UNIVERSITIES WORK ON A GLOBAL STAGE and their museums play a key role in this international approach. The global origins of the collections themselves enable development of important and sustainable links with their communities of origin across the world, stimulating research links as well as contributing to community cohesion and sense of identity.
As well as contributing to international research networks and initiatives, University Museums host international exhibitions and conferences, and loan material for research and exhibition abroad. The reputation of the UK’s University Museums in terms of research and museological excellence means they are popular destinations for international research and student placements; high quality collections can themselves be a powerful draw for many international students. Increasingly, collections-based skills are in demand by countries seeking to develop their museum and tourist sectors, and some University Museums are involved in delivering international professional training and short courses. Exhibition catalogues and museum gifts are used in a diplomatic context, and museum spaces used to host events for commercial supporters and visiting international delegations.
The global origins, quality and diversity of University Museum collections, and the expertise of their staff, means they hold rich potential for new international relationships, collaborations and strategic partnerships.