Research project "Education for Cultural Managers. Current State and Development Prospects"

Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv, Lviv | 15.06.2021-30.10.2021

In acknowledgement to Viktor Dzhulay (1958-2009), Dean of Arts Theory and History, National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (1994-2009)


Today, an affirmative answer to the question whether managers in the realm of culture are needed is obvious. For successful operation and development of organisations, institutions and companies in the cultural ecosystem, one has to have qualified management at strategic and operational levels, as well as understanding of how one or the other institution might grow in view of its legal form, its impact range, specific features of its sector or region.

The issues of what managers are needed in the field of culture, whether the country’s system of higher education is able to train such personnel, what managers are expected by employers have not yet been studied at the national level, hence they call for some analysis and answers.

In 2021, at the local level, UAC-Lviv non-governmental organization and Fama Research Agency being supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, implemented an analytical project on Educational Profile of the Lviv Cultural Strategy. As a result, the project analysed cultural strategies of Lviv City and educational programs in Cultural Studies and Management of Social and Cultural Activities offered by Lviv higher education institutions, conducted a survey among Lviv cultural personalities, and developed guidelines for upgrading existing educational programs to meet local labour market demands[1].

As there is no systemic monitoring of employment of Ukraine’s graduates, it is not possible to estimate clearly how many bachelor and master degree holders have found a job and how many of them work in their degree field. This statement is applicable to cultural managers likewise. In essence, the absence of statistics incapacitates any analysis and further improvement of educational programmes, as there is no data with which to form criteria.

Every year, hundreds of graduates get their diplomas, which as HEIs declare, give an opportunity to work as managers in the field of culture, organize art events, manage projects and institutional processes. It is also important to analyse how the process from choosing a specialty and an institution through to obtaining a profession and employment is regulated in order to understand whether existing regulatory acts are consistent, whether all processes are in place, and whether they meet the needs of stakeholders.

In recent years, a number of new institutions have emerged like the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, the Ukrainian Institute, the Ukrainian Book Institute, and they all need skilled cultural managers to work both within their organisations and outside to implement their strategic activities. International programs that function in the national cultural sector like House of Europe, Creative Europe, programs of foreign embassies and international foundations in Ukraine also involve cultural managers. MCIP has announced a program of establishing centres of cultural services and cultural hubs across the country, and their performance will be directly dependent upon a level of qualifications and experience of managers. The above-mentioned organizations complain about a lack of personnel and recruiting challenges to build an effective team, as well as insufficient project-management capabilities of managers within the organizations applying for grants. A hypothesis which was confirmed by our sociological research (see Part 4) states that a large percentage of graduates who have studied at educational programs to become cultural managers, work in other areas, because culture does not give expected financial provisions and a career growth.

Experienced professors lecture at Ukrainian HEIs, and many of them have scientific degrees, but just a few of them have hands-on experience in real-life cultural projects, have an MBA, and are fluent in foreign languages, etc. Do they really feel the needs of the labour market? Do they know what disciplines/programs exist in other countries, and why do today's students need them?

There are plenty of various educational programs for cultural managers around the world. There is a network of educational institutions that have programs for managers in arts and culture, e.g. ENCATC European Network on Cultural management and Policy or AAAE Association of Arts Administration Educators in the US. Ukrainian HEIs are not part of these networks and do not have any opportunity to share modern educational programs. Is such an integration possible and what are the advantages for institutions, students and employers?

This study has been motivated by a distinct recognition that Ukraine’s education for cultural managers is deficient in quantitative and qualitative data on education services, in performance indicators for existing programs and statistics on demands for qualified specialists. Labour market demands are not correlated with educational process planning. In the end, both students and employers/donors/investors do not receive services and offers that keep pace with the demands of today. Given that education of a part of students is paid by public money, the state as a client does not get any valuable service either.

The goal of the study is to present an impartial picture of the quality of higher education at educational programs for cultural managers, as well as to develop a roadmap showing change vectors and steps to revitalize the system.

Practical value. The results of the study will make a foundation for developing up-to-date educational programs to train cultural managers who will satisfy the labour market demands and have a potential for growth, as well as to facilitate the competitiveness of graduates at the national and international markets.


  • Examine educational services offered by HEIs to students specializing in MSCA 028 and educational programs for cultural managers.
  • Do a research of the labour market and opportunities of professional realization of graduates.
  • Match offers and demands.
  • Analyze educational programs for cultural managers.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of education for cultural managers with regard to students, graduates, professors, HEI administration, employers, donors, experts.
  • Study a few cases on HEIs of EU countries to build on success stories.
  • Compare European and Ukrainian cases.
  • Based on the research, make a list of recommended changes and a roadmap to update educational programs for cultural managers.

Target audience:

  • HEI students who get educational services in the specialty of MSCA or study at educational programs for cultural managers;
  • HEIs that offer cultural management as an educational service or an educational component;
  • artists who co-work with cultural managers;
  • public authorities responsible for reforming and implementing the national policy in education and science;
  • public authorities responsible for reforming and implementing the national policy in culture;
  • governmental and non-governmental organizations that operate in the field of culture and employ cultural managers;
  • national and international donors who support cultural projects;
  • international partners of HEIs, institutions, organizations and cultural figures.

Research methodology. The study uses a pluralistic methodology depending on the tasks to be fulfilled. It has employed an analytical method to work with regulatory documents and HEI educational programs, a comparative method to compare educational programs of European and Ukrainian HEIs, an empirical method to collect primary data and articulate hypotheses for programming research areas, and quantitative and qualitative methods of sociological analysis to process data of focus groups and in-depth interviews.

Geography of the study covered the whole of Ukraine, with Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Odessa as focus cities.

Timeline of the study – 2020-2021.

The following HEIs were defined as focus institutions because they were representative for their region, demonstrated stable performance and were market leaders in educational services:

  • National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture;
  • National Pedagogical Dragomanov University;
  • National Academy of Culture and Arts Management;
  • Ivan Franko National University of Lviv;
  • Lviv National Academy of Arts;
  • N. Karazin Kharkiv National University;
  • Kharkiv State Academy of Culture;
  • Odessa National University named after I. I. Mechnikov.

Cases of HEIs from Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Spain, France were analysed.

sociological research

Survey of students - 262 people

Survey of graduates - 63 people

Method justification

An online survey was chosen as a research method for the main stage as it offered a range of advantages for data collection:

  • Convenience and availability: an interviewee can answer a survey at any convenient for him time, in any city and from any device with Internet access, i.e. a PC, a laptop, a tablet or a mobile phone.
  • Timing: data are aggregated momentarily, it is easy to monitor the progress of questionnaire completion and evaluate preliminary results.
  • Wide coverage: the survey can attract a by-far larger number of participants at minimal costs per person.
  • Data are collected on the river-sampling principle, i.e. a link to the survey is widely accessible and non-personal.
  • Representativeness is achieved by interviewees being in large numbers and from different HEIs, programs and years.
  • A theoretical error for the sample (up to 300 interviewees) does not exceed 5.5% and allows for the use of mathematical statistics to assess differences among target audience subgroups.

Semi-structured expert interview (65 people)

The research additionally reveals that the experts quite often combine a few activities, therefore during interviews they made estimates while taking into consideration all ‘roles’ they had. Representatives of governmental and non-governmental employers are likely to lecture at public or private educational establishments, or organisers of informal training are often directors of private art institutions, art activities are combined with the work of a curator etc. In this case, ‘assigning’ them to a specific audience is based on  their main activity, but not limited to it.

In addition, target audiences for expert interviews were joined by program curators who specialized in cultural management at foreign HEIs of Top 50-2021 Eduniversal Best Masters ranking[2]. These interviews will be presented as separate dedicated materials in mass media and will be published as a supplement to the current study.

Method justification

The research of the main stage was based on individual (face-to-face offline or online via Zoom, Google Meets, Skype etc.) semi-structured expert interviews.

  • Individual conversations give an opportunity to get into the depths of an expert’s thoughts of and ensure impartiality due to the absence of other participants of the research who might influence the considerations of the expert.
  • A semi-structured format of the interview give an opportunity to estimate not only quantitative factors (how many, how often) but also qualitative (reasons, influences, pains and expectations).
  • This approach provides for interviewees to share not only their own thoughts and viewpoints about the subject of the research, but also to convey and generalize the thoughts and the expectations of the professional community they represent. Thus, the research is not limited to a research sample size, but covers the professional circles that go beyond the size of the selected group.

Justification of the composition and the number of experts

The composition of the research is meant for an even coverage of four cities that have the largest number of organisations and institutions operating in the sphere of arts and culture, and eight focus group HEIs all contributing to drawing an all-Ukraine picture of research problems and ensuring maximum diversity of opinions.

A minimal sample of an expert sub-group is five interviews. In order to ensure a diversity of thoughts, a minimal permissible sample size is three interviewees in each subgroup. According to Kelly constructs the research should have at least three objects that can be compared to find differences and similarities between the pairs of such objects. Therefore, a participation of five experts for each target group will suffice.


Сhanges in the course of the research

Factors that had a negative impact of the project implementation:

  • A shortened time for the project implementation due to the delay in signing a contract with UCF.
  • The project realization fell on summer months when an access to students, professors and administrations of Ukrainian and foreign HEIs was limited due the holiday season of research participants.
  • It was foreseen that HEIs did not practice communications with their graduates in a systematic, organized way. It was not possible to obtain contact details of graduates or deliver information to them via HEIs.

In order to minimize the negative impact of the above factors the research:

  • Applied a snowball method to find potential experts and contacts with students (experts who were interviewed recommended other people who could be invited to the research), as well as studied profile groups in social networks.
  • Removed a time limit for graduates which was ‘a three to five year work in their degree field’
  • Attracted the Ukrainian Institute to help with communications with European HEIs. Interviews with European experts are not included in the analytical report, but will be published as a supplement.

Total announced: 300

Total interviewed: 325

desk research

Analysis of the legal documents that regulate high education, education of cultural managers in particular:

  • Law of Ukraine on Education;
  • Law of Ukraine on Higher Education;
  • Orders of MES and MCIP that introduced standards of higher education for 028 Management of Social and Cultural Activities or 034 Cultural Studies, 023 Fine Arts, Decorative Arts, Restoration, 073 Management;
  • NAQA documents[3]: Roadmap for Reforming Higher Education in Ukraine, Regulation on Educational Program Accreditation, Recommendation on Criteria for Evaluating the Quality of an Educational Program, Accreditation Cases in Academic Year 2019-2020, Accreditation Cases in Academic Year 2020-2021, NAHEQ Report for Year 2020;
  • EU Recommendation on higher education quality evaluation criteria;
  • National classification of Ukraine. Profession Classification DK 003:2010.

Work with Ukrainian HEI websites and consolidated Internet resources[4]:

  • Create a summary table with comments that contains data on 35 state-owned and communal HEIs that offer education in 028 Management of Social and Cultural Activities, 034 Cultural Studies, 023 Fine Arts, Decorative Arts, Restoration including the component of management of arts and culture.
  • Analyse data of HEI official websites and consolidated resources.
  • Create a summary table containing detailed information on eight focus HEIs.
  • Analyse data of HEI official websites and consolidated resources, as well as accreditation cases and NAQA expertise of the programs that have been accredited by the Agency.

Work with websites of foreign HEIs and consolidated Internet resources:

  • Create a summary table, with comments, that contains data on world’s 50 best Master’s degree programs on organisation and management in arts and culture from Top 50 – 2021 Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking.
  • Create a summary table, with comments, that contains data on 14 Bachelor’s degree programs on organisation and management in arts and culture.

Analysis of educational programs of six European (Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Ireland, France – 2) and eight Ukrainian (focus) HEIs and their strategies of modelling a profession of a cultural manager.

[1] Educational Profile of the Lviv Cultural Strategy Project Report. The project was implemented by UAC-Lviv NGO and Fama Research Agency with the support of Ukrainian Cultural Foundation in 2021. https://issuu.com/ngouaclviv/docs/_web?fbclid=IwAR1fV0e52bLgbGff8ex5BxG3ov4Jguwm6CMRMzJvA-QCecnzPIsJu-6mZ7s

[2] TOP 50 - 2021 Eduniversal best masters ranking https://www.best-masters.com/ranking-master-cultural-management-creative-industriesmanagement.html

[3] https://naqa.gov.ua/

[4] https://info.edbo.gov.ua/ та https://vstup.osvita.ua/