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The ICOM International Training Centre for Museum Studies (ICOM-ITC), which was established on July 1, 2013, is a training institution affiliated with ICOM-China and focusing on training programmes in the museum field. Based on the missions and shared professional interests of ICOM and ICOM-China, the centre is a collaborative platform which relies on the Palace Museum of Beijing for operation and management. The objective of the ICOM-ITC is to promote research and exchanges among museums at an international level and to develop capacity building in museum expertise, especially in museums in emerging countries and in the Asia-Pacific region.
The ICOM-ITC holds two workshops each year, one in the spring and one in the autumn. The workshops benefit from the extensive member network of ICOM and ICOM-China as well as from the vast collections, expertise and substantial human resources of the Palace Museum. Participants in the workshops are given the chance to learn about the newest museum theories and practices, to discuss with museum experts and colleagues from different parts of the world, and to explore possible solutions to their own problems.
The themes of the past and future workshops are chosen from topics discussed by museum professionals and reflect the latest development of museums. Every four successive workshops on management, collection, education and exhibition will be followed by a special theme. Workshops with the same theme emphasize different aspects.
Since its establishment, the ICOM-ITC has enjoyed increasing international presence and influence. It has welcomed participants from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. It will consistently expand the scope of participants by admitting museum professionals from more countries and regions, and offer them practical and effective training programmes.
Who are the lecturers?
The lecturers are senior museum experts from ICOM, International Committees of ICOM or well-recognised museums around the world. With years of hands-on experience and practical teaching, the lecturers share the best museum practices with participants and offer them professional guidance through various workshop formats.
How do we select participants?
Up to 35 participants are admitted to each workshop--half from China and half from other countries. The Chinese participants are selected by the Palace Museum, and the international ones by ICOM.
The criteria for recruiting Chinese and international participants are the same. Many factors are taken into consideration in the selection of participants, such as their level of responsibility within their own museum, the regions in which their museum is located and their proficiency in English.
The ICOM-ITC is committed to stimulating communication and generating new ideas by including museum professionals from different cultures and backgrounds into the workshops.
What programmes does the centre offer?
The programmes are designed by the coordinator of the ICOM-ITC and the team of the ICOM-ITC Secretariat. In the 10-day workshop, different forms of presentations are offered, such as lectures, group discussions, practical sessions, case studies, object handling and visits. All allow the participants to be fully involved.
How is the workshop evaluated?
At the end of each workshop, all participants are required to complete a questionnaire to evaluate the workshop. The questionnaire covers every aspect of the workshop, such as preparations, presentations offered and logistics. Also, the lecturers' comments and suggestions are collected during the training programmes. The results of the evaluation are then analysed by the ICOM-ITC, and serve as a reference for designing future workshops and for improving the quality of the training.
Is there a certificate of attendance?
The ICOM-ITC was established jointly by ICOM, ICOM-China and the Palace Museum. All participants who meet the requirement of a workshop will be awarded a certificate that is issued by ICOM, and signed by the president of ICOM, the president of ICOM-China and the director of the Palace Museum.
The workshops emphasize interactions, between participants and collections, between participants and lecturers and between participants and participants. With the support of vast collections and experienced experts, the ICOM-ITC has designed many different types of interactive activities, such as group activities, show and tell, archival material and museum practice, with the aim of actively involving all participants in the workshops.
Group activities usually come in as supplement to the lectures or as an independent session. Participants are divided into small groups to collaborate on certain problems or complete certain tasks. Every participant is encouraged to present his or her opinions on the topic in a vigorous way. It is expected that all group members can actively engage in discussions and complete workshop assignments in frequent exchanges and discussion.
Show and Tell
This form is set based on the theme and needs of training with an aim to present participants’ museums, their programmes, difficulties to be conquered and individual thinking. It also evaluates their understanding and application of training contents. This session is expected to promote communication, encourage innovative thinking and offer a theoretical basis for the participants to build on.
This session enables participants to closely observe museum collections, to better interpret an artifact's information and the story behind it, as well as to learn how to rightly conserve artifacts and how to use artifacts for exhibition planning, education programmes, etc.
Museum practice allows participants to spend time in a local museum to obtain hands-on experience and information and insight on such areas as museum management, collections, education and exhibitions. First-hand experience in a museum is always one of the best ways to learn new knowledge.
The ICOM-ITC workshops are open to museum professionals from around the world. To qualify, a participant must meet the following requirements:
1. Having paid his/her ICOM membership dues for the year;
2. Be fluent in both written and spoken English;
3. Occupying middle-management position in a recognised museum or public institution;
4. Aged 45 years or under.
If you are interested, please contact the ICOM-ITC by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.