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UNESCO Observatory Members

The main recommendation that came out of the Hong Kong meeting was that UNESCO improve knowledge-sharing and act as an advocate for the reform of current educational systems to incorporate the arts within educational systems. It was recommended that UNESCO create networks of institutions which will provide frameworks and useful data to support advocacy processes, influence policy making and encourage reform.

UNESCO has established a network of Arts Education Observatories hosted by institutions across the Asia-Pacific region which included (in chronological order): 


2006 – Australia: University of Melbourne, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning (now moved to the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, the Early Learning Centre)

2008 – Singapore: National Institute of Education, Centre for Arts Research in Education

2010 – Republic of Korea: Korea Arts and Culture Education Service


2007 – New Zealand: University of Canterbury, Music Education Research Centre, College of Arts (now moved to Arts Online New Zealand)

2010 – Kazakhstan: Almaty School of Fine Arts and Technical Design

2011 – Hong Kong SAR, China: Hong Kong Institute of Education, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Cultural and Creative Arts

To become a UNESCO Observatory

Universities, higher learning institutions and research institutes specialized in the instrumental use of arts in education are invited to apply to host a UNESCO Arts in Education Observatory.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Applicants submit the application form and an endorsement letter by the appropriate authority (e.g. Head of University or Association) to the UNESCO Bangkok Regional Unit for Culture. Application forms can be downloaded on this page.
  2. UNESCO will select host institutions, in accordance with the identification and selection criteria referred to in section 4 of the Asia-Pacific Action Plan (page 9).
  3. The UNESCO Bangkok Culture Unit will negotiate with the successful applicants and establish a Memorandum of Understanding.