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Hogeschool Rotterdam/Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) and School of Communication, Media and Information Technology (CMI)

Rotterdam , Netherlands Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

“It is our mission to help our students become the artistic professionals that will respond to tomorrow’s world with a critical vision, energy, and care.”


Change is an integral part of life, and thus of the professional practice of artists, designers, educators and cultural producers. At the beginning of the study programme, the context in which the student will later become professionally active is still largely unknown. This means that the education programme, while being closely connected to contemporary practices, must also prepare the student for future practices which are still emerging.

he academy is acutely aware of ongoing developments in the fields of art and design, in the Netherlands as well as abroad, and explicitly seeks the connections between these developments and broader social issues. Therefore research, entrepreneurship, media focus and internationalisation are all important themes within the fields of knowledge, skills and attitudes of students as well as staff members.

The WdKA wishes to offer its students innovative education programmes. Students work independently or collaboratively on a variety of challenging projects, under the guidance and supervision of their tutors. The Stations provide them with a variety of suitable environments for working and conducting research, meeting and discussing, studying and presenting their results. During workshops they receive technical training, from beginner to advanced levels.

In order to function successfully in their studies and their later professional practice, our students must demonstrate visual intelligence as well as a sense of purpose and willpower. Rather than merely wait for whatever comes their way, they learn to initiate events and tackle problems head-on. By working on real-life assignments and actual design products, they learn to understand and define their own professional role. From this perspective they develop a vision of what they wish to achieve within their profession and their life, and how they expect to make a living. Eventually, our pioneers graduate with complex projects, designed and implemented in collaboration with students from different departments. This way they also work on building their professional network, while learning to work in multidisciplinary teams on challenges that are relevant to an often internationally oriented professional practice.

International Role

One of 55 Dutch Universities of Professional Education. Actively involved in 4 major international networks for art education. Bilateral agreements with well over 70 international partners institutions.

National Role

One of 16 regional Universities of Professional Education.

Main Focus

Willem de Kooning Academy is striving for high-quality, relevant and inclusive professional art education and trains artists, designers, teachers and producers. It does so in a strong relation to social developments and issues.

The primary objective of the Willem de Kooning Academy's education programme is to train students at higher professional education level and to provide them with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitude so that they can enter and make a relevant contribution to their chosen profession, and so that they are able to present themselves as competent, driven and innovative professionals.

The education is starting from a strong emphasis on the development of the students' own talents and interests. In the following phase(s), the students are profiling themselves by means of artistic research (practice research), programmatic choices and the design and realisation of own work, products or services relevant to the chosen profession and their own positioning in it.

Faculties and Departments

Willem de Kooning Academy (BA degree course)

Piet Zwart Institute (MA degree courses)

School of Communication, Media and Information Technology (BA degree courses)

Bachelor Level Programs

Willem de Kooning Academy

BA Fine Art, BA Graphic Design, BA Advertising&Beyond, BA Illustration, BA Fashion Design, BA Lifestyle, BA Spatial Design, BA Product Design, BA Animation, BA AudioVisual design, BA Photography, BA Fine Art & Design Teacher Training. All courses: 4 year duration. Double Degree RASL (Rotterdam Art and Science LAB) duration 5 years.

School of Communication, Media and Information Technology

BA Software engineering BA Computer engineering, BA Creative Media and Game Technologies, BA Communicaton & Multimedia Design, BA Communication





Master Level Programs

Piet Zwart Insitute 

MA Fine Art, MA Media Design, Experimental Publishing MA Design, Lens-Based, ,MA Interior Architecture: Research + Design, , MA Education in Arts. All courses: 2 year duration. Master of Design (2 year parttime)

Research Activity and Main Areas

 WdKA operates from the perspective that art and design research produces new forms of knowledge and practices, and is a catalyst for innovation and transformation.

Research is fostered through the following:


These environments, around which our curriculum fundamentally revolves, support iterative processes, prototyping, research through making and research trajectories such as We Make Research, Critical Making and Hybrid Publishing.


These constitute main areas of research and have resulted in projects such as The Autonomous Fabric, Beyond Social and Retail Innovation in Rotterdam.


These include the professorships on Autonomous Practices (Florian Cramer), Social Practices (Michelle Teran), Commercial Practices (to be filled), and a joint research professorship on Biobased Art and Design (Elvin Karana) shared with AKV|St.Joost, Avans University of Applied Sciences. The professorships are a part of WdKA’s Research Station, and Research Professors are encouraged to collaborate with colleagues from Codarts Rotterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab (RASL).


The WdKA identifies two profiles concerning Senior Research Lecturers.
– The Course Directors of the master’s programmes actively initiate research based upon the artistic realm of their specific profiles. Through this research they are able to develop their programmes and to maintain an international network of professionals in their research and course context. They consult and actively engage the Research Lecturers in their research.7

– The WdKA Bachelor Senior Research Lecturers are all engaged with the Practices. At this point, we have accomplished having Senior Research Lecturers in Autonomous, Social and Commercial Practices, and their research informs and deepens the Practices. The Senior Research Lecturers are part of the Curriculum Committee, which bridges research and education, and they are key figures in the teaching teams.


Founded in 2016, RASL is a groundbreaking initiative that is an important part of our research culture. It is a collaboration between the Willem de Kooning Academy, Codarts and Erasmus University. RASL is a platform in which the arts and sciences, students and teachers, education and research meet each other. Promoting knowledge exchange, it is a network for experimentation that stimulates new forms of collaboration. The Lab is characterised by three core elements: the Double Degree, collaborative research and creative learning. Its research examines the relationship between the arts and society in a transdisciplinary way. In addition to establishing an arts research network, it offers a unique opportunity for joint research, developing shared vocabularies, visionary approaches, and contexts for the arts to flourish. Operating on a local, national and international level, RASL works from the understanding that the arts are vital to society and can play a constructively transformative role in shaping the future. RASL acts as a catalyst for innovative research that blends academic and artistic research, or theory-driven and practice-based research pertaining to the arts, culture and society.

Doctorate Level Programs


Subject Areas for Exchange Students

All subject areas are open to exchange students, subject to portfolio review.

Application Deadlines

Autumn: 1 May

Spring: 1 November

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Autumn: 1 September – 31 January

Spring: 1 February – 15 July

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

Monthly rent: from €650

Food, transport, materials, etc.: €500-750


Bachelor: 1800 (WdKA)
Master: 80

Exchange Students

Incoming: 65
Outgoing: 100

Teaching Staff

Professors: 11
Lectures: 3
Other permanent teachers: 27
Part-time Teachers: 130

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