As Director of the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) regional program (MHRD), I would like to extend a warm welcome to you and thank you for your interest in our program and to this site. We hope that it will provide a portal to ideas and your involvement in our project, as a future student, a researcher, an alumnus or an interested member of the public.
The MHRD, established with the generous support of the European Commission and the University of Sydney, is the first of its kind in our region, and we hope it will provide inspiration for new models in cooperative and collaborative international education. Working with our partners in Indonesia (Gadjah Mada University), Nepal (Kathmandu School of Law), Sri Lanka (University of Colombo) and Thailand (Mahidol University) – and soon the Philippines (Ateneo University), our objective is to create an innovative educational context in which scholars and activists work together to think through the meaning and practice of human rights and democratisation in our region.
While one of our principle objectives is to produce graduates who will be leaders in their communities, countries and in the region at large, as scholars, we will also bring a critical eye to inherited ideas and practices within the field. Consistent with the culture of the University of Sydney, we encourage our students to sharpen their analytic and research skills in an environment of mutual exchange so that as they go out into the field, they do so with fresh and considered ideas that will provide the resources for effective and thoughtful policy and practice.
The MHRD is more than a postgraduate program, however. It is also a network of scholars and activists in the region that will support research and the development of strong and effective networks. In this context, we strongly encourage anyone whose work or interest brings them to this site to become involved in some capacity in our programs, and look forward to your views and participation. This website is a good place to start to find out more about what we do and to see where you might connect with us.
A/Professor Nicola Piper
Director, Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) regional program