Skip to Content

### The Importance of Action-Oriented Research in Preserving Cultural Heritage

Heritage structures in India and the UK require a significant academic emphasis on their preservation and restoration. While safeguarding the ancient architectural marvels and monuments in India remains a critical concern, a strategic approach is essential to ensure their protection. The recent partnership between the University of Birmingham and the Indian Institute of Heritage (IIH) is a positive step towards fostering new opportunities in the realms of Heritage, Museums, and Museology for students.

In an interview with Education Times, Prof Adam Tickell, the vice-chancellor of the University of Birmingham, emphasized the establishment of collaborations in research and education through this partnership. This alliance aims to cultivate knowledgeable and proficient heritage professionals and scholars for the future. It will facilitate the involvement of students and experts from both the Indian Institute of Heritage and the University of Birmingham in various research endeavors. Moreover, it will promote student and academic exchange programs between the two institutions.

Prof Adam Tickell further highlighted the institute’s postgraduate programs, designed to equip students with the requisite skills for pursuing careers in Heritage. Many alumni currently hold esteemed positions in museums and conservation agencies, offering valuable prospects for Indian students.

Underscoring the importance of preserving cultural heritage using sustainable methodologies, Prof Tickell emphasized the significance of initiatives like the MoU between India and the UK. Such agreements are instrumental in devising plans and practices for managing cultural heritage with innovative and sustainable approaches. They prepare students for professions in the heritage sector by imparting essential skills.

The collaboration between the University of Birmingham and IIH is rooted in principles of equality and reciprocity, aiming to nurture sustainable partnerships. It outlines various initiatives to strengthen academic and research bonds between the two institutions, including staff, research scholar, and student exchanges. This collaboration will foster a dynamic environment for cross-cultural learning and collaborative research, focusing on joint projects in museums, well-being, and other research initiatives within the broader field of heritage, museums, and museology.

Expressing enthusiasm about the partnership, BR Mani, the vice-chancellor of IIH, emphasized the significance of synergizing the strengths of both institutions to create impactful projects that enrich the cultural landscape and enhance community well-being.

Moving on to the UK’s pressing issue of skill shortages, reports suggest that the country may face a £120 billion loss by 2030 due to this challenge. With a projected shortfall of 2.5 million highly skilled workers and an oversupply of 8.1 million individuals with traditionally intermediate or low skills, addressing this gap is crucial. Academics believe that Indian students studying in the UK could contribute significantly to mitigating this skill shortage.

Prof Tickell acknowledged the skill shortage in the UK, highlighting the abundant opportunities in the job market for Indian students. He emphasized the importance of proper course planning and career preparation to enter the job market confidently.

The University of Birmingham aims to equip students with industry-relevant skills through courses focused on artificial intelligence (AI), Data Science, and Sustainability. Additionally, they continue to offer popular courses in STEM, Management, and Humanities, ensuring students are prepared for the evolving job market.

In conclusion, the collaboration between educational institutions like the University of Birmingham and IIH not only enriches academic and research endeavors but also contributes to addressing critical challenges such as skill shortages and preserving cultural heritage sustainably.