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School for Young Talent


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The School for Young Talent (SYT) is a school established by the University of the Arts, The Hague, for pupils in primary education (Years 7 and 8) and secondary education. The school offers programmes at three levels of the Dutch school system: HAS, HAVO, and VWO. The school is open to pupils who would like to progress to the Royal Academy of Art, the Royal Conservatoire or the Conservatoire's Dance Department. The SYT is a small-scale programme in which individual attention for pupils plays a central role.

The education is offered in the framework of the HAVO and VWO subject clusters Culture and Society. Other profiles or subject choices are possible through the Academy's intensive partnership with the Rijnlands Lyceum in Wassenaar. An administrative partnership exists between the SYT and the Haagsche Schoolvereniging and the Rijnlands Lyceum in Wassenaar. The schedule is arranged in such a way that pupils taking the art component take classes at the Academy at least four times a week. The fixed school subjects are taught in secondary school building housed within the Royal Conservatoire. In this building, the pupils in the visual art group take combined classes with pupils of dance and music.



A two-part admissions procedure applies for pupils wishing to participate in the combined classes at the SYT and the KABK. Although pupils in Year 8 of primary school can undergo the admissions process, pupils can only enter in the art department of the SYT once they have started secondary school. Candidates are assessed to determine whether their artistic level is sufficient for the classes at the Academy. In the case of a positive assessment, an interview follows with the director of the SYT in order to determine whether the applicant’s academic level is sufficient and whether it corresponds to the educational programme offered. If both components receive a positive assessment, the applicant can be placed in the KABK/SYT. Interim admission (i.e. in all years and at all levels) to the SYT is possible. In practice, this does not apply to the examination year. Interim admissions require consultation with the educational programme that the student has been following up to that point. Many individual-level variants are possible, that can result in a regular HAVO or VWO secondary-school diploma in addition to preparation for the Academy.

For the 2017/2018 academic year, the tuition fees for the SYT are set at €1800. This does not include costs for materials and excursions. For additional information, please see the separate brochure from the School for Young Talent.
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Pupils who have been admitted for the programmes in visual arts take classes at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague, which is located at 10 minutes' walking distance from the Conservatoire. Classes offered in the initial phase of secondary school education introduce pupils to various materials and techniques and teach them to realise and elaborate their own ideas, in addition to other opportunities. This provides students with a good foundation for the secondary phase, where they make well-considered choices and enter a more individually oriented track, in preparation for a subsequent study programme in art education. In the examination year, each pupil builds up a broad portfolio specifically aimed at admission to one of the study programmes of the KABK. 

Courses included in the curriculum of the art component include Drawing/Painting, Photography, Graphic Techniques, 3D, Concept Development, Theory, Interdisciplinary and Art Theory, in addition to supplementary modules that provide orientation with regard to the various specialisations offered at the KABK. Students also have the opportunity to work independently within the Academy and to use various facilities, including the library and the wood, metal, multimedia, 3d-printing, photography, graphics and textiles workshops. Customised curriculums are possible, in consultation, provided that the overall range of education allows for this. Pupils attend the KABK for at least four half-day periods each week (including Saturdays from 10.00 to 13.00). They are supervised by lecturers who are familiar with both secondary education and the training provided at the Academy. All the lecturers are practising artists themselves.

Collective assessments are conducted twice a year. For the ‘Christmas’ and ‘Summer’ assessments, individual pupils create displays of their work from the past semester in designated locations within the Academy building. The team of lecturers views these presentations jointly, asks the pupil questions, and issues an assessment. If the Christmas assessment is unsatisfactory, the participant has the time remaining until the next assessment in which to improve. In most cases, if the final assessment of the school year is unsatisfactory, the participant will not be allowed to continue the study programme. In special cases, participants may be allowed to retake the art component, to perform a task or to receive a conditional pass for the art component. The curriculum devotes considerable attention to excursions, cultural trips and exhibitions. There are also many projects in which the pupils participate. Participants can also use the facilities offered by the Academy, subject to the rules regarding safety relative to their age. A separate classroom area is reserved exclusively for use by pupils of the School for Young Talent. The ‘SYT Workshop’ is launched in the 2014/2015 academic year. This classroom space has the form of one large communal workshop.
Additional information is available on the website and in the BK newsletters at


Study variants

Pupils can participate in the programme from the first year of secondary education. Pupils who are even younger can take a selection of subjects at the Academy in combination with the programme provided by their own school. It is also possible for pupils to transfer in later years. Pupils who have completed the theoretical track of VMBO at another secondary school can apply for admission to the School for Young Talent to complete the HAVO curriculum in combination with the visual arts programme. Pupils who attained the HAS traject and took a State Examination at VMBO theoretic level, can follow a special programme by contract and take several HAVO subjects. This contract is rewarded a sufficient level for the pupil to do admittance for a bachelor study at the KABK. 


Special combined learning track  

It is possible to combine secondary education at the KABK with an external study programme. This is usually arranged on a case-by-case basis, because the schedules do not always mesh. In theory, it should be possible to follow at least part of the curriculum followed by pupils of the School for Young Talent. Participation in this preparatory track is subject to an admissions procedure. Where possible, the applicant’s own school will be consulted, in order to determine to what extent participation in the preparatory track can be combined with the regular school curriculum. This form of participation is offered in exchange for a fee, based on the number of classes/half-day periods taken. Pupils taking final examinations at the School for Young Talent in the visual arts programme receive a separate certificate for the art component. After earning their HAVO diploma, a pupil can apply for admission to the KABK. The following KABK study programmes are offered at the level of higher professional education (HBO): Fine Arts, Photography, Graphic Design, Interior Architecture and Furniture Design, Textile and Fashion, Interactive/Media/Design and Inter-faculty ArtScience. A separate admissions procedure is required for these programmes, linked to the final examination for the visual work. These admissions are usually organised jointly with students in the Preparatory Year.



Pupils who want to participate in the combined classes offered by the School for Young Talent and the KABK must undergo an extensive admissions procedure. Interim admission to the School for Young Talent is possible. To apply for admission, the pupil must contact the Student Administration office at the KABK (070-3154770) to make an appointment. The pupil is asked to bring a portfolio (i.e. a folder composed of original work created by the student) to this appointment. They can also bring a laptop to display videos, photographs or other digital products. Pupils are expected to use this work to demonstrate what they have been doing recently. The work will be examined for evidence of creative capacity, motivation, aptitude, ideation, uniqueness/originality and capacity for growth, in addition to diversity and the ability to work with materials and techniques. All of these aspects are discussed with the student during the interview. After the admissions interview, a decision will be taken on whether the pupil is eligible for admission or whether a second interview will be held, possibly with a follow-up assignment. If the pupil is eligible for admission, a second admissions interview will be held with the director of the school to look at the academic component. If this aspect is also satisfactory, the pupil can be givena a place. For additional information about admissions procedures for the various study programmes, please visit the admissions page.

SYT Director
Jan van Bilsen

Head of the SYT Visual Arts Department
Zanne Zwart

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Last updated: 2017-08-25

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