Tailored Training and Research: The National Institute for Cultural Research and Training – Romania
The National Institute for Cultural Research and Training (INCFC) is an institution subordinated to the Ministry of Culture. It is involved both in training and research activities related to the field of culture. This is a good practice case because the Institute aims to train professionals who choose a career in the field of culture and also to provide statistical data in the field of culture, in order to contribute to the design of further studies, to the elaboration and the implementation of cultural policies, but also in order to assess the impact of current cultural policies within the cultural field.
The INCFC aims to reach all the cultural operators, regardless of their type of organization (public or private) and regardless of the level at which they operate: local or national. The prospective student of the INCFC works for cultural operators such as: museums, NGOs, local cultural centers, public libraries, ecclesiastical structures, concert organizers, art galleries – and is involved in activities. Within these organisations, there is a constant need of professional training because cultural activities are not a static domain; additionally, the arrival of the new openings provided by the cultural and creative industries, and the emerging media has constantly fuelled the need for professional education in this domain. The INCFC also covers a significant gap in traditional formal education because, in Romania, universities do not provide qualifications such as museum educators, curators, cultural researchers, cultural facilitators, cultural mediators etc.
The other significant component of the INCFC is to act as a provider of research data for the cultural domain. Collecting and interpreting statistical data is an important part of the organization’s mission, since its ultimate goal is to sustain and support the professional development within the field of culture. Among other, the Institute provides data for organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization or for the European Commission. Also, INCFC is in charge with elaborating national surveys on themes related to cultural consumption.
In order for the INCFC to fulfil its mission, it is crucial to have a legal base regulating the professional higher education. Also, it is important for the INCFC to be included in a chain of policy making and to perform 2 important roles: 1. To study the cultural priorities assumed by the Government and in order to transform them into relevant research programs, and 2. To obtain significant data that will provide a valuable input when it comes to decide upon future cultural policies.
Main actors involved: Ministry of Culture (financing research and training activities), Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour (recognising the final diploma and qualifications), cultural operators (main beneficiaries of INCFC professional higher education programs), professional associations (endorsing PHE programs, providing expertise), the local public administration (funding cultural operators and supporting the financial costs of PHE programs followed by the employees working for those cultural operators), the local representatives of the Ministry of culture (endorsing and promoting the PHE programme on a local scale).
Human resources: teaching staff and collaborators; administrative staff for supporting the efforts of organizing PHE programs; supporting staff for promoting PHE amongst prospective students. The INCFC has its own dedicated staff for delivering the courses, but is also relying on collaborators (reputed specialist within their field).
Infrastructure and equipment: national network of institutional collaborators to facilitate accommodation for the experts if the PHE are taking place in various cities across the country or to facilitate accommodation for students when the courses are taking place in Bucharest at the INCFC headquarter. Courses venue with learning facilities and tools (computers, video projectors etc.). The Institute is actually using the infrastructure of the Ministry of culture (venues, accommodation) or the infrastructure of museums or cultural centers that have the needed capacity to accommodate students, based on a partnership. In some cases, they are using the infrastructure of the Ministry of Education, on the basis of a prior agreement.
Financial resources: for preparing and delivering the courses.