As an institution of Higher Arts Education that uniquely accommodates many art disciplines under one roof, FHK offers a rare and significant kaleidoscopic perspective in artistic education and creation. Therefore, it can play an important role as an arts institute in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond. FHK holds a responsibility towards its students and staff in facilitating their (multi/inter/trans/non) disciplinary efforts to work at the forefront of current artistic developments.


One of these developments is artistic research (AR), a research practice that no longer sees art as an object of study but artists, arts educators and other cultural workers as generators of relevant knowledge.









Artistic research cannot separate itself from the institutional context in which it takes place. It is therefore essential that we explore the kind of institute artistic research can thrive in. 

In the positioning paper we share our vision, our needs and commitments in regards to artistic research, now and in the (near) future. How do we want to relate to artistic research as FHK? Where do we want to go and what are our shared values and goals?








Artistic research is the pursuit of knowledge through art, rather than the act of finding it. This ongoing questioning is influenced heavily by major changes to our cultural environment, its connectivity, multiplicity, and the evolution of the value systems that go with it. 

As such the artistic research framework is well suited for examining, exploring and critiquing the artistic practices and fields taught within FHK.  Critical examination and experimentation will be crucial for the future development and survival of artistic practices (such as the performance and composition of Western Art Music) in the 21st. 

While historical modes of artistic expression face an uncertain future, artistic research can equip artists with the tools to envision new ways of doing in a changing sociopolitical landscape. In this future landscape both trans and anti-disciplinary global art studies need to be brought into focus. The artists of the future will need to either collaborate with those of other disciplines to explore shared artistic, scientific and sociopolitical topics or do away with disciplinary restrictions and the narrow frames for artistic production imposed by their disciplines. In order to successfully pursue such aims artists and arts students need to have a fundamentally research-oriented attitude and be steeped in curiosity, critical reflection and the drive to experiment.  

This all necessitates a change in the way we educate future artists. Nothing less than the survival of the arts and arts education is at stake (as well as of that of the institute). We foresee the need for a more fluid but also research-centered model of education based on paths that are self-directed by each student’s vision of their future artistic or educational practice. The institute will need to be organized around artistic research clusters in which students of all levels and staff from multiple disciplines collaborate in research on themes or topics which are the focus of the self-directed pathways carved out by future students. Thus both the individual autonomy of the student and a collective, collaborative, exploratory environment will be combined into a single trajectory. As such, studies at the FHK at all levels should represent milestones in the unending journey of a life in the arts where beginning and ending points of trajectories naturally flow into professional lifelong practices.






  • Strengthen the interdepartmental exchange of knowledge with respect to (artistic) research, mix BA - MA - PD
  •  Emphasise the importance of research in external communication (via multiple


  • Select students consciously based on potential research skills 
  • Encourage a research attitude (critical thinking) within education so that it becomes a way of working and doing
  • Research collaboratively to help develop students' inquisitive attitudes and research methods
  • Create more space in the curriculum for student research
  • Strengthen the supporting apparatus
  • Connect learning tracks, research processes, student research projects and research input/output to society
  • Take students' talents, expertise, fascinations and curiousity as a starting point for curating evermore self-directed and trans/antidisciplinairy study paths

See schemata for further details on paths and ways of exchanging, exploring and exposing with regards to artistic research at FHK


Blueprint for re-thinking,

re-working & re-doing

the institute


Foster a learning community. Stimulate critical thinking, curiosity, research-approach (willing to know / to find out) among our students. In Bachelor education a strong focus on practice is needed, in Master education critical thinking should be central. In the near future we need a stronger focus on bridging the gap for BA students who continue with a Master.

We need to find the common ground betwen disciplines and departments. We do this now for example during Research Saturdays. There is a strong need for a shared (online/offline) space.






















Currently, research within the various programs ranges from artistic research in and through the arts to (artistic) research for the arts, from design research to educational design-oriented research and more societal or business-orientated research.

The degree to which Bachelor students have to do independent research work and the depth required varies widely between programs. The degree of depth in research in the Master's programmes is quite similar between departments. The way in which research results are presented varies from personal artistic work to classically written reports and from performances to different forms of communication aimed at specific target groups. Finally, the degree to which research is woven into the programmes varies greatly. In some courses it is given as a separate module and separated from the rest of the education. In other programs, it is in the 'dna' of all activities and educational units.

As an institute we adopt a holistic approach to knowledge, emphasising the close relation of theory to practice, working critically, focusing more on concepts and processes rather than products, which most in the (near) future will also move us increasintly into antidisciplinary territory.







The current situation
view complete analysis  [pdf file]


AME's example: action learning

Vrije studieruimte MKE

Research info on website(s) FHK.
But needs to be more tailored

Phychical media library

Research Catalogue

Research Festival in May 

Online media library (but need to extend!)



2.   1. Move away from the classroom. Different programs (music, design) expressed the need to expose students to a wider variety of influences, connect student research with research happening in the field.

2. Highlight research by initiating a research prize/award for artistic research.

3. Stimulate exposure not only at the end of a module/track, but also in between by creating more moments of (performance) exposure to multiple disciplines and in society such as:

- Research salon/cafe: to share unfinished projects. a fashionable assemblage of notables (such as literary figures, artists, or statesmen) held by custom at the home of a prominent person :)









1. Creation of an online exchange space (canvas / blackboard / google hang out), where students and staff can share research inquiries

Creation of an online creation/publication space (Research catalogue) for the work that is done at FHK by staff and students 

3. Create a collective MOOC or canvas on research, critical thinking and writing and include reading materials, research tools

4. Build out the digital library: make it easier to use, more organized and easier to find.


1. Dare to doubt: learn and stimulate students how to valuing failure (faalvaardigheid) / experiment / embrace the unknown / focus on the process / dare to speculate / hypothesize /  strengthen the critical approach

2. Analyses: instead of evaluations there are analyses methods/models that students can apply during a researchprocess to themselves and others. There is no fixed moment for them.










1. Support more student projects from a research perspective (e.g. within free space or other elective projects)

2. Ensure that all lecturers (including practical and theory lecturers) have an investigative attitude. Ensure that work is done from an investigative and/or reflective attitude: less production-oriented and more research-oriented; less focused on the product/execution of an initial idea and more on the process.











·S   1. Continue to place practice in the centre of students’ interest while offering thoroughly designed courses on artistic research skills to support the development of students’ working processes and critical positioning. These courses do not strive for artistic results per se, but aid in  the procedural/methodological development of artistic creation.

     2. Create informal learning frames in FHK which are part of the curriculum but are not graded. Such frames could be multidisciplinary and have a more exploratory orientation, related to the “not yet”, the “I don’t know” and cultivating  curiosity without course-related stress.   

 S   3. Offer an honors degree (research oriented) in order to motivate students who have more advanced skills. There is a need for an honors degree for students who are looking for (extra) stimulus/challenge. . 


      4. Pilot a modular university set-up. Students will craft their own path(s) in development departing from their talents, expertise, fascinations and curiosity, while the institute will stimulate critical thinking.






1. Students should not be taught so much as allowed to learn and develop through participation in research and thus learn in and through practice (action learning). Organize research projects in which students (BA +MA) and teachers/researchers work together. This creates a less hierarchical environment as does justice to the nature of research namely, arriving at insights while thinking and searching (following AME's example).

2. Develop frameworks for peer teaching (for example: each one teaches one principle as a teaching model)

3. Organize more frequent exchanges of students and instructors by, for example, organizing a research conference/fair/exhibition where the process and results of research are shared across all disciplines and levels. 


·S  1. Create research clusters based on concrete common concepts (such as space/time) that all artistic disciplines use and diverse approaches to such issues in the different programs

2. Exchange modules/electives with Tilburg University (and vice versa, a minor in artistic practice for university students at FHK)

Create an internal stage/platform to share work and ideas, to collect and share knowledge and insights 

As a Blueprint group we advise connecting with the existing educational models as a promising starting point for strengthening the research capacity of students, teachers and FHK.

In all our courses we recognize good practices, strong examples proven to work in educational practice. We should use these examples, expanding on them or joining in with them, as a way to take steps in the near-term to strengthen our programs. The existing knowledge systems of the various disciplines and departments can be a good starting point for an FHK-wide strategy to develop and strengthen research capacity. 

Artistic research is reliant on the creative and exploratory process: a tightrope between the personal, the communal and the institutional. Therefore, the FHK as a whole should make self-questioning a priority by asking: what does it mean to be an artist, an arts educator, a cultural worker or an arts institute in this day and age? Due to the need to be ever-evolving, as dictated by changes to society and artistic practices, FHK should not conceive of artistic research as a neatly contained course, but as an ethos: a critical reflection on the nature of art and artistry in a world in constant flux. 





'Artistic research is the pursuit of knowledge through art, rather than the act of finding it.' 


Our Blueprint, as a starting point for further policy with regard to artistic research within FHK. 

BA Performing Arts & Design (Dance Academy, Rock Academy, APACA, AMPA, M&M, Artcode), BA Education (Dans, ABV, Theater, Muziek), Masters (PPS, Music, COMMA, MKE, MAU)


Joint modules offered to all programs

Develop teaching frames related to curiosity

Phyhical library a lively, inviting place to exchange and explore

Design a start up week on artistic research

Create basis where curiosity becomes main driver for student

Auditions: more research-oriented assignments

Imbedding critical thinking in excisting courses



1. Organize a festival of work & developmental milestones, inviting students, internal stakeholders as well as stakeholders from the outside world









·    1. Offer a univeristy set-up with different (expertises) tracks and shared modules among different programs. Students choose the courses and route they would like to take through their self-curated program.

2. Connect studies more directly with the outside world/society. 
There is great potential for the arts to contribute to dialogues around social challenges. Combined, our FHK diesciplines can also help with the potential positioning of various stakeholders

  The auditions, exams and the moment of graduation must not be seen as dedicated starting or finishing points, but as milestones and moments of celebration along the journey of personal development and growth.









      1.Develop fluid learning by mixing BA+MA+PhD students throughout their study paths, create a platform for exchange and peer learning between students, external teachers/stakeholders , alumni, teachers and the wider public (society).

2. Exchange insights by m
oving away from the classroom, offering students a wider variety of influences. Connect student research with research happening in the field.

3. Stimulate and facilitate students' connection with society, in order t
o share and to practice critical positioning and exchange of insights.


1. Set up community projects for practice and research throughout Tilburg and beyond

2. Use the internal stage/platform also to further explore fascinations, as a steppingstone to explore needs & wishes in the outside world, in order to strengthen and foster a research culture










Students of the future will be confronted with enormous challenges and questions, both in their artistic practices and in their daily lives.


FHK should encourage students to remain curious, inquisitive and (re)active within and towards the field(s) in which they are developing and to stay in dialogue with the present. FHK should therefore strive to provide students with tools to deal with artistic and sociopolitical concerns and developments in both the present and the future.


What kinds of students do we envision having in the coming years?






The FKH students of the future:

They possess both soft qualities and competencies (malleability, learnability, creativity, flexibility and improvisation) as well as hard ones (resilience, stability, commitment and determination).

They will come in contact with an abundance of influences, polyphonic references and people, both from their own practice and beyond. Hence, they can act critically and compassionately, with a strong awareness of their position in relation to others (humans and nonhumans).

They show the ability to expand themselves in a continuously changing society.

More research oriented assignments in auditions