British Council Ukraine in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and The President’s Fund for Education, Science and Sports implemented Leaders of University Transformation for Ukraine’s Reinvention (LUTUR) Programme during the period of October 2023 to March 2024.

The programme objectives were:

  • development of the leadership potential of Ukrainian universities, creation of the leadership reserve;
  • strengthening the institutional capacity of Ukrainian universities that demonstrate the ability to develop and change;
  • provoking and supporting changes in universities for the rebuilding and development of Ukraine.

Key sector experts from Ukraine and the United Kingdom provided their input to the programme. The UK programme partner was Cardiff University. 

Programme participants: 

  • Dnipro National University of Technology;
  • Lviv Polytechnic National University;
  • Mariupol State University;
  • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv;
  • V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University;
  • Zaporizhzhia National University.

Programme structure and themes

October 2023 | Module 1. New Role of Universities

In this Module programme participants explored the multifaceted dimensions of universities in the modern world and looked at the emerging trends that are reshaping their purpose and impact. The main focus was on the new role of universities in the current landscape of higher education, the role they can play in shaping society and in post-war rebuilding.

Together with Michailo Wynnyckyj, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, we investigated the concept of the civic university and its broader social responsibilities, including promoting access to education, fostering community engagement, and advancing social justice.

Yevhen Hlibovytskyi, founder of the analytical center ‘pro.mova’, in his presentation stressed the pivotal role universities play in regional development. referred to different strategies for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and economic revitalization.

Our programme partner - Cardiff University – have demonstrated  their approach to addressing challenges and shared experience in exploring its future through futurology tools, with an emphasis on public engagement, research, and teaching.

Cardiff colleagues introduced their Social Science Research Park (SPARK) and the Net Zero Innovation Institute, highlighting their interdisciplinary research initiatives. For more information about the topic, please watch the video: Introducing Cardiff University's Innovation and Research Institutes 

The concept of Public Value in Cardiff Business School's strategy was presented with the emphasis on the university's role in addressing health, wealth, and well-being. The initiatives of various university departments, such as the Physics Mentoring Project and the Community Gateway partnership, demonstrated university commitment to public engagement and community development.

Through interactive discussions, case studies, and collaborative exercises, participants gained insights and skills to navigate the complex and dynamic landscape of higher education. University teams have started their transformative journey towards building resilient, responsive, and socially responsible universities for the future.

November 2023 | Module 2. Strategy and Change

In this Module, the critical aspects of strategizing, change management, and crisis response were presented to equip programme participants with the tools and insights needed to navigate complex challenges and drive meaningful transformation within their institutions.

Oleksandra Baklanova, expert on strategizing and change management, looked at strategic imperatives in academic institutions. The Programme participants delved into the process of formulating and implementing effective strategies for higher education institutions, examining various approaches and frameworks for strategic planning and shaping institutional directions.

Tetiana Kyrylenko, communications expert, explained complexities of crisis management and response within the university context and presented the effective communication strategies within the university and outside. She shared tips on how to communicate with colleagues and stakeholders in conflict situations, how to foster collaboration, buy-in, and shared ownership of outcomes.

Representatives of Cardiff University provided insights into various aspects of strategy and change management within their institution, acknowledging both successes and challenges encountered along the way. Programme participants got to know about the Professional Services Strategy at Cardiff University, and initiatives such as the Better Wales of Working programme and Transforming Services, which have facilitated significant organizational transformations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Another example of navigating organizational change was case of University's Social Science Research Park and its transformation into a multimillion-pound innovation hub.

Professor Leighton Andrews, a former Welsh Government Education Minister offered a case study on university mergers in Wales highlighting the chronology of events and outcomes of the mergers. Rob Humphreys, Chief Executive of Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), discussed changes in the Welsh higher education sector and HEFCW's role as a regulator and funding body, addressing challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

December 2023 | Module 3. Leadership and Autonomy

Module 3 was aimed at boosting the understanding of university autonomy and leadership in higher education and fostering a culture of shared leadership in the university. Through presentations and case studies, we explored the ways to nurture leadership excellence and facilitate continuous professional growth among university staff members.

Sophiia Opatska, Vice-Rector of Strategic Development at Ukrainian Catholic University, presented the concepts of asymmetric competition and its role in leadership. She showcased the key links and dependencies between the elements of asymmetric model on a startup case.

Olena Yuzkova, member of Ukrainian Institute of Management Consultants, focused on the personality and attributes of a leader in times of uncertainty. Olena presented a set of meta skills of an efficient HE leader and heard some tips on how to build a successful team which is ready to act and transform the sector.

Cardiff University's Human Resource Management and Leadership and Staff Development departments shared their strategies and initiatives to cultivate empowered leaders and foster staff development within the institution. Participants examined the unique context of leadership within higher education, looked at the pivotal role of line managers in sustaining high performance, supporting staff professional development and empowering their career paths, as well as promoting staff wellbeing within the university environment.

Programme participants looked at the mechanisms and principles of effective governance, autonomy, and purposeful leadership within Cardiff University. Universities explored strategies for effectively navigating the balance between governance structures and autonomy to drive institutional success and learned about Cardiff Business School's innovative approach to governance through its Shadow Management Board.

Module 3 offered numerous insights and approaches to cultivating empowered leaders and promoting staff development within the higher education landscape.

January 2024 | Module 4. Projects and Finances

This Module provided an overview of financial management and resource allocation within the higher education institutions. The focus was on new funding and budgeting models in Ukraine HE and project management strategies crucial for institutional development.

Mychailo Wynnyckyj, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, presented the analysis of a new funding model for higher education coming into a force in 2024. The change should ensure financial stability and respond to current challenges such as demographic situation, financial capabilities, damaged or destroyed infrastructure.

Yaroslav Prytula, Senior Vice-Rector of Ukrainian Catholic University shared approaches on how to attract and efficiently utilise resources within the university – be it financial, human resources or time. The university digital transformation model was introduced along with the benefits of its implementation for effective resource management.

Cardiff University colleagues provided insights into university's resourcing model, including planning parameters and the annual timeline. A few practical examples included sharing experiences of revenue generation outside of student income, transforming academic research into business ventures. A case of flexible provision at Cardiff's School of Optometry was presented to demonstrate how the school tripled its income.

Project management practices at Cardiff University were demonstrated on the example of the Big Conversation Project. An overview of a large-scale transformation project with its objectives, challenges, and anticipated outcomes was shared with Programme participants.

Sarah Lethbridge, Academic Partner for Flexible Learning, presented Cardiff University's flexible learning project, addressing external demands and internal challenges, and discussing potential rewards and lessons learned.

One of the Module highlights was university teams presentations of their institutional change projects. Participants pitched their projects, received feedback and advice from colleagues.  Teams have been developing their projects since the start of the Programme in October, gradually changing them by incorporating insights and experience from guest speakers.

Between the Programme modules, university teams developed their institutional change projects. The projects presentation was held on 2 March.