One of the reasons, the minister argues, is that there is great unemployment among professional art education graduates, and that this is why there is not enough demand from the professional practice for this master programme. An expert marketing research company however, has demonstrated that students and the professional practice do have a need for exactly this kind of master programme.
The Prince Claus Conservatoire is convinced of the quality and the fundamental importance of the Master of Music Programme. An international committee of both the European Association of Conservatoires and the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Organization made a positive assessment of the programme in 2008 and accredited it in that same year. They also confirmed that the professional practice is in need of a master programme like this. The European Union, moreover, has financed the preparation of the European Joint Master ‘For New Audiences and Innovative Practice’ for a period of three years. This unique part of the master programme was developed in collaboration with foreign partner conservatoires and the Research Group Lifelong Learning in Music and the Arts, which is part of both the Prince Claus Conservatoire and the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.
By now all Dutch conservatoires have a master programme; the Prince Claus Conservatoire in the North-Netherlands is the only conservatoire whose application has been denied.
The Prince Claus Conservatoire considers the master programme as recognition of its quality. Recently the bachelor programmes of the conservatoire were assessed as excellent during the national visitation of 2009, in the course of which our international vanguard position was acknowledged as well. Besides this, the conservatoire has been assessed as the best of the Dutch conservatoires by the Study Guide for Higher Education 2010 for the third consecutive year.
The Prince Claus Conservatoire therefore does not accept the minister’s decision and plans to undertake action.