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, called "Sharing Our Heritages" (SOH) involving 80 students from the European Union and Australia and funded by both parties.
The last master class in the series is being organized in France and Belgium from 3 to 10 December 2007. Two classes took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and in the Val de Loire, in January 2006 and 2007 and the other two were held at Kakadu National Park in Australia in July 2006 and 2007. Presentations in Paris (Ecole de Chaillot) and Leuven (Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation) on various topics related to World Heritage will alternate with sites visits on the Banks of the Seine and Palace and Park of Versailles in France and the Flemish Beguinages in Belgium. The last day, 10 December 2007, will be devoted to presentations made by the World Heritage Centre staff at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
The project consists of the exchange of Masters level students undertaking heritage management advanced studies in four European Universities and four Australian Universities. The universities involved are Charles Darwin University (CDU), Curtin University of Technology (CUT), Deakin University and University of Western Sydney (UWS) in Australia, and the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation at the Catholic University of Leuven (RLICC / KUL, Belgium), Brandenburg Technical University (BTU, Cottbus, Germany), University College Dublin (UCD, Ireland) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV, Spain) in Europe.
A symposium on Sharing Our Heritages: "New Challenges for Site Conservation and Protection and for Tourism Management" will be organised in Valencia, Spain, from 7 to 10 February 2008, with speakers from all universities involved in the SOH project. A publication will follow.