Graduation and Inauguration 2017

Our graduation ceremony celebrated the wealth of culture and diversity that distinguishes the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights.

As twenty-three master graduates from eleven different countries came together with twenty-three students from our 6th generation to share the ceremonial chamber. For the graduates, their two years of studying Human Rights may have come to an end as they embark upon the next phase in their lives to become future human rights practitioners. We hope that they utilise the values, academic excellence, and practical skills that they have gained during their time on the programme, in order to truly bare testament to our core agenda in; delivering All Human Rights for All. For our latest generation of students, we would like to extend our welcome to them to the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights Family.
 
Our ceremony was a harmonious occasion, as the K&K STRINGS band delivered a pleasant vibe through their music.
 
We had the pleasure to have the company of the Vice-Rector of the University of Vienna, Christa Schnabl, in the opening of the ceremony. Notably our Scientific Director, Manfred Nowak’s wise words about the duty of a Human Rights practitioner. Manfred was key to highlighting the significance that interdisciplinarity of the programme has on achieving the special attitude required to truly embody that of a human rights practitioner. The ceremony would be incomplete without the components of compassion and empathy that our Academic Coordinator Marijana Grandits spoke of.
 
This year we had the privilege to have hosted the Vice Chair of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek as our guest of honour.  Her authentic story regarding her personal battle to strive for LGBT Rights served as a reminder for all of our students to continue striving; regardless of the obstacles they may have to face in both their professional and personal lives.
 
Our student Representatives Anja Hoffman and Ruggero Scaturro delivered an uplifting and nostalgic speech which brought their experience of the programme to life. We are certain they will continue to champion the role of education to subvert rhetoric of hate and xenophobia in Vienna and across the globe.
 
Each and every single on one of our graduates deserves to be holding that degree. They have worked tirelessly during their time on the programme by displaying passion and commitment towards their studies, internships and extracurricular ventures, all whilst displaying empathy, resilience and the courage required to be a Human Rights practitioner.
 
Two years ago our graduates took their oath, today they stand true these very words:
 "Respecting, protecting and promoting the universality and indivisibility of all human rights for all,
striving for a strong community bonding us together across all backgrounds, borders and time, deeply believing that a true culture of human rights can only be cultivated through mutual respect, tolerance, understanding and life-long learning"
.

This year’s “Hermann and Marianne Straniak Scholarship” was awarded to Adelaida Pena Rivera from Colombia, who has truly earned this privilege through her endless dedication to eradicating violence against women.
 
With a sincere heart, we wish our graduates all the best in their academic, career, and personal future endeavours and we welcome our new generation of students to the journey of becoming a Master in Human Rights!