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Review of the Bachelor of Dance programme "Forward-thinking and ahead of the curve

In March 2021 the Bachelor of Dance programme was thoroughly reviewed by the MusiQuE audit agency. An international panel from the professional field and higher artistic education screened the study programme, paying specific attention to the educational policy and the prevailing quality culture.  For two days, they conducted tightly controlled online interviews with numerous people involved in the programme and, based on these interviews, gave the programme an extremely positive assessment.


The conclusion read like a paean of praise to the artistic staff, the teachers and the students: 'The Bachelor Dance is forward-thinking and ahead of the curve.  The review team felt it deserves to be better known outside its immediate context and this could be achieved by working more strategically with international partners. The review team will watch with interest the development of its strong inclusion and diversity-led agenda. We wish the programme well.
We are therefore particularly proud to be able to share the full report (link) with you.

 

"Its work in the area of dance inclusion and diversity is exemplary."

 

An inspiring education

For an external audit, a jury of peers is appointed. This time, the jury consisted of Samuel Wuersten (Head of Bachelor and Master of Dance, Zurich University of the Arts), Rasmus Ölme (Teacher and Head of Bachelor of Dance, Danish National School of Performing Arts), Izah Hankammer (Professional dancer and Dance student, Fontys University of the Arts) and Celia Duffy (Teacher and researcher, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).
Among other things, they praised the incredible commitment of all stakeholders and pointed out that students especially value the feedback moments, the communication and their own role in the artistic process. The jury also saw a clear, well thought-out and ambitious vision with a special focus on social engagement and diversity and the high level of involvement of all stakeholders, and stated that the holistic approach could serve as an example for other programmes: "Its work in the area of dance inclusion and diversity is exemplary."
The review team stated that they had seen a positive, energetic and inspiring environment, in which the will to learn is a matter of course, partly thanks to the artistic staff, whose nuanced view of teaching practice within the dance programme allowed them to create a place where all those involved, students and staff, are safe and free to grow in their profession.

 

"Those who graduate from Antwerp Royal Conservatoire as dancers are more than just technically trained. We expect our students to be able to assume their role in the artistic process and later find their place as an artist in our contemporary society."

 

A bright future

The jury expressed its curiosity about where the growing ambition of the programme will eventually lead. Internationalisation and expansion of the number of dance studios are already on the agenda. Natalie Gordon and Nienke Reehorst, the artistic staff of the programme, also believe it is very important to continue to build on the solid foundations that are currently in place: "Those who graduate from Antwerp Royal Conservatoire as dancers are more than just technically trained. We expect our students to be able to assume their role in the artistic process and later find their place as an artist in our contemporary society."

 

"We have seen a positive, energetic and inspiring environment, in which the will to learn is a matter of course, partly thanks to the artistic staff, whose nuanced view of teaching practice within the dance programme allowed them to create a place where all those involved, students and staff, are safe and free to grow in their profession."

 

Programme evaluation

In accordance with the legislation of the Flemish Ministry of Education, AP University College goes through an institutional review every six years with a specific focus on directing the quality of education. Part of this direction is the screening of the arts programmes for their conformity with the European standards and guidelines for higher education (ESG, 2015). The Schools of Arts outsource this to an external auditing firm.


The programme assessment in March 2021 was preceded by an intense process of critical reflection, actively involving students, teachers, guest lecturers, alumni and artistic staff. It resulted in a self-evaluation report that formed the starting point for the audit. Central to the self-evaluation were the vision and ambition of the study programme, the design of the educational project including student and teacher profile, and the results achieved. In addition, attention was paid to the alignment of the overall administrative and organisational framework of the programme.