Our history

The Master's Degree Programme in Cultural Policy at the University of Jyväskylä is a unique international programme.


The roots of the current master’s programme(s) date back to 1987, when the very first courses under the title of Cultural Administration were taught as cooperation of the disciplines of Art Education and Political Science at the University of Jyväskylä. The late 1980s were a pioneering period for this type of education also internationally: elsewhere in Europe and in the United States in particular, education in the field of arts management started to find its place among the study programmes offered by institutions of higher education.

In 1991 the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy developed a study module of Cultural Management (60 ECTS) together with the departments of Art Education and Economics. Indeed, many of the current management programmes in Europe - be it arts, design, music or heritage management - were launched in the 1990s.  The European network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy education (ENCATC) was also established in the 1990s. The Master’s Programme in Cultural Policy (former Cultural Management) at the University of Jyväskylä has been a member of the network since 1995.

In 1995 University of Jyväskylä appointed Dr. Anita Kangas as Professor of Cultural Policy, and she has held the position since. The very first doctoral seminar in Cultural Policy in Jyväskylä took place in 1998.

The current Master’s Programme in Cultural Policy (languages of instruction Finnish and English) was launched in 2000.  A few years later, a programme conducted fully in English was created, and it ran for a few years in cooperation with the art disciplines of the Faculty of Humanities as part of the Nordic Arts and Culture Studies (NACS). This also started a decade of increasing international networking in Jyväskylä - along with its participation in various trans-European networks, the Unit of Cultural Policy has cooperated in educational matters with the universities of Barcelona, Telemark, Tallinn and Maastricht.

We organised the 6th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR2010, 24-27 August 2010) in Jyväskylä. Additionally, several international summer schools on cultural policy have been held in Jyväskylä in the course of our history.

We also organised the 4th Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research (19-22 August  2009) and a Nordic research colloquium in 2008. Strong and close ties between the Nordic countries have been an important and fruitful means to develop the field of cultural policy research and to exchange knowledge and experiences. The Master’s Programme in Cultural Policy has been actively involved in the journal Nordisk Kulturpolitisk Tidskrift (The Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy). Our staff members have also participated in the editorial board of the International Journal of Cultural Policy.

In 2001 on the initiative of the University of Jyväskylä and the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Foundation for Cultural Policy Research (CUPORE) was founded. The Ministry of Education and Culture was one of the initiators and is responsible for the financing of the Foundation’s research projects. The Foundation monitors developments in both Finnish and international cultural policy as well as promotes research in the field.

The Master’s Degree Programme in Cultural Policy has been equally popular among students of the humanities and social sciences. So far, altogether 210 master's degrees and 10 doctoral degrees have been awarded [by August 2013].

From 2013 onwards the Master’s Programme in Cultural Policy is offered both in Finnish and in English (the current international programme was launched in 2013).