SMR, South Africa, Human Rights, UN Human Rights Treaties, UTFORSK By Emma Verngård
Published Nov. 5, 2021 9:51 AM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2021 1:05 PM