University of Leicester eBulletin

Widening Access for Future Museum Staff

June 2003
No 163

The University of Leicester is part of an East Midlands initiative to create more opportunities for people from ethnic minorities who would like to develop careers in the museum and galleries sector. This initiative builds on the Museums Association Diversify project – Increasing the accessibility of museum careers to people from ethnic minorities.  Opportunities are now available for individuals from the Asian, African, Caribbean and Chinese communities, ordinarily resident in the UK, as they are under-represented within the museums sector. 

The initiative, originated and funded by the East Midlands Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (EMMLAC) in partnership with the University’s Department of Museum Studies and the Museums Association (MA) will support two bursaries in 2003-4. The students chosen as bursary recipients will take either a Postgraduate Diploma or Masters course.

Students for the EMMLAC Bursary Scheme 2003-4 will be selected in mid-July, and the two successful applicants will begin their course at the University in September. Their programme of study will include work experience at an East Midlands museum or gallery between March and May 2004, and will culminate with two months paid work experience at the host museum after the course is ended.  This will be in June or December 2004, depending on whether the student takes a diploma or Masters course.

The bursaries, which are funded by EMMLAC, will cover fees for the one-year, full-time Postgraduate Diploma or Masters course in Museum Studies; £500 allowance for books and two months paid work experience.  Professional benefits including membership and attendance at conferences to the two successful applicants will be provided by the MA.  

EMMLAC will also offer the students support in the provision of eight weeks (unpaid) work experience and ongoing career advice.

Applicants to the programme must have a first or second class honours degree (or equivalent qualification) and an interest in pursuing a career in museums and galleries. Further information on how to apply is available from info@museumsassociation.org or www.museumsassociation.org or write to Information, Museums Association, 24 Calvin Street, London E1 6NW.

Richard Sandell, of the University of Leicester Department of Museum Studies commented: “People from minority ethnic communities are significantly under-represented in the UK museums workforce. We are committed to working with museums and other partners to begin to redress this imbalance and, in doing so, to enable museums to better meet the needs of diverse audiences.”

Nicky Morgan, Learning and Access Strategy Officer at EMMLAC, added:

“This programme offers many benefits, including a wider cultural perspective, for museums in the East Midlands, museum visitors and for the participating students.”

NOTE TO EDITORS:  For more information please contact Nicky Morgan, Learning and Access Strategy Officer, EMMLAC, telephone 0116 285 1354 fax 0116 285 1351, email nmorgan@emmlac.org.uk

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