Training Cultural Resource Management professionals to manage and protect Albanian Cultural Heritage
Creating a better prepared generation of managers for Albanian cultural resources is the main objective of the two-year Masters Programme on Cultural Resource Management (CRM), organized by the Faculty of History and Philology at the University of Tirana. This MA programme has been established with the generous support of the UNESCO Venice Office, within the framework of the MDG-F UN Joint Programme “Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development”.
This is the first ever MA programme in Albania in the field which will ensure that there are managers of Albanian culture for the future. The availability of a quality CRM MA Programme is considered by today’s professionals to be essential for ensuring that there is a legacy developed of qualified experts in cultural resource management, policy planning and management and for enabling Albania to remain current with global best practices in this area.
The MA programme will be inaugurated on 27 October 2010. The opening lecture will be delivered by Engelbert Ruoss, Director of the UNESCO Venice Office :
“This programme is important for further development of modern Albanian society. Young generations should be prepared to successfully manage and protect its cultural heritage. They should be aware of the value their heritage presents and be fully trained to apply modern business practices as relevant to the overall management of heritage, both tangible and intangible. An emphasis in the course will also be put on the normative instruments for heritage promoted by UNESCO and the impact that they have on a national and local level”.
This edition will be attended by approximately 20 students in fully technologically-equipped premises. The programme is organized in four semesters and divided into general, specific and optional subjects. The general subjects are focused on introductions to cultural heritage management, conservation, history of architecture and Albanian history. The specific subjects are oriented towards cultural heritage legislation, management planning, business administration, communication for cultural heritage and practical training. The promotion of the best national and international practices in the field of heritage studies, conservation, theories and principles of presentation, education, documentation, and contemporary issues in heritage management will be the main characteristic of the new programme.
“The MA Programme on Cultural Resource Management marks an important achievement for the whole heritage system in Albania. For the first time in the history of higher education in the country, Heritage Management is given a proper disciplinary status and professional training possibility“ stressed Lorenc Bejko, Professor at the Faculty of History and Philology of the University of Tirana.
“This serious intellectual investment marks also a paradigmatic shift in the way heritage is conceived in the modern Albanian society, as well as the way that heritage management profession is structured on the basis of the best European and international experiences. The large number of potential candidates for the program shows the strong interest on this long needed field of study. We believe that the programme, with its focus on the dynamic relationship between heritage and the contemporary society, provides a strong basis on which to build a solid and sustainable future. We expect the program to serve and support the promotion and implementation of a new vision for the cultural heritage in Albania in the next few years. This would be the result, not only of the preparation of a new generation of heritage managers, but also of a serious process of analyzing and discussing the main issues of the present and of the future of the Albania’s past. Only through scholarly debates we intend to encourage the creation of a shared view of the future of Albanian Heritage, its risks and potentials, its rich diversity and its contribution for the country’s development”, he said.
On the other hand, Bejko added that the expectations for the graduates of this programme are very high with regards to making substantial improvements to the management capacities, conservation procedures, presentation of the heritage values to the general public, and promotion of a self-reflexive profession in contemporary and future Albanian society.
The course offers both a theoretical understanding and an in-depth knowledge of the key elements of the cultures and societies. Every academic year admissions to the MA CRM will be open to students from Albania, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, UNMIK/Kosovo and other countries, if the candidates are fluent in Albanian.