12 February 2019

Felisa Tibbitts appointed UNESCO Chair in Human Rights in Higher Education

Prof. dr. Felisa Tibbitts has been appointed UNESCO Chair in Human Rights in Higher Education at Utrecht University. The main purpose of the newly established chair is to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on human rights education and human rights-based approaches within universities.

Launched in 1992, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, which involves over 700 institutions in 116 countries, promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work.

Accessibility and inclusion
Prof. dr. Felisa Tibbitts

“I am truly delighted to be appointed in this UNESCO Chair position,” says Prof. Tibbitts, “as it will allow me to strengthen the international dimension of my research on human rights and higher education. This is a challenging time for higher education in different parts of the world as institutions grapple with issues of accessibility and inclusion.”  

Dr. Tibbitts’ focus includes teaching human rights and in identifying ways to strengthen university practices in non-discrimination, historical accountability, inclusion and diversity, including a gender dimension.  This agenda is consistent with Utrecht University’s strategic theme “Institutions for Open Societies”.  Prof. Tibbitts anticipates collaborating with higher education institutions and networks in other countries and regions.

Women's Rights

Dr. Tibbitts occupies the Carla Atzema-Looman Chair in Human Rights Education, with special attention for Women’s Rights, at the Netherlands Institute of Human Right (SIM) of Utrecht University. This is the very first chair in human rights education in the Netherlands. The chair is endowed by the Stichting Algemeen Fonds van de Unie van de Soroptimistclubs in Nederland, Suriname en de Nederlandse Antillen and is also associated with University College Roosevelt.  

Education Day 

Dr. Tibbitts will be delivering the keynote for Education Day at Utrecht University on 7 March, which has ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ as its main theme.