Proposed merger Willem de Kooning Academy and Codarts

    Rotterdam educational institutions seek new ‘hogeschool voor de kunsten’

    20 January 2022

    Willem de Kooning Academy is exploring a merger with Codarts University of Applied Arts to offer innovative art education under one roof, together with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Erasmus University.

    The largest educational institutions in Rotterdam are joining forces to give art education a quality boost. This should ultimately lead to a new academy for the arts, which offers training for new generations of students whose hearts lie in the arts and sciences. This educational institution of the arts should be located on a yet-to-be-built cultural campus in Rotterdam-Zuid.

    Declaration of Intent

    “By joining forces, we can create one continuous learning track: from preparatory education to high-quality and internationally-oriented bachelor and master education up to and including doctoral programmes”, according to Ron Bormans, President of the Executive Board of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

    “Based on our previous collaboration in the successful education and research programme RASL, Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab, we know that there is a great need for such an educational institution. RASL is a fine example of a collaborative effort, which creates confidence for a successful merger,” says Jeroen Chabot, dean of the Willem de Kooning Academy, part of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

    On Thursday Ron Bormans and Jeroen Chabot, together with Wilma Franchimon (President of the Executive Board of Codarts), Ed Brinksma (President of the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam) and aldermen Richard Moti, Said Kasmi and Bas Kurvers, signed a declaration of intent to explore a merger.

    In addition to the bachelor's and master's programmes, the new art institute will offer opportunities for joint educational programmes and combinations of study programmes in higher professional education and academic education. The Erasmus University in Rotterdam will contribute academic education and research to the new educational institution of the arts.

    Culture Campus

    The educational institutions are discussing the development of a cultural campus in Rotterdam-Zuid with the municipality of Rotterdam. This campus should unite education, research, and social services. At the same time, the location offers the educational institutions the opportunity to intensify their mutual link and with the relationship with the city. For example, the culture campus will be able to develop new educational programmes and conduct research on the basis of various disciplines. The campus will offer room for art practice, and art & culture appreciation that is not possible anywhere else on this scale.

    More information

    If you have any questions about this proposed merger, please contact or check this website.