University museums make “outstanding contribution” to higher education and public outreach
(18 November 2013)
A national report praising the growing success of university museums within the UK’s higher education sector has cited Durham as an example of best practice.
One of the projects singled out is the volunteer-run Chinese School at Durham University Oriental Museum, the only museum in the North of Britain devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of the Orient.
It reports that the school has had a significant impact on enhancing students’ cultural and linguistic education.
An international project to enhance the conservation and interpretation of Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini, Nepal, involving museum staff and academics in the University’s Department of Archaeology, is also commended in the report.
The report comes as Durham University makes its special collections, some of which are based at its museums, more accessible via a new web portal, recognising their important role in research and education in the UK and internationally.
Durham University’s Head of Heritage Collections, Sheila Hingley said: “The University’s special collections and museums are a remarkable resource for our research and education, as well as an important component of our schools’ outreach programme and of public engagement in general.
“We are delighted that this report recognises the special role our museums play in the culture, life and economy of North East England, the UK and internationally.”
The new report, Impact and Engagement: University museums for the 21st century, published by the University Museums Group and University Museums in Scotland, has been welcomed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Wales (HEFCE).
The publication praises the growing success of university museums within the UK’s higher education sector, and their unique contribution to the public profile of universities.
Commenting on the report, HEFCE noted the great strides university museums had made in attracting wider support.
The full report can be seen here
For more information about the Oriental Museum visit: https://www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum/