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Belgium/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.4 Higher arts education and professional training

Higher arts education

The higher arts education currently has a bachelor-master structure. Like all higher education in Flanders, also the higher arts education is in the process of a thoroughly reform. From the academic year 2013-2014 onwards, bachelor and master's degrees will only be awarded in the fields of study defined as "Music and Performing Arts" and "Audiovisual and visual art" within the colleges restructured into "Schools of Arts". A School of Arts is a separate structure within a college with a large autonomy, but without a separate legal personality. Both the professional and academic training in the aforementioned studies will be situated within these structures. The contribution of universities in the School of Arts remains important because of the link with the required scientific research and the formation of doctoral students.

Besides this basic infrastructure, there are five higher art institutions in Flanders: the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (HISK), the Orpheus Institute, P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios), Flanders Opera Studio and A.PASS (advanced performance and scenography studies). Within their discipline (art, music, dance, opera and theater design), they offer postgraduate courses. P.A.R.T.S., as an exception, also offers a basic dance training.

Teacher training (source:

Teachers active in pre-primary, primary or secondary education or in part-time arts education must have successfully completed a teacher training course.

Integrated teacher training: training course that integrates subject content and pedagogical, didactic aspects. Integrated teacher training leads to a Bachelor degree for pre-primary, primary or secondary education. It consists of three components: theory, practice and personality development.  Integrated teacher training is only offered by colleges for higher education. General teacher training can be complemented by a specialisation course as a postgraduate degree, for instance in one of the art disciplines.

Specific teacher training: training course after or as part of a foundation course in certain subject content (artistic training in higher art education, for example). Specific teacher training is also offered to professionals in the arts (e.g. artists, musicians and actors) as a complement to professional experience. This specific teacher training focuses exclusively on pedagogical competencies. The areas related to arts and cultural education are audiovisual art, visual art, music and drama. Specific teacher training is offered by:

  • colleges for higher education (for graduated Bachelors);
  • universities (for graduated Masters); and
  • adult education centres (for graduated Bachelors and Masters).

There is no specific training for lecturers in higher art education.

Chapter published: 02-12-2014

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