Education and research at the Royal Conservatoire rated as ‘Excellent’

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September 4th 2017

On 31 August the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) awarded the official rating of ‘Excellent’ for the Royal Conservatoire’s Bachelor of Music programme. The NVAO also awarded the Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation to the Royal Conservatoire. The NVAO had already previously awarded the highest quality rating for the Master’s programmes in Music, Sonology and Opera and the Distinctive Quality Feature ‘Artistic Focus’ for the Bachelor of Music in Education programme. Last January the Royal Conservatoire’s School for Young Talent was also awarded the title of ‘Excellent School’ by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This was followed by a succesfull international review of the School’s music programme. Finally, an international review of the research activities at the Royal Conservatoire led to the institute being awarded the highest grade. 

Bachelor of Music programme at the Royal Conservatoire is ‘excellent’ and internationally distinctive
The NVAO based its decision on the reports and the assessment of the international visiting panel that evaluated the courses in June 2016. The Bachelor of Music programme was rated as ‘excellent’ on three of the four criteria adopted by the NVAO. For the distinctive quality feature ‘Internationalisation’, the Royal Conservatoire was rated as ‘excellent’ on four of the five criteria.

“The Royal Conservatoire has appointed excellent teachers and has an outstanding continuing development programme for teaching staff ”, the NVAO said in its report. Other strengths of the institute mentioned by the accreditation body are the Conservatoire’s active approach to curriculum development and innovation in teaching, the contacts with the professional practice and the clearly evident international dimension at all levels in the Netherlands. The NVAO awards the grade of ‘excellent’ to fewer than 1% of all higher education programmes.

Royal Conservatoire’s research is ‘excellent’
As part of the protocol for the Quality Assurance System for Research at Universities of Applied Sciences (drawn up by the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences), the Royal Conservatoire’s research activities were evaluated by an independent visitation committee made up of international experts. According to the committee, the Royal Conservatoire has a highly developed research culture: “The current vigorous development of a research culture at KC is having an effect on conservatoire higher music education internationally, and KC is in the vanguard in this respect and is differentiating itself from its competitors."

The Royal Conservatoire was accordingly given the rating of ‘excellent’.

Research is the third pillar of the Royal Conservatoire’s activities, in addition to education and production. The research component in the educational programmes focuses on the students’ artistic and intellectual development. The teachers at the Conservatoire also conduct research. The Royal Conservatoire has two research groups: ‘Research in the Arts’, chaired by Professor Henk Borgdorff and ‘Music, Education & Society’, chaired by Professor Helena Gaunt. The Royal Conservatoire is also a member of numerous national and international networks dedicated to research and innovation.

National and international quality standards
The assessment of the teaching programmes and the evaluation of the research activities were both carried out in accordance with national standards laid down by the NVAO and in the Standard Evaluation Protocol for research at universities of applied sciences, as well as internationally recognised standards for the evaluation of higher music education. These international standards were also used for the international review of the School for Young Talent in music programm. The Royal Conservatoire endeavours to employ international benchmarks to substantiate its international position as much as possible and regards internationalisation as an essential tool for improving quality.

The programmes at the Royal Conservatoire
The Royal Conservatoire offers Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. The Bachelor’s programmes are the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music in Education. Both programmes are entered in the Central Register of Higher Education Programmes (CROHO). The Bachelor of Music programme has two graduate profiles: musician and creation, research and development. These two profiles encompass 56 profiles.

See all programmes

Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders 
The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) is an independent bilateral accreditation organisation for higher education which was established by treaty by the respective governments to provide expert and objective assessments of the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders, more information on the NVAO.