Ukrainian Institute London [Український Інститут у Лондоні] – a centre for Ukraine-related educational and cultural activities.
The centre was established in 1979 under the auspices of the London-based Ukrainian Religious Society of Saint Sophia (URSSS), on the initiative of Yosyf Slipyi, the then head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Initially it functioned as the London College of the St Clement Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Rome. In 2004, after the latter was subordinated to the newly established UCU in Lviv, Ukraine, the London College was also affiliated directly to the Lviv UCU. At the beginning of 2005 it adopted the name Ukrainian Institute. In 2016 the Institute was registered as a charity headed by a Board of Trustees, becoming independent of the URSSS though remaining affiliated to the UCU. The Institute’s activities which, since its founding, have been open to all irrespective of faith, were initially aimed primarily at the Ukrainian community in and around London. As interest in Ukraine on the part of the British public gradually increased after the country became independent, the activities were focused on a wider audience. By organising online events during and since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute has also extended its audience beyond the London area and the United Kingdom.
In the 1980s and 1990s the Institute organised seminars in Ukrainian studies for students and recent graduates of British higher education establishments. At the same time, public lectures on Ukraine-related topics were held, delivered mainly by scholars and other prominent individuals, both Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian, from the UK and abroad. Such public events continue to be organised, although over time the original lectures have largely been replaced by less formal talks, panel discussions, book launches etc, involving a wide range of Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian speakers from the UK, Ukraine and other countries. Regular classes in Ukrainian as a second or foreign language, mainly for non-Ukrainians, have also been held at the Institute from its inception until the present. Initially organised on a small scale, from the mid-2000s they have expanded to cater for larger numbers of students and a range of learning levels. For about ten years from 1984 an art appreciation group, formed under the auspices of the Institute, held occasional meetings and organised exhibitions of works by its members and other artists, and since 2009 a Book Club has held regular meetings to discuss works of Ukrainian literature. English language classes for migrants from Ukraine took place in 2011-2014 and were resumed in 2022. Throughout its history the Institute has also organised a variety of other events, including conferences, exhibitions, music and theatre performances, film screenings, online seminars and a literature translation competition. In addition to its own activities it has increasingly organised events in partnership with various British, Ukrainian and other academic and cultural institutions.
Directors of the Institute: Petro Cymbalistyj (1979-2004), Marta Jenkala (2004-2010), Andy Hunder (2010-2015), Marina Pesenti (2015-2020), Olesya Khromeychuk (2020- ). Chair of the Board of Trustees: Robert Brinkley (2016-2022), Ursula Wooley (2022- ).