European Regional Master’s Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe (ERMA) graduates form a network of over 530 experts, researchers, professionals working in the field of Human rights and Democratisation in SEE, and the rest of the world. ERMA alumni play a central role in the process of development of human rights and democracy across the region and worldwide. ERMA alumni network represents a crucial vehicle to boost the growth and advancement of the master program, which strongly relies on the human capital represented by the professional expertise of its graduates.
ERMA Alumni Network is a proud member of the Global Campus Alumni www.globalcampusalumni.org an international organisation (AISBL) registered in Brussels, Belgium. It is a network of seven alumni association of human rights master programmes gathering almost 3,000 experts, activists, and professionals spread throughout the world. The master programmes the alumni that graduated from them are all part of the Global Campus of Regional Human Rights Master Programmes funded by the European Commission.
1. WHAT IS EAN
ERMA Alumni Network (EAN) is the official action which links more than 530 graduates of the programme (as per a. y. 2018/19) to its alma mater, and vice versa. EAN is established to represent the point of reference for the communication with the former students, and a tool through which the ERMA programme can foster a web of professional, academic and public relations with its graduates, in a systematic and organized manner. Furthermore, EAN is funded by the ERMA programme and it is part of the Global Campus Alumni, the international organization created by the Global Campus of Human Rights to gather the alumni associations and networks of the regional master programmes all over the world. The members of the EAN are all the graduates of the programme from the academic year 2000/01, who acquire member status upon completing their studies and obtaining the double diploma. The possibility to withdraw from the membership is given to all those wishing so.
2. DRIVING PRINCIPLES
The EAN is conceived by the International Academic Council of the ERMA programme, therefore follows the founding principles of this pioneer academic project, such as: (1) the strong belief in the value of the fundamental rights for all human beings; (2) the significance of the human rights and democracy education in raising the citizens` awareness for promotion and protection of their rights and freedoms; (3) the importance of inter-university and professional cooperation, at regional, European and global level.
EAN work is focused on the areas of connecting, engaging, and networking of its alumni body. Through projects in the field of the (1) connecting, EAN ensures continuous networking of its members, thus forming a global network of skilled human rights and democratization experts. In this sense, EAN acts as an important interlocutor in the communication and information-sharing among the graduates and facilitates various networking opportunities. The (2) engagement of the alumni, on the other hand, gives the alumni quality opportunities to get involved in the activities of the ERMA Programme and the GC and their alumni networks, respectively. EAN regularly provides space for its members to display their knowledge and expertise, and inspire and motivate young people to pursue further careers in the field of human rights and democracy. Finally, alumni (3) empowerment means that through its activities, EAN boosts alumni skills, expertise, and visibility and at the same increases their employability and self-employability. By empowering its graduates and reconnecting with their alma mater, EAN also contributes to the academic development of the Programme.
The ERMA Alumni Network operates in close cooperation with the rest of the implementation bodies of the ERMA programme and reports to the coordinator of the Academic and Development Unit of the ERMA programme. The EAN is responsible in front of the ERMA Executive Board and might be consulted on its activities by the IAC.
Highlights from 2019
1. ERMA ALUMNI BBQ – On June 14th EAN organized the first ERMA Alumni BBQ at the garden of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS). More than 40 alumni from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region enjoyed good food and music and could catch-up, network, and establish new friendships. The atmosphere was additionally spiced up with the Human Rights Quiz, where alumni refreshed their ERMA knowledge and celebrated the landmark moments in the history of human rights and democracy.
2. ALUMNI CURRICULA & ERMA OPEN LECTURES – Inspired by the 2017 Alumni Census showing that 41.3% of our alumni continued with another academic programme after graduation, EAN completed the successful pilot project the ERMA OPEN LECTURES and included Prof. Antonija Petričušić (2002/2003), University of Zagreb, with four hours lecture on Legal Instruments of Minority Rights Protection.
3. ACADEMIC RESEARCH & POLICY – The new GC Policy Observatory project, initiated by ERMA, aiming to provide guidance and expert opinion in response to urgent human rights issues became part of the GC core activities. The policy brief from the SEE region was dedicated to the Freedom of Assembly of LGBTI Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, authored by Ms. Masha Durkalić (2017/2018). Furthermore, under the GC Research Programme, in the GC Human Rights Journal in 2019, the article Ambivalent Role of Diaspora Engagement for the Homeland in the Balkans was published. The paper was initially presented at the GC Global Classroom 2018 by Alibašić Mubina, Davidović Emilija, Kapetanović Sabiha and Zejnilović Edima, coordinated by Mr. Adriano Remiddi.
4. EAN AND MIREES ALUMNI INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (MAiA) – The ERMA Alumni Network (EAN) and MIREES Alumni International Association (MAiA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with an aim of formalizing the already fruitful cooperation between these two alumni networks coordinated by the University of Bologna.
5. FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY OF LGBTI PEOPLE IN B&H – On June 20th, the discussion Freedom of Assembly of LGBTI People in Bosnia and Herzegovina took place at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS). The discussion was an announcement and forerunner of the forthcoming first pride march in B&H held on September 8th in Sarajevo. Part of the panelists were ERMA Alumni: Ms. Ena Bavčić (2012/13), and Ms. Masha Durkalić (2016/17).
For more information see EAN 2019 Report
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