History of the Department of Cultural heritage

In 2003, the School of Design and Arts of Beijing Institute of Technology established the Department of Cultural Heritage, among the first universities & colleges in China to run cultural heritage programs. On the principle of “inheriting and disseminating traditional Chinese culture, and cultivating talents in the protection of cultural heritage”, the department aims to train professional researchers or designers in the restoration, preservation, management and exhibition of cultural heritage.

The department started to enroll undergraduate students from 2004 and its graduate enrollment began in 2005. To this day, several adjustments to the curriculum have taken place, respectively in 2006, 2008 and 2011, mainly to deal with three problems in this field: stagnancy in the investigation, evaluation and strategic planning involving cultural heritage protection; misuses of urban and suburban lands; and deficiency of creative and administrative personnel in museum exhibition design. The courses are set taking into consideration the structure of knowledge and skills that students need, and the demands of the society, constituting the curriculum framework combining basic education courses and professional courses, such as History of Architecture, Beijing Human Geography, Cultural Heritage Management, Historical Streets Protection Planning, Museum Exhibition Design, and Introduction to Intangible Cultural Heritage. 29 specialized courses on average are offered every year, totaling 716 credit hours.

The Department of Cultural Heritage vigorously participates in international communications, apart from talent cultivation. In 2004, it planned and hosted the “Asian Symposium on World Cultural Heritage”. In 2005, it published World Heritage Collection of International Conference Thesis. In 2006 the EU launched the Asia-Link Program and some teachers of the department were sent to Germany to study for a year. In 2007, teachers and students of the department participated in the joint investigation by China, Japan and South Korea on Shirakawago, a historical village. Those activities opened the eyes of students and stimulated their willing to learn. Besides, teachers of the department are also familiar with other countries’ research approaches and educational visions about cultural heritage, which has positive effects on the development of the department.

To date, many outstanding students have graduated from the department and many of them currently work in fields such as the evaluation, protection, management, planning, and design of cultural heritage for Peking University, Shanxi Ancient Architecture Institute, Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, the Management Office for the Old Summer Palace and the National Museum of China. There are also many students graduated from the department having managed to continue their study for Master’s or Doctoral degrees in well-known universities.

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    Professor from BWU Gives Lecture in BIT
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    German Professor Harald Hullmann Address...