Over the last five years, the Peter McMullin Centre’s Statelessness Intensive Course has established itself in the statelessness studies calendar as a world-class program, offering an invaluable learning experience for a diverse cohort of participants from all over the world.
About the course
Following the success of three consecutive online courses, we are pleased to offer the course in the same format in February 2024. You can read about participants' experience of the course in previous years.
This live and interactive course is multi-disciplinary and employs a blend of theoretical and practical components. Consistent with the high pedagogical standards of Melbourne Law School, the course utilises mixed delivery methods including:
- case studies
- group work
- live seminar-style content delivery (approx. 4 hours per day of course)
- discussion and interaction
The course provides participants with the skills and practical tools to understand and address the problem of statelessness. Focusing on case studies from the Asia Pacific region, where the issue of statelessness is particularly salient, the course covers such issues as:
- the meaning of nationality in international law
- the core international treaties relevant to statelessness
- the right to nationality and deprivation of nationality
- the intersection between refugeehood and statelessness
- statelessness determination frameworks
- the nexus between statelessness, minorities, discrimination and development
- childhood statelessness
- the relationship between statelessness and gender discrimination
- identity, birth registration and the prevention of statelessness
Participants are provided with prior reading and are expected fully to engage with all aspects of the course and all exercises and group work. This is a thoughtfully designed course that facilitates knowledge sharing between participants (in addition to expert instruction) and hence relies on a participatory and engaged group. Participants are allocated to 'buddy groups' for additional peer support as well as to small study groups at different points of the course.
- 30 September 2023
- 30 November 2023
- Sunday 11 February 2024
Compulsory introductory ‘welcome/familiarisation session’ Melbourne time for participants to get to know each other and meet the teaching team.
- 14 - 20 February 2024
Course dates (excluding weekend)
The course is directed by Professor Michelle Foster (Centre Director), a leading international authority on refugee law and statelessness. The teaching team includes core members of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and academics from the Melbourne Law School, as well as our inter-disciplinary team of graduate researchers. A wide range of mini guest lectures will be provided by other leading academics, UN representatives and leaders working in the statelessness sector. Though the 2024 teaching team is yet to be finalised, you can view last year's teaching team.
The online format
The course will be accessed via an online portal within the University of Melbourne CANVAS Platform. The platform will utilise Zoom and other software. Applicants must be available to actively participate in live Zoom sessions for four hours per day, between 2:00pm and 6:00pm AEDT. In addition, there will be three hours of asynchronous learning (that is, in your own time) per day.
A note about time zones
One of the strengths of our intensive course over the past few years has been the diversity of the cohort. As such we strongly encourage applications from outside Australia, however, we do need to be mindful of time zones. Applicants must be available to actively participate in live Zoom sessions for four hours per day, between 2:00pm and 6:00pm AEDT. To assist with your planning, we have set up the below chart featuring different cities across the world (note there are two rows in the table).
|2pm-6pm AEDT||11am - 3pm||10am - 2pm||9am - 1pm||3pm - 7pm||4pm - 8pm||9:30am - 1:30pm||6:30am -10:30am|
|2pm-6pm AEDT||12pm - 4pm||8am - 12pm||8:30am - 12:30pm||6am - 10am||
7pm - 11pm|
(minus 1 day)
9pm - 1am|
(minus 1 day)
If your city is not featured, please visit https://www.timeanddate.com to confirm the time in your location.
Community rate: AU$450 *
Scholarships: No cost. Limited scholarships will be offered to applicants facing financial hardship, with preference going to those residing in developing countries. (Defined as those with low or medium levels of human development as classified by the UNDP – see http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries.)
*The Community Rate is available to applicants who are employed at non-governmental organisations and/or in the not-for-profit/community/aid sector.
Who can apply?
The program is suitable for a wide range of participants, including representatives of government, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, lawyers, advocates, decision-makers (including refugee decision-makers), scholars and students. As this is a multidisciplinary course, a background in law is not required.
Participants are required to:
- commit to dedicating one full week to this course*,
- have an internet connection that can support web conferencing tools such as Zoom,
- have a computer with webcam and a headset with microphone. (earbuds with microphone are fine)
*Applicants must be available to actively participate in live Zoom sessions for four hours per day, between 2:00pm and 6:00pm AEDT. In addition, there will be three hours of asynchronous learning (that is, in your own time) per day.
- Completed application form. Note that the form requires applicants to attach a current CV as well as a letter of reference so please have these prepared prior to starting your application.
- Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an interview via Zoom conducted by Prof. Michelle Foster or other members of the PMCS team.
Am I eligible for a scholarship?
The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness reserves the right to determine an applicant's eligibility for a scholarship and there is a finite number of scholarship places in the course. Priority will be given to applicants residing in 'developing countries', defined as those with low or medium levels of human development as classified by the UNDP – see http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries.)
Am I eligible for the 'community rate'?
The Community Rate is available to applicants who are employed at non-governmental organisations and/or in the not-for-profit/community/aid sector. If you are not sure about your eligibility, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many participants will there be?
In order to maintain high teaching standards and genuine engagement and interaction the course will be strictly capped at 35 participants.
Is this an accredited course?
No. Completion of the course will not earn an academic accreditation, though participants will all receive a participation certificate signed by Professor Michelle Foster and by the Dean of the Melbourne Law School.
The Statelessness Intensive Course may contribute to the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for Australian lawyers.
Do I need to take leave from my job to undertake this course?
In keeping with the exceptional pedagogical standards set by the Melbourne Law School, we expect participants to commit fully to the course for the five days. The course involves three hours of asynchronous learning (that is, in your own time) plus 4 hours of synchronous learning per day.
Will there be an assessment?
No. Successful completion of the course is gauged by active participation in the week's activities.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes. If the participant cancels prior to Monday 19 December 2023, 50 per cent of the course fee will be refunded. If the participant cancels past this date, there will be no reimbursement made.
Refund requests for cancellations in special circumstances will be decided on by the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness.
What preparation do I need to do for the course?
Participants will be provided with prior reading in the weeks before the course.
Please also ensure that you can commit to dedicating one full week to this course; that you have an internet connection that can support web conferencing tools such as Zoom and have a computer with webcam and a headset with microphone (earbuds with microphone are fine).
Tell me more about the letter of reference required
The letter of reference should ideally be from your employer stating that they support your participation and will give you the leave required to dedicate to the course. If you are studying, you may wish to ask your supervisor to write the letter in support of your application.