The international Erasmus Mundus Master Courses, coordinated by Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) has won funding from the European Commission for the second time. This year, students from 13 countries applied for the international courses of cultural heritage studies. TEMA+ is among the official programmes of European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. It’s not only the curriculum of the course that makes it a perfect fit, but also its many other additional events.

Cultural Heritage Professionals Trained

Set to launch in September 2018, the master course ‘TEMA+ European Territories: Heritage and Development’ is an improved version of the European master programme called ’Identity and Development (civilisation, nation, region and city)’, run between 2011 and 2016. The master’s courses conducted in five countries is coordinated by the Department for European Histography and Social Sciences of the ELTE Faculty of Humanities:
More information about the courses:

The emphatic objective of the bilingual (English and French) master's course is to help students better understand the ever-increasing presence and significance of cultural heritage in an European context. 

“The earlier lessons learnt from the TEMA programme, the new directions of teachers' and researchers’ scientific and educational activities, as well as a careful assessment of the situation and needs of the European Higher Education Area have increasingly highlighted the necessity of an international course which studies specifically the European cultural heritage from a critical point of view and combines the achievements and methods of various fields of science”, said Dr. Gábor Sonkoly, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at ELTE. 

The consortium offering the first TEMA programme (ELTE, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales of Paris, Charles University of Prague and the University of Catania, Italy) will be joined by Laval University, Canada. Throughout the course, the institutions will closely cooperate with a number of partners within and outside Europe (e.g. various bodies of UNESCO and European Heritage Label), of which eleven also offer students internship as part of the programme.  

Students from almost any part of the world are free to apply. Between 2011 and 2016, 83 students from over 40 countries from Costa Rica through Russia to the Philippines graduated within the TEMA programme. The 17 scholarship students admitted to the next year so far come from 13 different countries.

From legal definitions to feelings 

“Originally, ’heritage’ used to be merely a legal concept; it was only later that it became the expression of some modernist feelings”, Dr. Gábor Konkoly explains the origins of the expression ’cultural heritage”. Connecting the legal concept with its social aspects has a power of identity-creation; there’s some kind of fear of future-centred modernity behind it, and at the same time, an effort to preserve the values of the past as perfectly as possible. Faced with the massive and pointless destructions of the first half of the 20th century, it was in the 1960's that the need to create a common culture of the human race first arose in the Western world. That was when the concept of ‘heritage’ was introduced. Here in Hungary, the expression ‘cultural heritage’ only appeared twenty years ago, and that also supports the fact that similar concepts such as remembrance, commemoration and identity can’t be denied. It’s a different question, though, that they don’t need to be rational or deniable, as they're based on sentiments. As opposed to the general tendencies related to heritage, we encourage a critical approach towards these processes within the TEMA+ programme.” 

TEMA+ students can obtain high-level theoretical and practical knowledge at five excellent and internationally recognised universities. “Moreover, they also become parts of a unique international network, where, besides the innovative and inspiring professional environment, they also receive an Erasmus Mundus grant of €1,000 per month to cover all the costs of their studies”, explains the benefits of the course Coordinator Lilla Zámbó. The professionals who work here prefer interactive, student and problem-oriented methods instead of frontal education. Thus, the students coming from various educational and cultural backgrounds can not only improve their professional, but also their intercultural competencies, as well as other, so-called ’soft skills’, while maintaining a continuous exchange of knowledge and experience. 

The students graduating from the programme receive ‘multiple’ diplomas of the universities involved, accredited as masters degrees in humanities and social sciences. According to Lilla Zámbó, the students will be able to use the theoretical and practical knowledge gained within local, regional, national and international institutions and organisations specialised in cultural heritage as well as in programmes and research focusing on urban, regional and social development, in the cultural public sector or generally in the private sector. 

The course perfectly fits into the curriculum of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and a number of additional events are also related to the programmes of 2018. For example, workshops and seminars are held by visiting scholars on an on-going basis, and in October 2018 they will organise an intensive week for their students in cooperation with their partners engaged in cultural heritage. 

Szilvia Bakóczy journalist 

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees operated within the Erasmus+ programme is a programme held in high esteem. It offers joint master’s courses in cooperation with foreign universities to top graduates. So far, 20,000 students from 200 countries have participated in the programme. In 2017, four Hungarian-coordinated Erasmus Mundus projects won funding from the European Commission.

Last modified: 16-04-2019