Sustainable Heritage Management Course

A Foundation Course
UNESCO x Think City Institute

USD 500.00
Course Period: November 2020 – April 2021



The current pandemic and other pressures such as climate change, economic slowdown, and conflicts require rethinking approaches to heritage management. At the same time, as the definition of cultural heritage becomes broader, the challenges encountered are also more complicated. Beyond conservation-related objectives, cultural heritage managers are now also grappling with mobilizing heritage for sustainable development, as defined by the Sustainable Development Goals.

Confronted by these new realities, the heritage profession in the Asia-Pacific region is increasingly under pressure to adapt itself, by upskilling and reskilling to meet these new demands. In response, UNESCO has developed the Competence Framework for Cultural Heritage Management in order to establish professional standards that are holistic, interdisciplinary and multidimensional.

The inaugural “Sustainable Heritage Management Foundation Course” is organized by UNESCO Bangkok in cooperation with Think City Institute and the Asian Academy for Heritage Management network. This course will offer participants exposure to fundamental principles, innovative tools, good practices and on-the-ground case studies for sustainable cultural heritage management.

The Course is divided into five modules which will focus on the five Core Competences defined under UNESCO’s new Competence Framework. Each module is led by a leading university in the Asia-Pacific region in the area of cultural heritage management:

  • University of Hong Kong on “Sustainable development”
  • National University of Singapore on “Heritage policies, principles, processes and ethics”
  • Southeast University on “Applying laws and regulations”
  • Deakin University on “Community, rights and knowledge”
  • Ahmedabad University on “Heritage education and interpretation”

Participants in this course will strengthen their competences to respond intelligently and effectively to real-world demands in sustainable heritage management.



Professionals experienced in heritage management (more than 8 years) who are looking to improve skills and knowledge in a practical manner will benefit most from this course.

  • World Heritage or Tentative List site managers
  • Local stewards at heritage sites
  • Managers and technical specialists in heritage-related institutions
  • Technical specialists in other disciplines who work in heritage-related fields
  • Individuals teaching/training in cultural heritage management (will be invited to join special Training-of-Trainers sessions at the end of each module)

The course requires no formal education in cultural heritage management, but working experience in the heritage field will be valued. Professionals working mainly in other fields, such as urban management, whose work is related to heritage, will also benefit from this course.



Using UNESCO’s newly-developed Competence Framework as a reference, this Foundation Course aims to strengthen the Core Competencies of cultural heritage professionals in South-East Asia, which will benefit not only individual practitioners but also contribute to strengthening their home organizations as well.

In this course, you will:

  • Assess yourself and identify individual gaps in core skills and knowledge required to sustainably manage cultural heritage
  • Gain additional skills and knowledge related to the Core Competencies
  • Undertake a practical exercise in applying these Core Competences in the context of your heritage site and home organization
  • For trainers and educators: gain exposure to pedagogical insights in teaching this material



Module 1: Sustainable development (SUS)

Led by University of Hong Kong Aim: Ensuring heritage protection and management activities conform to sustainable development principles and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Module 2: Heritage policies, principles, processes and ethics (HER)

Led by National University of Singapore

Aim: Incorporating and implementing heritage principles, charters and conventions at all stages of the heritage management process.

Module 3: Applying laws and regulations (ALR)

Led by Southeast University

Aim: Ensuring that laws, regulations and rights affecting heritage properties at all levels are upheld.

Module 4: Community, rights and knowledge (CRK)

Led by Deakin University

Aim: Ensuring the realization of the rights of local communities and integrating traditional knowledge into conservation processes and actions.

Module 5: Heritage education and interpretation (HED)

Led by Ahmedabad University

Aim: Ensuring that local stakeholders, visitors, decision-makers and the wider public are aware of heritage properties, their purpose and values, and how they are governed and managed.


Dr. Hoyin Lee

Head, Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes, The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Sharif Shams Imon

Visiting Assistant Professor, Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes, The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Jennifer Lang

Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes, The University of Hong Kong

Ms. Lavina Ahuja

Assistant Lecturer, Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes, The University of Hong Kong

Prof. Puay Peng Ho

Head, Department of Architecture & UNESCO Chair on Architectural Heritage Conservation and Management in Asia, National University of Singapore

Dr. Johannes Widodo

Associate Professor & Programme Director, MA in Architectural Conservation, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore

Dr. Nikhil Joshi

Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore

Prof. Dong Wei

Professor, School of Architecture, Southeast University UNESCO Chair in Cultural Resource Management

Dr. Richard Engelhardt

Guest Professor, School of Architecture, Southeast University

Dr. Wang Yan

Lecturer, School of Architecture, Southeast University

Prof. Lyu Zhou

Director and Professor, National Heritage Center, Tsinghua University

Prof. Shao Yong

Professor, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University

Ms. Kristal Buckley

Lecturer in Cultural Heritage, Deakin University

Dr. Billy Griffiths

Lecturer in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, Deakin University

Dr. Jonathan Sweet

Senior Lecturer in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, Deakin University

Dr. Neel Kamal Chapagain

Director, Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University


This course is a combination of a self-paced online learning and interactive tutorial sessions. There is also an offline event scheduled at the end of the course for an enhanced learning experience.

  1. Each module consists of (1) a set of pre-recorded lecturesreadings and quizzes, followed by (2) real-time online interactive tutorial sessions with the teaching team and other participants.
  2. Once the online learning of all modules are completed, the participants will work on a Final Assignment related to their own heritage site/project.
  3. The course will culminate in an on-site Finale Event* at the George Town World Heritage site in Malaysia, which will provide an opportunity for feedback on the final assignment, in-depth individual assessments and networking.

 (* Note: Depending on public health circumstances and potential international travel restrictions in 2021, this event may be converted to an online event at the discretion of the organizers).



TimeCourse ContentFacultyTeaching team


  • Introduction to lecturers and participants
  • Special panel discussion on “Sustainable Heritage Management” by invited experts (ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN – tbc)

All participants

Nov wk 3-4Sustainable Development (SUS)University of Hong Kong

Dr. Hoyin Lee

Dr. Sharif Shams Imon

Dr. Jennifer Lang

Ms. Lavina Ahuja

Dec wk 1-2Heritage policies, principles, processes and ethics (HER)National University of Singapore

Prof. Puay Peng Ho

Dr. Johannes Widodo

Dr. Nikhil Joshi

Dec wk 3,4 – Jan wk 1Break
Jan wk 2-3Applying laws and regulations (ALR)Southeast University

Prof. Dong Wei

Prof. Lyu Zhou

Prof. Shao Yong

Dr. Richard Engelhardt

Dr. Wang Yan

Jan wk 4 –


Feb wk 1

Community, rights and knowledge (CRK)



Deakin University

Ms. Kristal Buckley

Dr. Jonathan Sweet

Dr. Billy Griffiths

Feb wk 2Break
Feb wk 3-4Heritage education and interpretation (HED)Ahmedabad University

Dr. Neel Kamal Chapagain

Apr wk 1FINALE EVENT (In Penang, Malaysia or online)



Participants will receive a certificate to acknowledge successful completion of this course, subject to regular attendance of the course sessions and submission of the required assignments.



  • USD 500



  • Limited number of scholarships are available by UNESCO. Priority will be given to World Heritage site managers from South-East Asia.
  • In order to apply, indicate in your need for funding in the application form and contact us via the address specified below.



  • APPLY NOW by downloading the course application form here.
  • The application requires an endorsement from your employer, academic supervisor, or a representative of institution that you work with.
  • Please send the application or any inquiries to Ms. Injee Kim at UNESCO Bangkok ( by 26 October 2020.


Course Duration:

6 Months (November 2020 – April 2021)

Course Components:

  • Online learning of 5 modules (November to February)
    • 5 hours of online lectures and tutorials per module
    • Additional self-learning through readings and quizzes
    • Special Training-of-Trainers (TOT) session for individuals from educational and training institutions at the end of each module
  • 1 Final assignment (March)
  • 1 On-site finale event in George Town, Malaysia* (April)

 * Note: Depending on public health circumstances and potential international travel restrictions in 2021, this event may be converted to an online event at the discretion of the organizers.

Course Fees:

  • USD 500.00
  • UNESCO is offering scholarships for World Heritage site managers from a selected number of countries in South-East Asia.

*Note: This fee does not include the travel fee to the on-site finale event or any local expenses.