Dutch art academies or schools of arts are higher professional education institutions (universities for applied sciences) for vocational education and training (for example the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam). They offer courses in architecture, fine art, media, film, photography, heritage, design, music, dance and theatre, intended to lead to a career as a professional artist, arts educator or entrepreneur in the arts. Courses are predominantly offered at a bachelor level, but the amount of master level courses has increased in the last ten years. Currently, there is a discussion on the development of an arts PhD, based on arts-related research. All academies have professors to stimulate research in the different fields of the arts.
In order to improve the connection between arts education and the labour market, the Dutch Association of Universities of Applied Sciences created a sector plan in 2011 with several performance based indicators. With this plan, the requirements for admission have been tightened and numerous courses were restructured to improve the efficiency and quality of higher education in the arts. An additional goal is to improve the facilities for young talent and top talent. The sector plan had a follow up in the agenda for arts education (KUO Next), which is intended to stimulate the discussion on and the development of arts courses at the academies. Universities also offer theoretical and research-oriented courses related to the arts for bachelor-, master- and PhD-students. Technical universities offer courses in industrial design and architecture (for example the Eindhoven University of Technology).