Ukrainian business education is timely. Performance review for 2023 from the UCU Business School

9 Jan 2024

One of the most difficult years both for the Ukrainian state and society came to an end. One way or another, we believe that each of us did the best we could: we looked for new ideas, increased our resilience, accelerated, and acted creatively for the victory of Ukraine. We are grateful to our soldiers, because without them all this would be impossible and meaningless.

Many thanks to the community of the UCU Business School, our participants, teachers, graduates, all those who, despite difficulties, were there for us, never lost faith, and invested in their studies and in the development of education in Ukraine.

We have prepared several short insights from the UCU Business School for the year of 2023, and for these we are primarily grateful to the members of our Community, because they are all about co-creation and mutual results.

лвбс львівська бізнес-школа бізнес-школа уку уку український католицький університет lvbs lviv business school ucu business school ucu ukrainian catholic university львівська бізнес-школа бізнесу

International support and cooperation

During the past year, despite the war and all the risks involved, 12 invited foreign teachers came to us. Among them there were representatives of such powerful institutions as Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Wharton, and the University of Connecticut. Some of them visited us for the first time, the rest are our permanent international teachers and friends of the university. 

16 of our students had the opportunity to study under international exchange programs at such universities as Tuck School of Business (USA), POLIMI Graduate school of Management (Italy), UCLY (Universite Catholique de Lyon, France), Ivey Business School (Canada), Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (Holland). 

35 students studied at the strategic marketing course at UFred – The University of Fredericto (Canada).

Cooperation with HBP (Harvard Business Publishing Education) allowed dozens of students and teachers of our Business School to have free access to high-quality educational cases, read the latest academic and applied research, and study at online programs.

 6 lecturers from the UCU Business School introduced the world academic community to real cases of Ukrainian business during the war at the international SEAM Conference 2023, which was devoted to the socioeconomic approach in management. In addition, the management of the UCU Business School represented Ukrainian business education at various forums of professional educational associations, such as EFMD, BMDA and others.

The UCU Business School and the Faculty of Social Sciences, together with international experts, launched the English-language course “Road to Recovery” for students and entrepreneurs of various fields. The Ukrainian Catholic University invited the teachers from Harvard, Syracuse University, Stanford, Oxford, University of Notre Dame and Nanovik Institute, University of Colorado. As a result, the participants, including the Rivne furniture cluster, have developed real projects.

лвбс львівська бізнес-школа бізнес-школа уку уку український католицький університет lvbs lviv business school ucu business school ucu ukrainian catholic university львівська бізнес-школа бізнесу

About impact, results, and action

There were 66 graduates of the master’s programs of the UCU Business School and the corresponding number of diploma business projects presented in 2023, which will work for our victory. Among them: protection of cultural heritage, volunteer projects, community development projects, development of various products, innovative start-ups in the field of MiliTech, projects of digital transformation of Ukrainian business etc.

Last year, 79 new participants entered the master’s programs of the UCU Business School. They are ready to change both themselves and the business environment in order to create a human-centered and socially oriented ecosystem.

A third of the entrants received tuition discounts for their volunteer activities, support for the defense industry, social and educational initiatives, and intentions to implement digitization and sustainable development projects for Ukrainian business. Last year, 4 combatants also became students of the Business School.

We updated the master’s programs in accordance with today’s challenges and developed new cases:

          History of the Center for Volunteering and Defense the Center for Volunteering and Defense (the founders of the project are currently studying at the Key Executive MBA  program),

new projects:

          Organizational development project for the Humanitarian Fund, developed by students of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, Technology Management and Personnel Management during the international multidisciplinary Road to Recovery course. 

          The Business on the Frontlines project was launched together with the University of Notre Dame (USA) to solve the urgent problems of displaced Ukrainian businesses in Poland; we also held a Hackathon of innovative and marketing solutions for non-profit organizations with the participation of School teachers.

лвбс львівська бізнес-школа бізнес-школа уку уку український католицький університет lvbs lviv business school ucu business school ucu ukrainian catholic university львівська бізнес-школа бізнесу

Study of the Ukrainian business during the war

Last year, two of our teachers published their research articles in the field of individual and organizational business resilience:

  1. How business pivots during the war: Lessons from Ukrainian companies’ responses to the crisis by Roksoliana Voronovska, head of UCU-Online, and Krzysztof Obluj,  a visiting lecturer, professor of strategic management and international business at the University of Kozminski and the School of Management of the University of Warsaw.
  2. Business Crisis Management in the Wartime: Insights from Ukraine by the founding dean of the UCU Business School and UCU vice-rector for strategic development Sofia Opatska, Winni Johansen, and Adam Gordon from Aarhus University (Denmark).
  3. The 3rd study of Organizational Resilience of Ukrainian Companies during the war by Natalia Lagotska, the academic leader of the master’s programs MSc in Managing Impact-Driven Organizations and MA in HROD, is also being prepared for publication.

About the development of small and medium-sized businesses

We are truly glad that Ukrainians choose to study, to look for ways to grow, and to invest in their own development and that of their teams. In total, in 2023, within the walls of the UCU Business School, 657 participants were trained only in management development programs. Among them there were people from various cities and regions of Ukraine, in particular from Odesa, Chernivtsi, Kirovohrad, etc.

At the request of our community, we:

          created new programs, e.g. “Internet marketing,”

          updated and expanded the range of already existing programs in accordance with business challenges and needs.

In order to make quality education available to an even wider range of people, online courses have been relaunched on the platform of our partners UCU Online  .

142 participants had the opportunity to study at the course “Personnel management: effective tools.” Almost 60% have already received certificates of successful completion and are planning their further studies. In the new year 2024, we are going to launch the next 2 courses.

Last year, business education was available not only in classroom format, but also on a smartphone. Together with our partners from Fondy. Promprilad. Renovation and in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine, we launched the second season of the “Long Game” project for entrepreneurs. 8,577 participants from all over Ukraine and from abroad joined the project. There were participants from more than 11 different areas of business. 458 participants were able to get more than 70% of the correct answers, and we received 115 finalists. Eleven participants have won grants and are already studying in classrooms on the UCU campus.

A business that develops teams

In addition to individual training, we are grateful to those Ukrainian businesses which continue to develop their employees. In fact, in 2023, 21 companies held corporate training for their teams together with the UCU Business School. We have planned 29 training programs for different business needs. Companies from various fields were training with us: retail, IT, agriculture, biotech, banking, and financial sector, etc. We have traditionally been chosen year after year by those industry leaders who seek to develop their teams, thereby maintaining the best positions on the market and creating new solutions. Long-term partnerships testify to a high level of trust in us as a leading educational institution. And we sincerely hope that despite all the challenges and crises, businesses will continue to invest in team development.

Events. Charity

A big thank you to the guests of our events, both online and offline, which we held in 2023, and there were quite a few of them. See for yourself:

15 offline events and 20 online events, 778 guests online and 1037 offline.

Some events, in particular, were visited by international experts from the world’s leading universities: Linda Netch, Barry Cates, Ryan Coles, Sev Onyshkiewicz, Bruce Graham, and Joseph Stadholm.

Thanks to the charity events we have managed to collect 75,000 dollars for the establishment of the Oleh Vorobiov Memorial Fund  . We also have supported the donation for the “Birds of Magyar” division, in which our graduate – Kostiantyn Krykunov – is serving, and collected 160,350 hryvnias during the Alumni Leadership Day.

In 2023, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Business School of UCU called “Strong Together,” we met in Ivano-Frankivsk and Rivne at two events of the All-Ukrainian Brave Summit, visited Odesa with the lecture “The Power of Strategy: Military Art in Business” and Kyiv for several partner forums.

Thank you to everyone who joined our events, and we look forward to seeing you at no less interesting meetings in 2024!

Alumni Community. The principle of a positive sum according to Sheptytskyi (Win-Win)

We are no less grateful to our Alumni Community for their activity and collaboration. In particular, the project Advisory Councils of the UCU Business School Alumni Association started in October. More than 40 experts, business owners, and managers from various fields provide support to Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses through consulting. Before the new year 4 such consultations have been held so far, and we are planning 20 meetings until April 2024 in the first wave of Advisory Councils.

Alumni Company Visits. Our graduates actively interact with each other, visit each other’s companies, share experience, and look for new ways of cooperation. In particular, during the past year, they went to Lithuania together, where they visited the factory of the Kormotekh company (in Kaunas), the branch of New Post (in Vilnius), and also a company of FishNet graduates. As part of the international program dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the death of Josaphat Kuntsevich, they met with His Beatitude Svyatoslav and the diaspora of the Baltic countries. In Vilnius, they took part in the round table “War, Ukrainian business, EU: opportunities and risks.”

Tustan’. Alumni Company Visit to Tustan’ reserve, Urych village, to Vasyl Rozhko, Key Executive MBA 2022 graduate, NeMo.

In Odesa, an Alumni Company Visit was held at SandBox Kids – a safe creative space for children’s leisure, which was organized during the war by Inga Kordynovska, a graduate of the MSc in Innovations and Entrepreneurship program. Also there were meetings at Oleksandr Yakovenko’s company Supramarine, WEartMuseum, and Amadeus Marine by our graduate Andrii Kyrykovich.

Wroclaw. The LvBS community participated in the opening of the UCU Foundation in Wroclaw and met with Rafal Dutkiewicz, the former mayor of the city. And in November, a meeting of Ukrainian entrepreneurs was held here, co-organized by the Union of Ukrainian Entrepreneurs.

Rivne. Alumni Company Visit in Rivne. The graduates visited the company “Family Dairy Farms,” which is run by Key Executive MBA graduate Liudmila Ivashchuk, and gathered together at the Brave Summit conference, where they acted both as speakers and as guests.

During the year, there were 8 meetings of the LvBS Alumni Book Club , which were held in the companies of our graduates: IconArt Gallery, Shum Art Gallery, Gorgany, Turbat, Dublin pub, Kredens cafe, Miligus – tactical clothing, Kormotekh and others.

Our graduates also actively support the meetings of their colleagues from the Community, join the DoNation project from UCU, cover the needs that are necessary for the front, volunteer, support each other, study, and participate in research projects and cases.

At the Big Annual Meeting of UCU Business School Alumni called Alumni Leadership Day and Alumni Awards 2023, they were the first to see the film “Ukraine: Leadership Exam” from the UCU Leadership Center , where one of the heroes is UCU Business School graduate Kostiantyn (“Max”) Krykunov.

 “I am grateful to everyone for this past year – for the partnership, interaction, support, studying in a time that, it would seem, is the least suitable for this, and for the results that we have achieved together,” – sums up Yaryna Boychuk, CEO of the UCU Business School.

There are still many unknowns ahead of us, but we are already certain that we are creating the future here and now together. For the sake of our future and that of our country, everyone must become not only a better specialist, but also a better person and citizen, adding to the strength of communities and making the impossible. We are convinced of this in the time of the greatest trial – the time of war!

Therefore, I thank the team, teachers, partners of the UCU Business School – those who are close and who are abroad; I thank the graduates and students for making our joint struggle possible, and, at the same time, for our mutual growth through daily work and interaction!”

See you on the campus of the UCU Business School in 2024!