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The Oxford Human Rights Consortium is a partnership between Oxford University and several US universities, three of which are PAC-12 schools, including the University of Utah. Each year a select group of Utah students participates in the week-long workshop at Oxford University in March on topics of peace, conflict, and human rights. Students stay at Hertford College and the workshop takes place at Merton College, which is one of the three oldest of Oxford colleges. To supplement their study, some evening sessions feature representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross, OXFAM, and Doctors without Borders to learn from them about their current efforts to protect civilians from violent conflict. 

In 2016 the Consortium held two workshops, one in March at Oxford on "Human Rights in and after Conflict," and the other for two weeks in June-July on "Religion, Human Rights, and Conflict"--a week at Oxford and then a follow-up week in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where students met with the peace activists and religious and political leaders who were instrumental in forging peace after decades of religious strife in their country. The 2016 June-July workshop was held exclusively for three Pac-12 schools--Utah, Oregon, and USC.

Deen Chatterjee of the S.J. Quinney College of Law who is a faculty director at the Oxford Consortium meets with the Utah students for study sessions for several weeks prior to the workshops and travels with the students as a member of the Consortium teaching team.

Each workshop concludes with a formal banquet, in which students get certificates of completion with Oxford logo. After coming back, students participate in a Public Forum on campus in which they share their experiences with the university community.

The University of Utah has plans for an expanded engagement with Oxford via the Consortium. Through the unique opportunity made available to the students in the Oxford workshops, the University is well-placed, thanks to the support of its faculty, administrators, and various units, in helping students in understanding and developing constructive solutions to today’s problems in such areas as human rights, global conflict, humanitarian aid, and peace building.

Co-sponsors of the U students for the Oxford Consortium are the Office for Global Engagement, Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the David Eccles School of Business, Hinckley Institute of Politics, Honors College, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Tanner Center for Human Rights, and Tanner Humanities Center. One student sponsored by Westminster College is also invited to join the Utah group each year for the March seminar.

Photos of the Oxford Seminar

Comments from past participants (University of Utah):

Nubia Pena (Law): The Oxford workshop was a transformative experience that has dramatically impacted our perspectives on peace building and violent conflict.

Lisa Hawkins (Communication and Political Science): The Oxford Human Rights Consortium was truly one of the most valuable experiences I've yet to have.

Catherine Marie Houser (International Studies and Health, Society, and Policy): The Consortium helped me to build a foundation of understanding of complex human rights issues that are generally avoided in the American classrooms.

Kaitie Jowers (Political Science and Russian): The Consortium helped me critically think through the problems we face today and examine best practices in alleviating the suffering of others. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Milena Margaryan (Political Science and Finance): Today I proudly carry the memories of this event as one of the best chapters of my life!

Anastasia Najarian (Psychology and Public Relations): The Oxford Consortium has made a profound impact on my life. This opportunity has clarified my research, influenced me to take action, and opened my mind to a world of possibilities.

Alexis Jones (Law): I came back with an expanded vision of human rights and peace-building in conflict.

Mackenzie Hales (Business): Oxford is a magical place to learn, and gave us exposure to some of the preeminent voices in the human rights field. Discussing the intersection between business and human rights with the director of policy of the Red Cross is a learning experience I will never forget.

Lindsey Vickers (English and Anthropology): The opportunity to learn from world-class professors in an environment like Oxford was once in a lifetime opportunity.

Dean Collinwood (Law): I was amazed to see that the rigid religious attitudes of the 1600s--attitudes that resulted in wars being fought over such trivialities as the date of Easter--were still alive in the sermonizing of Protestant preachers in Northern Ireland in 2016.  The persistence of bigotry is a phenomenon that needs to be studied, explained, and, if possible, eliminated.

2015 Hinckley Events on Oxford Human Rights Consortium

Oxford Human Rights Symposium

Student Oxford Symposium Recap

2016 Utah-Oxford Forum at the U:

"Pragmatism and Vision in Building Peace: The Oxford Human Rights Consortium"

Wednesday, October 5
12:15 - 1:45 pm
Honors College (MHC 1205)

2017 Workshop Details:

For information on the 2017 Consortium workshops, please contact Deen Chatterjee: deen.chatterjee@law.utah.edu

Last Updated: 4/6/17