Within HOGENT, the School of Arts educates young and creative artists, musicians and designers, who develop their own designs, sounds or visual images as part of a personal practice.
This practice is at the core of the education. The students learn to create and produce, on their own and together, by continuously creating work in an authentic learning environment.
The School of Arts stimulates research within this creative process, both in the Bachelor and Master’s courses. Students are trained to be independent and inquiring makers.
Students are given theoretical frames of reference with which to critically reflect within their practice as well as about how their practice fits into society.
The School of Arts functions as a community, in which students learn from each other informally in co-creation.
There is an interdisciplinary openness between the various courses.
The School of Arts has strong local roots but also works from an international perspective.
Everything that goes on within the campuses is closely bound up with society. The many professional fields for which the School of Arts’ courses prepare students are reflected in these courses. The School of Arts nurtures a responsibility among its students to promote a critical, creative and open society through their work.
Areas of focus
Eight areas of focus are used as a basis to explain and clarify the educational plan.
EDUCATIONAL COURSE AS THE STUDENTS’ PERSONAL PROJECT
The School of Arts encourages a plurality of artistic practices and approaches, even within one and the same course or discipline. It helps its students develop their own practice, in which they use their own language of form, sound or image. The students’ personal projects take centre-stage. For this to be possible in an educational process, a particular type of educational theory is required, in which support, guidance and individual supervision go hand in hand with freedom and autonomy. Students have to learn and acquire a great many skills, and must also search on their own, learn to discover the maker, designer, graphic
designer, artist, performer or actor in themselves. The opportunity to take control of their own development and educational process is crucial. This evolves in the course of the Bachelor degree and acts as a starting point in the Master’s and PhD, where the tutor or supervisor encourages rather than manages.
PRACTICE TAKES CENTRE-STAGE
The School of Arts is an authentic learning environment. Students learn by creating or making work by themselves, either in the context of exercises and assignments that they receive, or on a free but supervised basis. Practice forms the core of the education. This practice comprises various stages and approaches, which can be tested under the supervision of experienced experts, the tutors. Given that the exhibition and presentation of the work is an essential part of this practice, exhibition moments and presentations where the students learn how to deal with (the existence of) an audience, are an essential part of the course, both within and outside the campuses.
The School of Arts encourages its students to combine research with their practice. Students are trained to be independent and inquiring makers. This research is both technical, artistic, design-oriented, social, emotional and theoretical. The students experiment with the way in which a work emerges, explore possibilities and show the decision processes. The school aims to create an atmosphere of trust that stimulates them and allows for experimentation and innovation. Although the courses also establish links with various professional fields, the student is not taught to conform absolutely to the customary formulas from that professional field. For both the Bachelor and the Master’s courses, the School of Arts aims to be a refuge, where there is no pressure from the market, where everyone can take risks and where the marginal and the unusual are a source of innovation.
THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT AND CRITICAL REFLECTION
The School of Arts places the emphasis on theoretical development and critical reflection. The theoretical part of the study is intended to nurture and enrich the students’ practical work. The theory focuses on the technical know-how necessary for expressing oneself in a certain medium, and therefore also for taking an innovative approach. The process of speaking and writing on the basis of their own practice and presenting that practice to external parties, empowers the students. They are given general frames of reference with which to reflect critically on their practice from a well-informed standpoint, but also to reflect on how their practice fits into society. The School of Arts trains artists, musicians, theatre-makers, designers and graphic artists to be (self-) critical makers. It nurtures a responsibility in its students to promote a critical, creative and open society through their work.
On the one hand, the School of Arts focuses on the specialist education of students in the technical and artistic possibilities of a chosen field of practice. On the other hand, the School of Arts couples an in-depth introduction in one artistic or design practice with an emphatic
openness between different practices, instruments and artistic disciplines, whereby course programmes, specialisations and syllabuses interact with each other. By analogy with the professional field, where interactions between specialisms are visible and commonplace, a deliberate effort is made to create space for forms of interdisciplinarity in the courses. This is made possible by the presence within one School of Arts of educational expertise in a wide range of artistic approaches, practices and specialisms. Cross-fertilisation is stimulated by a culture of openness between educational programmes, specialisations and syllabuses.
The School of Arts functions as a community. It offers a setting in which learning individuals can meet each other. Students learn as much from each other as from their tutors. As an everyday workplace, the campuses are both a learning and a living environment. They are a workplace where students develop their practice during and outside the lessons. Communal spaces such as kitchen, cafe, library or garden form an essential part of the educational infrastructure. Informal learning often takes place via projects that arise spontaneously within and outside the school and which are supported as much as possible. In the context of the syllabuses, co-creation and collaboration between students are actively organised. In theoretical course components and seminars they reflect jointly on themes that may be relevant to their practice. Through peer reviews and group discussions they get involved in each other’s work. Students enthuse and inspire one another.
LOCAL ROOTS, GLOBAL REACH
The School of Arts aims to imbue its students with an active interest in the society of which they are part. Which is why, on the one hand, they have established strong roots in the local community. Its artistic courses and research results have had an enriching effect on a regional and urban level. The School of Arts enjoys partnerships that reinforce initiatives from the cultural sector. With projects in the area of social design and service provision, it transforms its environment into co-creation with others. This local anchoring is also achieved as a result of courses with an international perspective. The School of Arts would like to offer its students an open window to a globalised world. Active collaborations with foreign partners, international benchmarking, the development of an English-language course and a focus on internationalisation in the curricula are aimed at creating a learning environment that has the global citizen as its basis.
INTERACTION WITH SOCIETY
The courses endeavour to develop an active interaction with the world outside the campuses. The professional fields, for which the School of Arts’ courses prepare students, resonate in the school in different ways. Active artists, musicians, film- and theatre-makers, designers and graphic designers are recruited as tutors and pass on their expertise and experience. Service assignments in which students are actively involved narrows the gap between the educational context and a real work situation. In the context of course components such as Internship (Bachelor) or Kunst in het Werkveld (Master), the students themselves get some experience working in the professional field. With its highly developed
artistic work, the School of Arts itself is becoming part of the cultural sector. This generates partnerships with cultural organisations and institutions, some of which are resident on the campuses. The artistic programming, which aims to attract a broad external public, acts as a bridge between school and society.
Unity in diversity
The educational plan describes and provides direction. On the one hand, based on the established strengths, it describes the actual uniqueness of the courses within the School of Arts. On the other hand it also gives value and provides guidance, and therefore prioritises a number of areas of focus that the School of Arts would like to further develop and strengthen in the future.
The eight cited areas of focus together define an educational project, which gives rise to a specific educational culture. With this education plan, the School of Arts profiles itself as a whole, transcending the differences between courses and departments. The courses partly acquire their uniqueness in the educational landscape from this all-embracing educational project and from the resulting school culture.
The School of Arts aims for a substantive interaction between all its arts and design courses, so that they are enriched by each other’s presence within a common educational culture. This is why the educational plan also embraces the differences between the academic arts courses and the professional arts-related courses.
The School of Arts aims for a substantive strengthening of its courses within the general framework of the educational plan. In addition to the uniqueness that they derive from the overall educational plan, all the courses have a clear intrinsic profile that differentiates them from similar studies in other educational institutions.