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Office for International Education


The examination of Human Rights from a social science & constitutional/legal perspective through the analysis of the economic, social, cultural and political contexts in which they arise.

Human Rights play an important role in our modern globalised world and are recognised as integral to social change. They affect individuals and societies alike and raise a number of issues that are neither simple nor clear. The various debates regarding human rights will be contextualised within South Africa’s history.

This programme introduces students to human rights related discourses in a social science context. The universal and cultural specific dimensions of human rights will be explored through exploration of human rights in relation to social and cultural diversity and their local and global contexts, with an emphasis on Africa. Students will learn to apply various human rights perspectives to selected human rights issues.

Programme Presentation

The programme will expose students to the debates pertaining to human rights abuse nationally and internationally. Various charters, constitutions and bills of rights are analysed with reference to their applicability within South Africa and Africa. The universality of human rights are discussed. Lectures are facilitated by Nelson Mandela University academics. The programme consists of theoretical and practical aspects that are interactive. Thorough lecture preparation and active participation will ensure an optimum learning experience.

On completion of this programme students will:

  • An understanding that human rights practices and institutions are the result of historical processes of social transformation
  • A critical insight into the theoretical grounding of human rights and the human rights discourse in the 20th century
  • An critical understanding of how the theoretical underpinnings of human rights translate into practice
  • The ability to identify and critically analyse key human right issues and debates and clarify fundamental human rights debates through critical thinking and reasoning.
  • Enable students to contribute to the development of a human rights culture and make justifiable decisions in ambiguous situations.


Community Upliftment

When selecting this programme students will also participate in either a facilitated Community Service Learning or Community Holiday Club add on:

Community Service Learning:

Participants in the Community Service Learning Programme will be able to volunteer their time and skills and in the process, gain an understanding of the development challenges facing South Africa. The aim of this programme is to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate and develop their global citizenship through volunteer work. Students will develop an understanding of current issues impacting community life in South Africa. They will experience this first hand through their volunteer work.

On completion of this programme students will:
  • A theoretical understanding of, as well as practical exposure to, the face and impact of poverty in South Africa
  • A broad understanding of the process and principles of community development
  • The ability to apply the principles of asset-based community development while volunteering at projects
  • Knowledge of and experience in building relationships to participate in the development of people

Community Holiday Club:

The aim of this programme is to provide students from abroad with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop an understanding of current issues impacting communities in South Africa. Students will be afforded the opportunity to experience the social, cultural and political dynamics first hand through service whilst assisting with the running of the Holiday Clubs. The Holiday Clubs enable a student to interact with school pupils on a one-to-one basis allowing for the possibility of advancing the community.

Holiday Clubs are held in disadvantaged areas during the school vacation / holiday periods. The Clubs are run for disadvantaged children within those communities where the children would otherwise be left unsupervised. The Holiday Clubs aims to empower the children and youth in leadership development, and acquiring knowledge of South African heritage and culture, and environmental issues. The club involves ccreative dance and other fun educational activities. The programme is comprised of a theory and a practical component. On-going formal mentoring by an academic is made available to students.

On completion of this programme students will:

  • Wil understand the socio-economic differences within the various geographical areas of Nelson Mandela Bay
  • Will acquire the competencies required to manage pupils from disadvantaged areas through different group work projects
  • Be able to think in creative ways to manage community development.
  • Will develop the competencies required to develop youth in an authentic multicultural environment.
  • This programme will orientate students to the fundamentals of community development in terms of its goals, principles, processes and application in South Africa.


Dates: 24 JUNE - 26 JULY 2019

Students should arrive between the 15th and 16th of June and depart on the 21st.

Programme Cost: $3500.00

Application deadline: 30 March 2019



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