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Peter de Graeve on creating Schools of Art in Flanders

15 September 2010

In today's newsletter of the Faculty of Arts and Architecture, formerly IvOK, Leuven, dean Peter de Graeve reacts on the bill on Higher Education recently approved by Flemish parliament.

In the new policy guidelines, the position of art schools in the binary system of universities and polytechnics is redefined: a status aparte as Schools of Arts, with links to both universities and polytechnics, is proposed instead of their present status as polytechnics. The dilemma is comparable to the Dutch situation discussed in the post below.

According to Peter de Graeve, these new policy guidelines are no good news. Even if it does not stop the development of a research culture in higher arts education, which is a shared objective all partners involved, it does not really improve the autonomy of art schools:

Although art schools are expected to organize some things on their own, they remain dependent on existing polytechnics, while the university exercises control over matters of content. This is an inefficient, pedantic structure. This scenario sets higher arts education back and puts it in chains. [...] The future of the arts has hardly been discussed in the debate.
 
Further on in the interview, De Graeve points towards Scandinavia, where a more dynamic approach towards higher arts education is being elaborated, and describes the creation of Schools of Arts as a return to the nineteenth century.

For the readers of Dutch among you, the full interview can be found here.


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