All sites in Europe face the problem of finding well-trained staff, as industrial heritage conservation and management is not the same as other cultural conservation and management. That's why ERIH has set up the European Academy of Industrial Heritage with the aim of attracting young people, especially students, to European industrial heritage as a career option.

In collaboration with universities, we have developed a series of lectures. So far, we have organised courses with the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken and the University of Trier (Germany) in 2019 and with the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland) in 2021.

The programme is based on a jointly developed series of lectures on European industrial heritage, covering topics such as industrial history, cultural heritage, identity, deindustrialisation and its consequences, regeneration, tourism, event concepts and cultural networks, and includes field trips to ERIH Anchor Points in the region. Students will be introduced to definitions, characteristics of the phenomenon and theoretical models of approaches. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify, demonstrate and analyse examples of industrial heritage in practice.

The lectures of the Katowice course covered the following topics:

  • Introduction: the wide universe of industrial heritage –  an overview of the tangible and intangible elements of the phenomenon
  • Cultural heritage - defining the phenomenon
  • Industrial heritage - the essence, definitions, attributes, categories, understanding of resources
  • Consequences of the process of deindustrialisation for post-industrial communities, industrial heritage and regional identity
  • ”Unwanted heritage” – baseline, reasons, problems, challenges, goals
  • The role of industry in creating the image of the region. Case study of Upper Silesia throughout history
  • The industrial revolution and the process of industrialization or e.g. 'European Industrial Heritage: The International Story'
  • Overview of post-industrial sites enlisted on UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Models and examples of reusing former industrial sites and the group their stakeholders
  • Industrial heritage tourism – history of development, defining the phenomenon, characteristic features
  • Key tools for the reuse and popularisation of post-industrial sites in Europe for cultural and tourism purposes, e.g. museums: permanent and temporary exhibitions (presentation), event venues (entertainment), interpretation, branding, etc. 
  • Examples of cultural networks / tourist and cultural routes (pan-European, interregional, regional and local) in the field of industrial heritage; annual festivals of industrial heritage and other events promoting it

Programme flyer of the lecture series in 2019
Course description of the University of Silesia in 2021 

Video of the students' site visits in 2021