Athens alumni protect important heritage locations

The MA in Heritage Management delivered at Kent’s Athens centre has produced a string of alumni who are now working for a raft of governments and leading public sector institutions, helping to protect some of the world’s most important heritage locations.

Such graduates include Seyed Hadi Ahmadi Roini who is General Director of Conservation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Helvi Elago a Regional Heritage Manager for the Heritage Council of Namibia.

In the USA Bella Gellman has a role at the Tenement Museum in New York which focuses on immigrant stories in Manhattan’s Lower East Side between the 19th and 21st century, while in the UK  Carmen Talbot, who studied on the course in 2013-14, works as the Project Coordinator at the Rebellious Sounds Archive exploring contemporary female activism in the South West of England via oral history.

These examples serve to underline the calibre of graduates that the course produces and league table results also underline its success, with the course ranked in the top 10 for international MA courses by the Eduniversal 2017 Masters Ranking for three consecutive years.

The course in Athens is run by Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis, an expert in heritage management, in Athens at Elefsina (ancient Eleusis), an area of world-class archaeological significance.

Dr Kyriakidis explains that in the past those in charge of heritage locations were well versed in the historical and cultural importance of the sites, but lacked the expertise to correctly manage the site and successfully do their jobs.

The Heritage Management MA seeks to address this by providing students with the skills required for the management of heritage sites across the world and how to work effectively with archaeologists, architects, conservators, marketing and education specialists while also fundraising and supervising specific projects.

Furthermore, the course has a strong international focus, with the student cohort representing this outlook. Since its inception 35 different nationalities have been represented on the course, and alumni now work in nations including the USA, India, Japan, Tanzania, Ghana and many more.

The programme is a collaborative dual-award from the University of Kent and the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), a partnership that ensures world-class tuition and an interdisciplinary learning environment.

It is overseen by the Heritage Management Organisation, a dynamic new research and education project with international funding, which is creating its own opportunities in the field.

With the University of Kent set to celebrate 20 years in Europe since the opening of its centre in Brussels in 1998 the success of the Athens centre underlines Kent’s role on the continent – with other centres in Paris and Rome – and its position as the UK’s European university.