On Apr. 10th, twenty two university museums from around China sent staffs to the Qian Xuesen Library and Museum at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) for five days of intensive professional development this week. This training is the first outcome of a partnership between University Museums and Collections (UMAC), an international committee of International Council of Museums (ICOM), the Qian Xuesen Library and Museum and the National University Museum Education Alliance of China (NUMEA). It recognises that those who work in university museums require specialised professional development because of the dynamic and changing operating environment in the higher education sector, particularly as is being experienced in China at present.
UMAC President Marta C. Lourenco (University of Lisbon), UMAC former President Hugues Dreyssé, Australian university museums and collections Committee President Andrew Simpson, Associate Secretary of NUMEA and Head of Publicity Department of SJTU Hu Hao, Office Director of NUMEA Shen Lidan, Executive Director of Qian Xuesen Library Zhang Kai, Head of Shanghai Museum of traditional Chinese Medicine Gu Xiao Mei and other leaders and guests attended the opening ceremony.
UMAC President, Marta C. Lourenco, launched the program on April 10. She thanked the Qian Xeusen Library and Museum for hosting the event and thanked the National University.
The head of training class, Associate Secretary of party branch of Qian Xuesen Library, Gao Yankun introduced the basic condition and arrangements guests and students. The training lasts for one week. Experts team led by Marta C. Lourenco will share and communicate with students about the sustainable development of university museums.
On behalf of UMAC and SJTU Qian Xuesen Musuem, Marta C. Lourenco and Zhang Kai signed memorandum of cooperatiopn. The two sides will carry out a series of cooperation in terms of academic research, exhibition exchanges, business training and other fields.
Hu Hao, on behalf of NUMEA and SJTU, expressed heartfelt congratulations to the training class. He pointed out that it is the first time for the introduction of training classes for the university museum employees in China. He wished that university museum, NUMEA and UMAC could take the training class as an opportunity to achieve more results in mutual cooperation and exchanges in the future.
NUMEA, only established as recently as 2012, already has 95 member museums, indicative of the dynamism and enthusiasm within the sector in China. Lourenco says "Professional development is an important part of UMAC's strategic plan. University museums face a unique set of challenges and opportunities, not experienced by other museums". She went on to note that UMAC is delighted to be launching the first professional development scheme in China, where there is strong interest in developing globally competitive world-class universities.
It is said that those attending the professional development week will hear from a variety of international and Chinese speakers. They will lead these museum professionals through workshops that examine how to align the business of the museum with the business of the university, how university museums can understand and leverage the significance of their collections and the potential of their institutional setting while demonstrating their considerable value to teaching, research and engagement to the university leadership.