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Competencies and Learning Objectives


The final qualifications are defined in terms of competencies. These refer to coherent sets of knowledge, skills, attitudes and other personal qualities that enable students to perform professional tasks adequately and successfully, as well as to find and apply solutions in specific professional situations.

Students are considered competent or suitable for particular jobs or assignments when they are able to integrate the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes effectively in successful behaviour in specific situations. In other words, in addition to knowing how and why something should happen, students must also demonstrate their ability to make it happen.

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 opportunities, such as the choices that students can make in their personal individual study track. 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 
  • Capacity for critical reflection, or at the master’s level: research ability 
  • Capacity for growth and innovation 
  • Organisational ability 
  • Communicative ability 
  • External awareness 
  • Capacity for collaboration

'Creative ability', 'capacity for critical reflection/research ability' and 'capacity for growth and innovation' are the key competencies in art education. It is the creative ability that distinguises the visual artist or designer from professionals in many other fields. 'External awareness' is equally relevant, as it stresses the need to be able to put the artistic work in its historic and contemporary context. 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 ability', '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 course descriptions. (Study Guide 2017/18)

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 Design1. The competencies for each academic year are specified in each department’s curriculum description.

1 Overleg Beeldende Kunsten. Beroepsprofiel en opleidingsprofielen Beeldende Kunst en Vormgeving. Den Haag: Vereniging Hogescholen 2014

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Last updated: 2017-08-26

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