In a recent survey conducted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the University of Pretoria’s (UP), Department of Historical and Heritage Studies (DHHS) ranked amongst the top tertiary education institutions in Southern Africa for its continued promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) on a local, national, continental and international level, through its various undergraduate and postgraduate degree offerings in the specialisation of Heritage and Cultural Tourism.
That includes the undegraduate degree of BSocSci (Heritage and Cultural Tourism) and postgraduate degrees, BSocSci (Hons) (Heritage and Cultural Tourism) [Honours degree], MSocSci (Heritage and Cultural Tourism) [Master’s degree] and PhD (Heritage and Cultural Tourism) [Doctoral degree].
The investigation, that was conducted in 2018, across a number of sub-Saharan countries, that included: Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa – primarily aimed to investigate the current state of ICH-educational programmes in Southern Africa, and to identify the opportunities and interests in developing these ICH-related programmes within the region. Additionally the report also explored the feasibility of establishing a network of universities on the continent to deepen the promotion and safeguarding of ICH in academia, while simultaneously investigating the need for more interdisciplinary research to be undertaken in the fields of heritage and culture in years to come.
The report also concludes that DHHS is well-situated to form part of this network for the promotion and safeguarding of ICH in a South African and sub-Saharan context, considering its growing number of graduates from the above noted degrees, as well as the Department’s continued emphasis on promoting heritage studies and interdisciplinary research within the rapidly growing Heritage and Cultural Tourism domain.