Global Minority Rights Summer School
The increasingly popular Global Minority Rights Summer School was organized for the fourth time in cooperation between the National University of Public Service, the Tom Lantos Institute and the Middlesex University of London. The programme took place between 10–16th of July 2016, and the focus this year was on, “Are Minority Rights Still Relevant? The Impact of Minority Protection Regimes in the 21st Century”. During the intense, one week long course, the invited acclaimed professors, researchers and practitioners, as well as the participating students were looking for answers to questions like, how important the role of minority rights is nowadays, and how systems of minority protection work all around the world.
During the week, and following the theoretical introductions, students learned in detail about the particular ways, differences and similarities of the United Nations’, as well as American, African, Asian and European approaches to systems of minority protection. Following this, systems of minority protection in concrete countries – China, India and Hungary among others – were be expounded. In the second part of the week, students were able to present their own research in this field. The summer university was concluded with a study trip to Pécs where all international participants had a chance to look into the life of Hungarian minorities with the guidance of Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities.
The 32 participants of the summer university, who were selected from more than 200 applicants, came from all over the world to the Ludovika Campus. Participants came from Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and the United States.
This year’s Global Minority Rights Summer School was organized jointly by the National University of Public Service and Tom Lantos Institute, in cooperation with Middlesex University and was held in Budapest between 20 and 26 July. The third round of the international summer school focused on “The Impact of Boundary Politics on Identity and Inequality One Hundred Years after the First World War”.
The 30 participants of the summer school briefly introduced their own field of research and interest. Most of the students were graduates in political science, social science, religion, history, human rights, minority and ethnicity with the main focus on human rights and minority issues in different regions, including Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, North America and the Middle East. The diversity of the group of participants in discipline and geography gave a chance for a better understanding of human rights and identity politics to the participants.
In essence, the programme provided important information on the international minority protection regime, including the norms, institutions, and mechanisms. The programme emphasized the role of civil society and individuals in every single community in minimizing differences and building bridges for drawing a multi-disciplinary approach that creates a society for all, regardless of differences.
The summer school offered highly interesting lectures and discussions with qualified experts and practitioners who are specialized in different concepts and concerns about minority problems in different regions. Among others, the lecturers included Jennifer Jackson-Preece from London School of Economics and Political Science, Zaid Eyadat from the University of Jordan, Tove Malloy from the European Centre for Minority Issues and Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Trust in London. As part of the summer school, the participant participated on a field trip to Komárno, Slovakia to learn about the situation of Hungarians in Slovakia.
For the second time, the National University of Public Service and the Tom Lantos Institute organised the Summer School with special focus on the issue of human rights. Three opening speeches marked the star of the Summer School held by Prof. Dr. András Patyi, the rector of National University of Public Service, Anna-Mária Bíró, the director of Tom Lantos Institute and Joshua Castellino, the dean of School of Law at Middlesex University of London.
This year, the Middlesex University of London also joined to the initiative as a host university along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade which clearly made the programme even more prominent and prestigious. The Summer School is between the 14th and 20th of July.
In 2013 the aim of the first programme was offering a course focusing on the issue of minority rights in Central-Eastern Europe which can contribute to the high level of courses offered by world-renowned Western European universities and which is open for application for students from Hungary.
The inaugural Minority Right Summer School, organized by the National University of Public Service and the Tom Lantos Institute, took place in Budapest, between 4-10th of August, 2013. The focus of the summer school was on “Norms and Practices in Central and South-Eastern Europe”. The number of applicants was as high as 230 that further increased in the forthcoming years.