Flemish academies propose new courses for musicians, dancers and DJs


A change in the law on part-time education means arts academies have much more choice in the subjects they can offer, with cabaret, comedy and creative writing among the new options

New audience

September will see an explosion of new courses begin at art and music academies across Flanders. This follows a change to the law on part-time education, which has lifted a freeze on new courses and given the academies more flexibility in the subjects they can offer.

The result is 777 new courses at 140 academies. Options such as DJing and music production are calculated to draw in people not tempted by traditional courses, such as learning the piano or classical guitar. Other innovations include courses that focus on early music or learning to play the harp, on conducting, or on the ancient art of the mouth organ.

Courses on cabaret and comedy, musical theatre and creative writing are also expected to find eager new participants. Similarly there are plenty of new dance courses, including urban and world dance styles.

More than welcome

Whole departments of visual and audiovisual arts are being created at academies in Wijnegem, Ghent, Lede, Lennik, Lebbeke, Londerzeel and Schoten. Meanwhile, the academies at Knokke-Heist and Hoboken will have new dance departments.

Announcing the approval of the new courses, education minister Hilde Crevits said she was pleased with the strong response from the 168 eligible academies. “The enthusiasm with which the Flemish academies have started working on new programmes shows that the long-awaited decree on part-time artistic education is more than welcome.”

She added that the flexibility of the new system meant the academies had been able to devise courses that are locally relevant and fit in with current artistic trends. “In this way they can convince even more students of the great advantages and added value of part-time arts education.”

The new law also encourages closer cooperation with primary and secondary education, for example allowing academy teachers to give music lessons in schools. Similarly, children as young as six are now allowed to enrol in academy courses, a possibility taken up by 98 academies, among them Wijnegem, Genk, Lebbeke, Asse, Ypres and Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe.

Photo: Ivan Neru/Getty Images [ends

Educational system

The Flemish educational system is divided into two levels: primary (age six to 12) and secondary school (12 to 18). Education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 18.
Types - There are three educational networks in Flanders: the Flemish Community’s GO! network, and publicly funded education – either publicly or privately run.
Not enough space - In recent years, Flemish schools have been struggling with persistent teacher shortages and a growing lack of school spaces.
No tuition fees - Nursery, primary and secondary school are free in Flanders.

million school-going children in 2013


million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013


percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma