Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) issues are explored in particular in the bachelor (undergraduate) study program ‘Traditional Culture and Folklore’ that offers both theoretical studies, as well as fieldwork experience. Introductory courses related to cultural heritage studies, such as ‘Introduction to Cultural Heritage Studies’ and ‘Traditional Legal Systems and Principles’, are proposed as optional courses for students from various other bachelor study programs, including ‘Cultural Theory and Arts’, ‘Cultural Sociology and Management’, etc.
Latvian Academy of Culture proposes a master’s (graduate) study program ‘Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies’ that provides academic knowledge as well as hands-on skills and experiences for professional work at cultural heritage institutions, including museums. Among study courses proposed, there are ‘Heritage Protection and Administration’, ‘Conceptualisation of Cultural Heritage in Law’, etc.
The Latvian Academy of Culture is the only higher education establishment in Latvia that offer a doctoral study program in arts with specialisation in cultural theory. It encompasses a broad variety of possible research interests, including in the field of cultural policy studies. In connection to the UNESCO Chair, there is a doctoral research project undertaken in 2017 by Ms Līga Ābele ‘Latvian Cultural Policy in the Context of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Comparison to the Situation of Estonia and Lithuania’ (doctoral research supervisor, Dr Anita Vaivade). The aim of this research is to identify the elements of public administration system (including institutional, organizational and social) that have influenced and continue to influence policies for implementing the named UNESCO Convention in the Baltic countries, which are characterized by historically and socially comparable experience.
For the visiting students of the Latvian Academy of Culture a study course ‘Cultural Heritage Studies’ is available in English. It gives introductory insights into different fields of heritage and their protection policies, as well as respective legislative instruments. In this context ICH is one of the subjects of this study course. It includes also practical works such as visits to heritage institutions in Latvia as well as various workshops, encouraging students to tackle topical international issues in heritage protection and safeguarding and to obtain practical skills for dealing with heritage identification and interpretation.