The Future of University Museums Workshop Day

Tuesday 17 September 2019
University College London
10.45am – 5pm

Register attendance with Tannis Davidsonby 6 September 2019.

View the programme.

For more than thirty years the University Museums Group (UMG) has supported the interests of university museums across the UK. Most recently, our advocacy has been critical in ensuring the continuation of Hefce, now Research England, Museums and Galleries funding. However, we are conscious that university museums are diverse and that not all benefit from Research England support. Following on from last year’s consultation exercise with staff in university museums (both members and non-members of UMG), we are relaunching our organisation, seeking to involve the widest possible range of colleagues and institutions, and working towards an association that supports the sector in a responsive, effective and representative way.

We are delighted therefore to invite you to The Future of University Museums, a free day of rapid-fire lectures,  discussion and networking opportunities organised by the UMG, to be convened by Caroline McDonald (Great North Museum) and hosted by University College London at a central Bloomsbury location on Tuesday 17 September.

This is a time of challenge and uncertainty, for both universities and museums. In an already tough environment, wide-ranging cuts may follow a possible no-deal Brexit. It is also unclear whether reduced university income, following the cuts in tuition fees recommended in the Augar Report, would be compensated for by central government. If universities respond by narrowing their definitions of core purposes, our innovative collections-based teaching and research, and our vibrant and engaging public programmes may be threatened.  The Future of University Museums is an opportunity to hear from senior representatives as they offer their perspectives on current issues and invite discussion and comment. Breakout sessions  in the afternoon will give all participants a chance to speak to three core themes: research impact, teaching and museums, and museums and civic engagement, and to share their experiences with colleagues across the sector.

There is no charge for attendance, which is open to all interested parties; we will simply ask all attendees to register.

Please confirm your attendance with Tannis Davidson, by 6 September 2019.

The AGM will be held at 3.10 pm at UCL as part of the day’s programme.



10.45 -11.20am:  coffee and registration

11.20 -11.25am: Welcome and introduction to the day
Caroline McDonald, Great North Museum, Newcastle

11.25-11.30am:  Welcome
Katrina Nilsson, Director of Museums and Public Programmes, UCL Culture

 Understanding the landscape

11.30-11.50am: Earning public trust and political confidence
Michael Thompson, Deputy Director of Communications and External Relations, Universities UK

11.50am-12.10pm: The role and potential of the Civic University
Professor Jane Robinson, Dean of Engagement and Place, Newcastle University

12.10- 12.30: The view from the Office for students
Ed Davison, Head of the Chief Executive’s Office: Office for Students

12.30-1.00pm: Discussion and Questions

1.00-2.00pm: Lunch (not provided)

 Breakout sessions

2.00-2.05pm: Introduction

2.05 -2.50pm:  breakout sessions

  • Teaching and the university museum
  • Engagement, civic place and potential of the university museum
  • Research impact and the university museum

2.50-3.10pm: Report back and Opportunities for future engagement

3.10-4.00pm: AGM

To include summary of UMG review and the year ahead

4.00 – 5.00pm:  tea, cake, and informal networking