KABK initiates independent investigation after publication in Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad

2 November 2020

Update Wednesday 4 November:

KABK suspends 2 teachers

The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague immediately suspends 2 teachers. The decision was made based on the principle that the academy should be a place for students where they feel safe. For us this is a top priority. By temporarily relieving these teachers from their duties, peace and space is created to be able to carefully carry out the previously announced independent external research.

The management of the KABK took this decision when, after an article appeared in NRC Handelsblad on Saturday, October 31, there were reports from students themselves and through various media about inappropriate behavior in which both teachers were mentioned by name.

The decision was shared with these teachers and they understand that this measure must now be taken.

Due to privacy considerations, the names in this message are not mentioned.

Marieke Schoenmakers,


2 November 2020

The Royal Academy of Art is shocked by the article published in NRC Handelsblad on 31 October. It outlines the stories of sexual misbehavior of artist Juliaan Andeweg. Andeweg studied at the KABK from 2008-2012. For the people involved, and who had the courage to report this, it must have been traumatizing and miserable.

It goes without saying that we immediately investigated whether there were indications of transgressive sexual behavior within our school in the period that Andeweg studied at the KABK. There were no reports or formal complaints in the field of sexual transgression. However, the signals emerging from the NRC article are more than sufficient reason to take immediate action. An independent external agency will contact the former classmates of Andeweg on an individual basis to investigate whether any signals were missed at the time and whether help is needed now. Also, (former) students and employees who want to share their stories are offered help, such as a conversation with an independent confidant.

During his time at our school, Andeweg was indeed involved in violent behavior, for which he has been suspended and in 2013 even got an area ban that is enforced to this day.

In addition, we will immediately initiate an external, independent investigation into our current procedures and test the internal safety culture. We want to investigate whether and where these need to be improved. Students and employees should feel safe with us and feel free to report any issues that concern them within the school. We emphatically reject the culture in which the image of the unadjusted artist is glorified. We take this very seriously.

Within the academy, management, lecturers and other staff are committed on a daily basis to creating a safe learning environment for our students. As an academy, we have taken big steps in recent years, but our starting point is that there is always room for improvement. That is the challenge we now face, which we take up with each other and with our partners and fellow institutions.

More information about a safe study and work environment can be found on the website of the School of the Arts, which includes the KABK:

The confidential advisor is the first contact in case of complaints from students and staff about undesirable behavior, integrity issues or (social) safety. Please contact the confidential advisor Pauline Schep.

Are there past or present situations or experiences you want to talk about? About your studies or personal matters? Students are very welcome to contact student dean Mirjam Pol.

Questions about this matter can be directed to me, via contact person Maria Dzodan: m.dzodan@kabk.nl

Marieke Schoenmakers
Director KABK / President of the Executive Board University of the Arts The Hague