Our main goal is to utilise internationalisation in higher education for the benefits of wider society. Olomouc IHES Lab is new but the idea of building strong ties with the wider society and training law students in the spirit of social justice and public service has been an integral part of the Faculty of Law´s mission at Palacký University Olomouc since its renewal in 1991. Our Faculty of Law has an extensive system of legal clinics, where students, under the thorough supervision by academic supervisors, provide pro bono legal support and advice to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in different areas of law. Legal clinics aid under-privileged areas in society with the goals of improving people’s lives, securing justice, and advancing civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The Faculty is also strong in internationalisation – through the exchange of students, double degree programmes and programmes at Master´s and PhD levels conducted in English, through regular courses taught by experts from abroad, scientific cooperation and much more. The Olomouc IHES Laboratory attempts to bring the above mentioned strong areas together to improve legal education, but also to generate a broader societal impact and to encourage public interests.
Within the project, we carry out the following activities:
This activity is designed specifically for French university students, who arrive at Palacký University Olomouc via Erasmus+ Programme. The specifically designed course offers an introduction into basic pedagogical aspects (how to teach) and an experiential part where students go to local secondary schools, especially to bilingual secondary schools with French as second language, to teach in French topics such as the legal system and politics in France.
EU into Schools involves university students in teaching at secondary schools while focusing on various aspects of the European Union. In the wider societal context, this activity is meant to diffuse internationalisation into secondary education, to raise major awareness related to the interrelationship between the Czech Republic and the EU, and to increase the sensitivity to disinformation. The activity is carried out by our Department of Political Science and Social Sciences.
Classes for Senior Citizens: Talks on Global Issues organise debates on current social and international topics such as the Czech Republic in the EU, democracy and rule of law, multiculturalism, under the Third Age University (U3V). The activity aims to support the integration of the elderly people into higher education, the decrease of disinformation concerning international topics among senior citizens, and to improve aspects of internationalisation in the area of the mentioned U3V. The whole activity is conducted by our Department of Political Science and Social Sciences.
Global Witnesses of Climate Change arrange talks on sustainable development, including salient environmental issues and energy security. These talks are provided to students at secondary schools by Palacký University Olomouc academics. The main goal is to spread the concept of sustainable development and its linkage to human rights, equality, and justice, and to raise students’ environmental awareness. In a broader scale, the project aims to support the development of critical thinking related to global issues and changes. This activity is carried out by our Department of Political Science and Social Sciences.
After the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Czech Republic struggled with masses of incoming Ukrainian refugees. As one of the activities designed to help the Czech Republic to face the challenge, the IHES team together with the Department of Clinical Legal Education and Professional Skills Development decided to establish a platform where the refugees can seek legal help (Ukrainians are not aware of the Czech legal system). The refugee counselling centre is to operate as an email address where Ukrainians can write their problems and our master students assist them.
This activity aims at society at large, i.e. bringing academics and students, from the Czech Republic or abroad, together with the local population. Sport events are a good opportunity to achieve this effort, hence in cooperation with the ESN, the Olomouc IHES Laboratory organises a bowling competition, where the participation of foreign academics and students is encouraged.
Our core team consists of the following members:
- Dr. Martin Faix – Manager of the Olomouc IHES Lab, Vice-Dean for International Affairs, Senior Lecturer in Public International Law
- Dr. Lucia Madleňáková – Head of the Department of Clinical Legal Education and Professional Skills Development, the supervisor of the above activities No. 1 and 5.
- Dr.Petra Měštánková – Head of the Department of Political and Social Sciences, the supervisor of the above activities No. 2, 3 and 4.
The other members of the team are also academics and students working and studying at the Faculty of Law, and Palacký University Olomouc in general. Some of the activities are carried out in cooperation with associated partners, mainly with the ESN.