New Scholarships to offer increased support for UNESCO World Heritage

Postáilte ar 2 July 2024

Ireland is strengthening engagement, education, and capacity-building for World Heritage through two new scholarship programmes established by the National Monuments Service (NMS) in collaboration with University College Dublin (UCD) and the Rome-based advisory body ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).

Over the next three years, the National Monuments Service will fund scholarships for citizens of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and EU citizens resident in Ireland to attend the UCD World Heritage programme.

The scholarships will cover tuition fees for in person and online Masters degrees in World Heritage Conservation and Management at UCD. The UCD World Heritage Programme provides participants with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the working of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and for decision-making in areas related to the nomination and conservation of World Heritage properties as well as wider heritage management issues.

In addition, the NMS will also contribute an annual scholarship grant to ICCROM, specifically designed to assist heritage professionals from Africa and SIDS. Over the next three years, the NMS will contribute an annual scholarship grant to ICCROM, specifically designed to support the participation of heritage professionals from Africa and from Small Island Developing States in Africa, the Caribbean and the Asia pacific region in ICCROM’s capacity-building activities. These activities are instrumental in strengthening the implementation of the World Heritage Convention at local and national levels and provide immersive learning experiences as well as opportunities to engage with World Heritage sites and collaborate with and learn from international colleagues.

The increased support offered by these two new scholarships aligns with the vision of the forthcoming Strategy for World Heritage in Ireland, which will provide a framework for Ireland’s engagement with and support for UNESCO World Heritage over the next decade. They also complement Ireland’s Strategy for Africa to 2025 and Ireland’s Second Strategy for Partnership with Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

On the establishment of the scholarship fund, Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said:

“I am proud that we are increasing our support for World Heritage, which is of universal value and significance to humanity. It is right that Ireland plays its full part in ensuring that the global community can enhance capacity to better understand and better protect this heritage. At my meetings earlier this year with Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, I pledged to increase Ireland’s support. We are now making good on that pledge by aligning our commitments to Africa and Small Island and Developing States with our own World Heritage ambition. Our support for this initiative, in partnership with UCD and ICCROM, and along with our funding for World Heritage monitoring in Gaza and Ukraine where heritage is at grave risk of damage, demonstrates our commitment to the World Heritage we all cherish.”

Professor Aidan O’Sullivan, Head of School of Archaeology, UCD said:

“We are delighted to welcome the NMS World Heritage Scholarships. We look forward to welcoming scholars to the programme. We trust that thanks to this excellent initiative, they will strengthen their profile, gain a great deal from learning and sharing knowledge with their peers and go on to make an impact on heritage management and society across the world.”

Aruna Francesca Maria Gujral, Director-General of ICCROM said:

“ICCROM is a platform and a bridge for connecting heritage with people. We improve our practices in heritage by connecting and learning with diverse people. Ireland is at the forefront of demonstrating how international collaboration can support meaningful capacity building, that can facilitate these connections and strengthen the networks that keep our sector healthy and thriving. I am deeply grateful for the commitment Ireland holds for the important role that ICCROM plays in capacity building for our heritage and our future.”

Further details of the scholarships can be found at the UCD website and the ICCROM website.