All sites in Europe face the problem to get well educated staff, as industrial heritage maintenance and management is not the same as other cultural maintenance and management. That's why ERIH has launches the 'European Academy of Industrial Heritage' with the aim to attract young people, in particular students, to European industrial heritage as a career option.

In cooperation with universities, we created lecture series for this purpose. So far, we have organised corresponding courses together with the Saarland University in Saarbrücken and the University of Trier (Germany) in 2019 and in 2021 in cooperation with the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland).

The programme is based on a co-developed series of lectures on European industrial heritage and covers topics such as industrial history, cultural heritage, identity, deindustrialisation process and its consequences, redevelopment, tourism as well as event concepts and cultural networks and also includes field trips to the ERIH Anchor Points in the region. Students will become familiar with the definitions, attributes of the phenomenon and theoretical models of approaches. At the end of the course students will be able to recognize, demonstrate and analyse examples of industrial heritage in practise.

The lectures of the course in Katowice dealt with 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 deindustrialization 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 popularization 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