Four Rotterdam educational institutions join forces with ambition to offer innovative art education

Skyline of Rotterdam with the Erasmusbrug and high buildings
Studenten Codarts op Charloisse Hoofd

Four Rotterdam educational institutions are joining forces to give art education in the city a considerable boost. From a new culture campus in Rotterdam-South, the new University of the Arts wants to offer courses to new generations of students in the arts and sciences. With this ambition, the directors of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences /Willem de Kooning Academy, Codarts University of the Arts and Erasmus University Rotterdam are today signing a declaration of intent. The arts institution will be given a new entity that is linked to both Hogeschool Rotterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The municipality of Rotterdam supports this special initiative.

The educational institutions are working together with the municipality to develop the so-called Culture & Campus on the Charloisse Hoofd at Maashaven. Education, research and social functions should converge at this new cultural campus. At the same time, the location offers the educational institutions the opportunity to increase their connection with each other and the city. On the campus itself, there must be space for the practice of art and for artistic and cultural reflection which is not possible anywhere else on this scale. In addition, the campus must become a base for encounters, research, education-related social initiatives and cultural programming that the partners will jointly get off the ground.

High-quality internationally oriented art education

"The joining of forces of two art academies rooted in Rotterdam and complementary, as well as the cooperation between the university and the university enables us to offer teaching material that matches the needs of students: from preparatory education and high-quality internationally oriented bachelor and master education to PhD programmes", says Ron Bormans, chairman of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

"From our cooperation in the education and research programme Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab - in which social issues are addressed and redefined with the aid of art and science - we have learned that there is a great need for such a large umbrella educational institution," says Jeroen Chabot, director of the Willem de Kooning Academy.

The new educational institute will also enable a better through-flow from hbo to wo, adds college president Wilma Franchimon of Codarts. "In addition to the bachelors and masters education, the new arts institute will offer space for joint educational programmes and combinations of hbo and wo courses. In this way we can serve students even better."

Erasmus University Rotterdam will contribute academic education and research to the new arts institution. Ed Brinksma, President of Erasmus University Rotterdam: "Bringing visual and performing arts, design and science together in the new art institute creates new prospects for cross-fertilisation in education and research for all partners involved who play a major role in tackling the major social challenges, directly here in Rotterdam but also nationally and internationally."

Vibrant and creative cultural campus in Rotterdam-South

The Rotterdam Municipal Executive supports the initiative. "We applaud this collaboration between Rotterdam's educational institutions. In the future, Rotterdam will be able to distinguish itself as a leader in the field of art education, with an extensive range of art courses. This new educational institution is also a powerful boost for the Cultuur&Campus in Zuid, where we are already working together intensively", says Said Kasmi, Alderman for Education, Culture and Tourism for the City of Rotterdam. "This will be a vibrant, creative place where energy, creativity and young talent come together. This is good for Rotterdam-South: it inspires children and young people from the area, provides employment and connection in neighbourhoods and attracts tourists. We are proud that we are going to work on this together with these educational institutions."

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