The first Malta semester for the Erasmus Mundus International Master in Education in Museums and Heritage came to a close end of January 2024.
Apart from different study units in Contested Heritage (Dr Reuben Grima, lecturer, provided by the Faculty of Built Environment, Department of Conservation and Built Heritage and Maria-Pia Aquilina), Community Museums (Dr Patricia Camilleri, lecturer), Museum Education as Cultural Politics (Dr Sandro Debono, lecturer) and Representation, Access and Difference, the cohort of five participants engaged in a semester-long Practicum.
The sites chosen were the National Archaeological Museum and the the national art museum, MUŻA. After a month of introductory sessions connected to the chosen sites for the Practicum and actual guided tours of both of them, besides visiting Heitage Malta's main offices and Restoration sites at Bighi, Kalkara, the cohort participants engaged in direct practical museum and heritage work.
From November onwards, the work they carried out was in connection with the Museum at which they were placed and related events. In the case of the MUZA placement, the three participants were involved in work connected with the forthcoming Malta International Biennale. This was their second and final Practicum in this Master's course, the previous one being in Tartu, Estonia. Their first semester was spent at the University of Glasgow, the lead partner in this Erasmus Mundus consortium. The Malta semester practicum was concluded with a half day seminar at the University of Malta, in the Faculty of Education's Boardroom, where the two groups presented their work project during the 10 credit study unit, reflected on their placement experience and made plausible recommendations for the future. They took into consideration the conditions and 'limit situations' of the Maltese Museum and Heritage scenario.
They also provided written versions of their presentation and reflections which were duly forwarded to Heritage Malta.
The cohort participants were: Kai Kim, Rhona McLaughlin, Rebecca Lynn Pursely, Sarah Rempel and Ethan Terry. Practicum Coordinator and Lecturer was one of the two Malta Semester Coordinators, Prof. Peter Mayo, while the other Coordinator was Dr Sandro Debono, both from the Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education. This department hosts the Malta semester programme.
The other lecturers are Dr Patricia Camilleri, Dr Reuben Grima and Maria Pia Aquilina. The arrangements at Heritage Malta were made by Mr Godwin Vella and Ms Rachel Caruana.
Our thanks go also to the onside mentors from HM, namely Sharon Sultana (Senior Manager) and Franceen Galea (Archaeologist) at the National Archaeological Museum and Katya Micallef (Principal Curator) and Kyrstle Farrugia (Curator) at MUŻA.