Title: Enhancing networking opportunities and employability on an

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					Bid for Staff Employability Funding

Dr. Vikki Turbine & Dr. Mo Hume, Department of Politics

Facilitating dialogue and networking between researchers and practitioners to
enhance PDP and Employability on an MSc in Human Rights and International Politics

The aim of this bid is to fund the implementation of a series of events with practitioners
working the field of human rights into a core course within our MSc in Human Rights
and International Politics (2010/11). This will offer students networking opportunities
and a chance to learn more about working in the field of human rights on both national
and international levels as well as organising events and managing a small budget. We
are seeking funds of £400 from the Staff Employability Grants Scheme to cover
speakers’ travel expenses and to provide refreshments at the seminars to encourage
ongoing discussion and networking between students, staff and practitioners (see
costings outlined below).

Embedding links between practitioners and students within a programme will build on
existing good practice in relation to PDP and Employability on the Politics Masters
programmes. A key component of the existing Human Rights and International Politics
degree is a study trip to Geneva– a main hub of human rights activity - in May/June of
each year. During the trip students meet with practitioners from a variety of
governmental and non-governmental human rights and humanitarian organisations to
gain insights into the reality of ‘work’ in the field of human rights and networking
opportunities. This has proved very successful with students from each year obtaining
internships at the UN and affiliated agencies.

In addition to the study trip, we have developed strong links across the department with
DfID, the Scottish Human Rights Commission and various international and national
NGOs including SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund), ICGWS (International
Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Document Human Rights Film Festival and
NIDOS (Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland). In the past,
we have collaborated on the organisation of seminars, development of internship posts
and participation in awareness raising and advocacy campaigns. In 2008, DfID employed
one graduate in a competition opened only to our MSc cohort to assist on a gender and
human rights research project. This proved to be a highly beneficial experience for the
student who has since secured a post within the EU.

The proposed activities will utilise these existing contacts and complement existing good
employability and PDP practices, but will develop new networks and enhance teaching
by embedding practical insights into work in human rights within the curriculum. This

will develop a more integrated approach to PDP and employability by offering
opportunities to network and gain experience throughout, and as part of, the course of
the MSc, which is crucial in terms of providing access to these opportunities to a diverse
student body and also for encouraging deeper learning and PDP through reflection and
formative assessment of participation (see also Curtis et al, 2009). Three of the
proposed sessions will be entirely student-led with students encouraged to organise
events and manage a maximum budget of £50 for each event. Students will work in peer
groups, each taking responsibility for one session and will be encouraged to use the
Mahara PDP tool as a space in which to reflect on their learning over the course and also
as a space and tool to organise their event and groups by using the blogging and groups’
facilities. These activities will form part of formative assessment.

Intended outcomes of the project:

Integrating seminars with practitioners into the teaching programme will meet the
criteria of the University’s Employability and Personal Development Planning (PDP)
Objectives by:

      complementing the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the course and
       facilitating deeper learning
      encouraging reflection on the practical issues arising from the themes raised in
       the course and by practitioners to further enhance PDP
      encouraging critical dialogue between researchers-practitioners
      developing networking opportunities to enhance employability
      providing access to sources of internships, voluntary placements and contract
       research work during and after the MSc further enhancing employment

Outline of proposed speakers and estimated costs:
(these are confirmed unless otherwise indicated)

Date            Activity                   Partner institution Cost
7 October       Michelle Winthrop,         DfID                No cost
                Department for
                'International action on
                gender, rights and
                development: theory vs

8 October       Human Rights and           Scottish    Human Subsidised     train
                Business Norms             Rights            fares to Edinburgh

                                         Commission           £250
                  -   student
                      attendance at UN
                      conference held
                      at Scottish

27 October     Human            Rights Document Human         No cost
               Campaigning              Rights        Film
                                        Festival         in
                                        conjunction with
                                        organisations .
4 November Sister           Rosemary SCIAF                    No cost
            Nyirumbe,       Women’s
            Tailoring Centre in Gulu,
            northern Uganda
            ‘Life    after    conflict:
            working      with    child
            soliders in Northern
18 November John              Watson, Amensty                 £50             for
            Programme        Director, International          refreshments/travel
            Amnesty International
December    Roundtable on Human TBC                           £50             for
(date TBC)  Rights (student led)                              refreshments
February    Student led symposium TBC                         £50             for
            on HR                                             refreshments


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