Training and professional development is a top-priority of UMAC Strategic Plan 2016-19, especially in geopolitical regions where higher education museums and collections are expanding and there is little access to resources.
UMAC is addressing two main issues regarding professional development.
First, higher education museums and collections are considerably heterogeneous and they cover all disciplines. The large majority were created around teaching and research activities by professors, researchers, technicians, students, librarians, and alumni. The professionals are, in general, more bound by disciplinary and historic traditions rather than a shared understanding of museum practice. Moreover, ICOM is still largely unknown in universities worldwide.
Second, university museums and collections play roles that are specific to the academic sphere and not necessarily covered by traditional museum training (e.g. research, teaching, and the so called ‘third mission’). UMAC designates these ‘specific issues’ and considers its responsibility to better understand them and discuss their alignment with mainstream museum practice.
The research project Professionalising museum work in higher education: A global approach (P-MUS), supported by ICOM, aims at identifying the training needs of professionals and promoting widespread, regular and consolidated museum practice and ethics.
In concrete terms, UMAC’s offer of training opportunities for members and non-members includes: