November 12, 2013

Impact and Engagement: University Museums for the 21st century

Impact and Engagement Document

Impact and Engagement Document

A joint publication of the University Museums Group (UMG) and University Museums in Scotland (UMIS)

“A University Museum is a space to encounter extraordinary collections, take part in intellectually rewarding events, witness inspirational teaching and engage with ground-breaking research”

A new publication to highlight the outstanding contribution made by UK University Museums will be launched by Mark Taylor, Director of the Museums Association at the Museums Association Conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, 12 November, 2014.

This report celebrates the growing success of University museums as part of the UK higher education sector and their unique contribution to the public profile of universities across the UK.  University Museums hold 30% of nationally-significant collections but constitute only 4% of England and Wales’ museums.  In Scotland, three university museums alone hold 14% of nationally-significant collections. 

The report shows how University Museums deliver unique benefits to the HE and wider cultural sector and have demonstrated exceptional performance in  leveraging funding, with  the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) core funding having  enabled an increase of non-HE funding by 179 per cent to £20.34 million over the last five years. Resourcing from the Scottish Further and Higher Education Council (SFC) has recently increased its museums, galleries and collections grant to £6 million over five academic years and extended the number of universities receiving the grant from five to nine to include all higher education institutions which have nationally accredited collections.

Kate Arnold Forster and Sally MacDonald, joint chairs of the University Museums Group: “This report celebrates the exceptional contribution that University Museums make to the quality and impact of academic research, to teaching and the student experience, to the profile of universities nationally and internationally as well as their economic and social contributions as visitor attractions and cultural destinations.  We hope this report provides a valuable perspective on the great potential of University Museums to enhance the quality and vitality of higher education in challenging economic times.

November 11, 2013

UMG on Twitter

To accompany the launch of our new advocacy document on Tuesday 12th November 2013 at the Museums Association Conference, the UMG has created a new Twitter account @UnivMuseumsGrp.

The twitter presence will aim to complement the UMGs wider advocacy work by promoting the advocacy document and our updated website, as well as raising awareness of the diversity and activities of university museums.

We have set up several series of regular tweets to ensure there is regular and interesting output from the account.  At the moment these are:

#UnivMus  a daily tweet (Monday-Friday) showcasing a single university museum, linking to its web page (and twitter name if it has one).  These will kick off on Monday 11th November 2013 with the Victoria Museum and Gallery in Liverpool; after that we have scheduled them in more or less random order to demonstrate the range and diversity of university museums.  If there are particular dates which it would be appropriate to schedule your museum (or any other museum) it is very easy to adjust the scheduling to allow this – for example if a museum has a major event or anniversary, or there is a wider event such as the Festival of Archaeology or Science week.  To do this please contact Liz Hide at University of Cambridge.

#inspiringprojects   a weekly series showcasing interesting and impactful projects from across the University Museum sector.   Initially this will work its way through the list of projects featured as case studies in the Advocacy document but hopefully will expand and continue to feature more projects from the list of case studies sent in by museums.

#TopFacts   an occasional series of juicy facts about University Museums, taken from the UMG advocacy document (for example, ‘nearly 4 million people visited a University Museum in 2012-13’).

All of this promises to add a very significant dimension to UMG’s advocacy work and audience reach.  If you’re not already on twitter, you should be able to see the tweeting activity by clicking on

October 31, 2013

Launch of new Advocacy document at Museums Association Conference

We are delighted to tell you that we will be launching our Advocacy document – Impact and Engagement: University Museums for the 21st century – at a reception at the Museums Association Conference in Liverpool on Tuesday 12 November at lunchtime (1pm-2.30pm) in room 4b. If you are going to be at Conference that day, you are warmly invited to join us for the launch reception. Mark Taylor, the Director of the MA will speak at the event.

For those who cannot make the event,  we will be mailing a batch of copies of the document to all UMG and UMIS members, as well as to key stakeholders and funding bodies. There will also be an online version available on the this website.

Active outreach and an open door to connect with communities through collections