By competencies (i.e. abilities), we refer to the coherent set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and other personal qualities that enable individuals to perform tasks adequately and successfully, as well as to find and apply solutions in specific professional situations.

Competence-based art education is characterised by an integral approach to knowledge, skills and attitudes. It is an educational form with a high degree of individual responsibility for the students, aimed at the students’ future careers. The emphasis on the personal development of the students and their talents results in flexible education with a variety of study possibilities, such as the choices that students can make in their personal individual study trajectory (IST).

Within the programmes, the professional field is always represented by teachers who are active as artists or designers in addition to their teaching practice. Invitations are frequently extended to advisers and guest lecturers from various disciplines.

The following competencies are addressed in the programmes:

  • Creative ability (Creërend vermogen)
  • Capacity for critical reflection (Vermogen tot kritische reflectie)
  • Capacity for growth and innovation (Vermogen tot groei en vernieuwing)
  • Organisational ability (Organiserend vermogen)
  • Communicative ability (Communicatief vermogen)
  •  External awareness (Omgevingsgerichtheid)
  • Capacity for collaboration (Vermogen tot samenwerken)

Creative ability, capacity for critical reflection and capacity for growth and innovation are the key competencies in art education. External awareness is equally relevant, as it stresses the importance of current developments in professional practice. These competencies can be considered the core competencies for artists and designers. The capacity for critical reflection and external awareness are strongly interrelated, differing primarily in perspective (i.e., internal and external).

The remaining competencies, as indicated above, are organisational and communicative ability and capacity for collaboration. The competencies concern rather general abilities. These abilities are developed more specifically in every department and in each year. We refer to this development in terms of ‘learning objectives’: these specify what the student should know and be able to do at the end of each year.

Learning objectives are formulated even more specifically at the level of the individual courses and projects. The learning objectives for each course can be found in the full programme descriptions.

The competencies of visual communication/product/spatial designers and those of visual artists are described in their original form at a national level in the Educational Profiles for Fine Arts and Design (Beroepsprofiel en opleidingsprofielen. Beeldende Kunst en Vormgeving).