Over the past two years the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO has defined a strategy that aims to encourage universities worldwide to develop World Heritage studies and curricula. In this framework, UNESCO WHC is associated with a three-year project, funded by the European Union and the Australian Government, starting in January 2006.
This project entitled "Sharing Our Heritages" (SOH) consists in the exchange of Masters level students undertaking heritage management advanced studies in four European Universities and four Australian Universities. In Europe, the Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus (BTU), Germany, is the lead European institution. Other European Universities are University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, the Katolieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL, Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation), Belgium, and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), Spain. In Australia, the University of Western Sydney (UWS), Sydney, is the lead Australian institution. Other Australian Universities are Charles Darwin University (CDU), Darwin, Curtin University of Technology (CUT), Perth, and Deakin University, Melbourne.
In 2006 and 2007, forty students enrolled in the Master's degree programme at one of these universities will be subsidised to study for one full-time semester in a partner university in the other region. Furthermore, two Master Classes in Cultural and Natural Heritage Management will be organized for all students enrolled in 2006. The first Master Class will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and at the World Heritage Site of Val de Loire in France, from 16 to 26 January 2006.
The second Master Class will be organised at Kakadu National Park World Heritage Site in Australia from 16 to 29 July 2006.
This programme aims to develop better intercultural understanding and dialogue based on World Heritage management concepts. It will also help with the understanding of diverse heritage management approaches.
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