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Heritage Outreach in the Time of COVID-19 - Online Global Leaders

Global Leaders Programme - Immersive Trails


From 1772 to 1911, Calcutta was the centre of British colonial administration in South Asia. As an erstwhile colonial city, its heritage is greatly contested in the current postcolonial setting.

Along with the pressure of rapid urbanization and ambiguous heritage policies, this makes Kolkata a compelling case study of the complexities of urban heritage in South Asia.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions in lives and livelihoods worldwide. One of the sectors that is most adversely affected is heritage management and outreach. Museums, historic sites and spaces and forms of intangible cultural heritage are trying to find ways to reach out to their audience in the immediate community and beyond in the present COVID19 situation and the post-COVID world.


What happens?

This programme is hosted by Immersive Trails and will group University of Exeter and a cohort from South Asia together to use innovative tech-based methods to create experiences through multicultural and trans-disciplinary collaborations. This virtual Global Leaders Programme will be hosted via Zoom. All participants need to have a free Zoom account and have the Zoom client (link below) downloaded on their phone, ipad, laptop or desktop. Please make sure that you have a working webcam, headphone and microphone.

Immersive Trails is a social enterprise in Kolkata, India, that is dedicated to creating greater awareness of the city's heritage for locals and visitors alike by curating immersive experiences based on in-depth academic research. It was founded in 2017 by Tathagata Neogi, an Exeter PhD in Archaeology, and his wife Chelsea McGill, who has a background in Linguistic Anthropology. Immersive Trails team of experts offers experiences as varied as walking tours, family history trails, and community-focused capacity building workshops.

This programme will take place from the 15th February to the 12th of March.

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • You are an Undergraduate student at the University of Exeter or your year of Graduation is 2021
  • You have a good record of academic achievement
  • You demonstrate a keen interest in the overarching topic of the trip
  • Students must be available to take part in the whole week of the programme and will be expected to attend all sessions and participate actively in independent work to meet the project goals and learning outcomes

Additional Criteria


There is no programme fee for succesful applicants to this programme. 

Why apply? 

“Graduates face increasing competition when entering the labour market” (UUK, 2017)

 Online mobility is a great way to continue building your employability skillset and intercultural skills despite the current barriers to travel posed by COVID-19. 

This programme is also part of the University of Exeter's Future of Work spring programme for 2021 and so will have a strong focus on employability in the new digital world. 

How do I apply?

The application deadline is midnight on Monday the 8th of February 2021 and the form can be found here.

Any queries please direct to Leanne at