The Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators 2018 took place at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, UK, from 13 to 16 September 2018

The meeting is meant for administrative or teaching staff members in Conservatoires who deal with international relations and European programmes (such as ERASMUS), as well as for institutions not familiar with these programmes, but with an interest in becoming involved.

The meeting is important for networking, exchanging useful information and for developing partnerships. With this annual meeting, the AEC is bringing together a growing community of International Relations Coordinators. The programme of the meeting, as well as other important documents and policies on the field of international relations of conservatoires, are the result of the collaboration between the AEC office and the IRCs Developmental Working Group

The IRCs Developmental Working Group:

Bruno Pereira (ESMAE, Porto) – Chairman
Raffaele Longo (Conservatorio di Musica “San Pietro a Majella”, Napoli)
Payam Gul Susanni (Yasar University School of Music, Izmir)
Victor Ciulian (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna)
Hanneleen Pihlak (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallin) – EASY subgroup
Christofer Fredriksson (University College of Opera – part of the Stockholm University of the Arts, Stockholm)
Jan-Gerd Krüger (Prins Claus Conservatorium, Groningen)
Student representative: Roberto Boschelli (Conservatorio Stanislao Giacomantonio, Cosenza)
AEC Office representative: Sara Primiterra (AEC Events Manager) – EASY subgroup

The AEC working groups members work on the preparation of AEC events on voluntary basis. The AEC Preparatory Working Groups are all formed by coopting active individuals in the relevant field of specialization within AEC member institutions. Proactivity, as well as geographical and gender balances are the applied criteria to guarantee the diverse and dynamic character of the groups, who should ideally recreate the diversity of AEC members institutions.

Working group members are financially supported by their home institutions, which cover their travel and accommodation expenses to the working group meetings and to the actual event.

Beyond Europe: bringing the world to our institutions

Higher music education is currently facing unprecedented changes as today’s graduates need extended skills, awareness, and knowledge to find their personal and professional way into a complex and interconnected world. The international dimension is no more an optional feature of the learning experience but has become a key factor for a successful career and the development of a mindful global citizenship. Accordingly, the focus of internationalization in higher music education institutions has shifted towards the core element of their provision, the curriculum. The curriculum connects the broader institutional strategy with the student experience, thus playing a paramount role in the success or failure of the institution’s internationalization agenda as well as on the global employment opportunities of future professional musicians. What it means and how it can be achieved is not always addressed as strategically as it should.

This theme will be explored in the 2018 edition of the AEC Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators, taking place in Birmigham on 13-16 September, as the first of a four-year pattern supported by the EU Creative Europe Programme within the AEC – Strengthening Music in Society project. The international relations coordinators of the AEC are involved in the project strand on internationalization and transnational mobility aimed at helping music students and teachers to internationalize their careers and activities. The renewed and more powerful information network created with the support of the AEC’s FULL SCORE Project (2014-2017) provided a supporting structure for IRCs combining capacity-building sessions – in the form of pre-conference seminars for continuing professional development – with online tools such as the AEC website database, the AEC Job Vacancy Platform and the European Online Application System for Mobility (EASY).

In line with this well established format, the IRCs Meeting 2018 will feature the following 3 pre-conference activities:

  • EASY Workshop (Thursday 14:00 – 18:00) – Presentation and live simulations in groups.This year, the workshop will be held by the members of the EASY task force with the support of the IT company Dreamapply. After an introduction about the system, group members will meet old and new users in breakout groups in order to make step-by-step simulations and reply to questions. This workshop is free of charge and open to all institutions. A short plenary session dedicated to updates on EASY will also take place during the conference.
  • Seminar I on Internationalization of Curricula aims at connecting theory and practice in internationalizing the curriculum in higher music education institutions. An extensive review of the available tools, case studies and a group assignment will provide valuable insights into the concept of internationalization of the curriculum to participants, providing guidance to managers and administrative staff interested in the internationalization of their curricula.
  • Seminar II on Fundraising – “Making sweet music together: building enduring relationships with donors, funders and volunteers” is meant as a practical guide to fundraising for Conservatoires at all stages of development, featuring a panel of industry experts from the cultural and higher education sectors. Through a variety of scenarios and case studies this interactive workshop will show participants how fundraising connects with all other institutional activities, and look at the potential to develop philanthropic giving at international level.

Moving from last year’s theme “Diversity: independently together”, symbolically debated in the furthest location the IRCs Meeting has ever taken place, this year contributions will look even further to the Far East, where countries like China (but not only) are, in their turn, shaping and influencing the present and the future of European HMEI’s in terms of composition of the student body, curricula, teaching methods, projects, international collaborations and ways of perceiving the music profession as a whole. How are we facing this situation? What are the cultural implications involved? What are the ethical challenges that managers, administrators, teachers and students have to face when looking “beyond Europe”? How do we “bring the world to our institutions”? How can our institutions “embrace the world” when the political situation goes towards the (BR) EXIT?

The keynote speaker Dandan Zhu, International Relations Coordinator at Shanghai Conservatoire will kick off our journey beyond Europe: how did music education in China has evolved in the recent years? What is the relationship between Chinese students and European conservatoires? How did the perception change in the years, from the Chinese perspective? How is China influencing the global music education market?

Opportunities to “grab a coffee and think” together will not be missing, as well as the longstanding singing tradition which will see the participants singing together a traditional English song. Two well established projects between Europe and Asia – Malmoe with Vietnam and Copenhagen with China – will be presented as best practices and will trigger group discussion on ethical challenges in international and intercultural collaborations. We will finally come back to Europe to hear from the coordinating and participating institutions of the many strategic partnership and other kind of projects and initiatives related to the internationalization of curricula: what have been the challenges of these projects? How did the results impact the curricula of the involved institutions? how can they have a potential external impact on institutions Are the tools developed within these projects/initiatives relevant for other institutions?

Last but not least, all participants will “bring their world to their international colleagues” during the Information Market, where the possibility of presenting projects and activities of international relevance will be given to the audience (please subscribe for this via the registration form) and during the closing Networking with internationally shared refreshments sessions, where all participants will be invited to bring typical food and drinks from their country! Finally, on Sunday we will enjoy a full networking day while discovering Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, with a special guided tour at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Looking forward to meeting you again…beyond Europe!


Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators

13-16 September 2018, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Beyond Europe: bringing the world to our institutions


Thursday 13th September

Easy Workshop

Registration and Dreamapply Help Desk from 11:30 [Level 1 by the main entrance]

free break for private lunch arrangements

14:00 – 18:30 EASY Pre-conference Workshop

14:00 – 14:45 Parallel Introductory Sessions
1) Introduction to EASY by the Working Group for new/future EASY users and external institutions [Level 0, Recital Hall]
2) Results questionnaire and planned developments for Year 3 – for current EASY users, with Dreamapply [Level 1, Workshop 2]

14:45 – 15:15 Plenary Session [Level 0, Recital Hall]

EASY and code of conduct and information / clarifications / presentation of a standardized app form by Sara Primiterra, EASY Project Manager

15:30 – 18:30 Parallel Sessions on EASY topics – repeated 3 times, 50 minutes long

1 – How set up the institutional profile (repeated twice) / Letter Templates generation (third session) – Breck Shuyler and Hanneleen Pihlak [Level 0, Recital Hall]
2 – How to set up the app form and how to create and use export tables – Jose Luis Fernandez and Sara Primiterra [Level 1, Workshop 2]
3 – Managing incoming and outgoing applications – Lucia Di Cecca [Level 0, Lab]
4 – Learning Agreement – Kert Kivaste and Salvatore Gioveni [Level 0, Jazz Club]

18:30 – 19:30 Optional Regional Sessions in different languages (questions sent in advance will be discussed)
Italy (in Italian) – Lucia Di Cecca [Level 0, Lab]
Spain and Portugal (in Spanish) – Jose Luis Fernandez [Level 1, Workshop 2]
Belgium and France (in French) – Salvatore Gioveni [Level 0, Jazz Club]
Help Desk in English with Dreamapply [Level 0, Recital Hall]

Preparatory meetings

16:30 – 18:30 Speakers meeting for pre-conference Seminar I [Level 1, Workshop 1]
18:30 – 20:30 IRCs working group [Level 1, Workshop 1]

Optional Tour of the Conservatoire at 18:30

Friday 14th September

Thematic Seminars

09:00 Registration to the seminars (only for participants who signed up in the registration form) [Level 1]

09:15 – 12:30 Seminar I on International of Curricula [Level 1, Workshop 1]

09:15 – 09:30 Introduction by Jan-Gerd Krueger, IRCs at Prins Claus Conservatoire Groningen

09:30 – 10:00 A theoretical framework for the internationalisation of curricula by Elsa Ferreira, IRC at Royal Conservatoire The Hague:

1. The use of European qualification Frameworks in curriculum development
2. The development of an international learning environment
3. The use of international review and accreditation tools

10:00 – 10:50 ECMA and EUJAM, presentations of case studies and panel discussion with Bojana Tesan, and Erling Aksdal moderated by Jan-Gerd Krueger

10:50 – 11:10

Coffee Break [Level 0]

11:10 – 11:50 Group Assignment

11:50 – 12:30 Feedback from the groups and debate regarding implementation and tools to be developed + closing remarks

12:30 Lunch for seminars’ participants only [Level 2, Gallery]

09:15 – 12:30 Seminar II on Fundraising [Level 1, Workshop 2]

09:30 Introduction and session overview

09:35 General principles to fundraising: The role we can all play within our organisations – Robin Leonard

09:50 Sector trends and global insights in Higher Education & Conservatoire fundraising – Victoria McAlpine, Senior Consultant, Graham Pelton Consulting

10:10 Case Study 1: Local fundraising for a cultural project of international significance – Michael Mogan MBE, Head of Fundraising at the Coventry City of Culture Trust 2021

10:30 Case Study 2: Engaging international corporate donors for the humanities – Gordon Cox, Head of Development – Humanities, University of Oxford

10:50 Coffee break [Level 0]

11:10 Panel discussion and Q&A: Where do we go from here? Industry experts discuss key questions, hot topics and burning issues from the floor

12:25 Summary and close

12:30 Lunch for seminars’ participants only [Level 2, Gallery]

Friday 14th September

IRCs Meeting

From 09:30 Pre-booked rooms available for Project meetings

[Rooms available for spontaneous meetings – please ask the staff]

11:45 Registration open, refreshments, networking time

[Registration at Level 1, Refreshments at Level 0]

12:00 -12:45 Tour of the Conservatoire [Meeting point: registration desk]

13:15 – 14:15 Introductory Session for first-time delegates [Level 2, Organ Studio]

  • With group discussion

14:30 – 15:00 Opening Event [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

Music introduction
Welcome words by:
  • Julian Lloyd Webber, Director of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Bruno Pereira, IRC Working Group chairman
  • Stefan Gies, AEC Chief Executive

15:00 – 15:15 EASY – the AEC’s European Online Application System for Mobility [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

Updates and Users’ feedback, Sara Primiterra, EASY Project Manager

15:15 – 16:00 Plenary Session I – Keynote Speech [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

The changing landscape of music education in the context of the rise of Asia, particularly China; a perspective from Shanghai
Dandan ZHU, International Relations Coordinator of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music

16:00 – 17:30 Grab a Coffee + Drink and Think – pre-arranged groups by letters
[Refreshments on Level 2]

You are welcome to gather wherever you want; you are welcome to ask the staff for available rooms.

17:30 – 18:15 Plenary Session II [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

Link or Sink – UK, Europe and the rest of the world

Vivienne Stern, Director of UK Universities International
Introduction and moderation by Lamberto Coccioli, Associate Principal at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

18:15 – 18:30: Link and Sing [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

AEC Tradition: Let’s Sing a Song from UK – conducted by Duncan Fielden
(Please find the music score on page 17 of the reader)

18:30: Welcome Dinner [Birmingham Botanical Gardens]

Coaches available for participants, we will leave for Conservatoire at 23:00.

Saturday 15th September

9:00 – 10:00 Pre-booked rooms available for Project meetings

Tatyana Yekimova: Workshop 1
French delegates: Workshop 2

10:00 – 10:50 Plenary Session III [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

Music introduction

Link and Synch – Case Studies on Internationalisation of Curricula

Music as a human right – strengthening Music Education at Vietnam National Academy of Music, by Lars Andersson, Malmoe Academy of Music
Music Confucius Institute – the intercultural dialogue in strategic partnership collaboration, by Marianne Løkke Jakobsen, Royal Academy of Music, Copenhagen
Q&A moderated by Christofer Fredriksson

11:00 – 12:00 Breakout Groups on Ethical Challenges

Level 1
1 – Workshop 1, 2 – Workshop 2, 3 – Workshop 3, 4 – Workshop 5, 5 – Workshop 5
Level 0
6 – Recital Hall, 7 – Jazz Club, 8 – Lab

12:00 – 12:30 Networking with Refreshments [Level 0]

12:30 – 13:30: Parallel Sessions: Internationalising curricula through projects and external quality enhancement processes: presentations and discussion

  1. Creating Joint Modules: METRIC, RENEW and NEXT MOVE – with Pilleriin Meidla, Martin Granum and Christofer Fredriksson moderated by Bruno Pereira [Workshop 1]
  2. European-level curriculum development: VOXearlyMUS and Kodaly HUB with Angela Sindeli, Riccardo Ceni and Lucinda Geoghegan, moderated by Claire Michon [Workshop 2]
  3. Distance Learning: INTERMUSIC and ARCO with Marianne Jacobsen, Alistair Rutherford and Louise Lansdown moderated by Lamberto Coccioli/Stefan Gies [Recital Hall]
  4. Joint Programmes: EUJAM and ECMAster CoPeCo and InMICs with Bojana Tesan, Erling Aksdal and Isabelle Replumaz, moderated by Jan Gerd Krueger [Jazz Club]
  5. How to link internationalisation and quality assurance: presentation by MusiQuE – Music Quality Enhancement – with Martin Prchal, Jef Cox and Paulina Gut [Lab]

13:30 – 14:30 Networking Lunch [Level 2, Gallery]

14:30 – 15:30 Information Forum and Market [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall; Information Market – Gallery]

Brief presentations and “market” discussion moderated by Sara Primiterra, AEC Events manager
Presentation of the AEC website database and AEC Job Vacancy Platform by AEC Office
Presentation by AEC members on international projects and platforms and discussion

15:30 – 16:30: Breakout Group Discussion: brainstorming on the AEC work on mobility and internationalization issues – feedback from the participants and suggestions for the future

A – Recital Hall (Bruno); B – Jazz Club (Christofer); C – Lab (Hanneleen0, D – Workshop 1 (Jan Gerd)
E – Workshop 2 (Sara); F – Workshop 3 (Esther); G – Workshop 4 (Paulina and Nina); H – Workshop 5 – Jef

16:30 Closing and Sharing [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

  • News from the AEC by Stefan Gies, AEC Chief Executive
  • Announcement of the next IRCs Meeting
  • Closing Remarks by Lucia di Cecca, AEC Council Member

17:00 Let’s share our international food and drinks! Networking with internationally shared refreshments [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

17:30 – 18:30 IRCs working group meeting [Level 2, Workshop 1]

18:30 – 19:15 Closing Concert [Level 2, Bradshaw Hall]

Sunday 16th September- Networking Day: exchange of good practices and information in an informal setting

Networking at Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, including lunch and visit at the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre.

09:30 departure from Conservatoire
10:30 – 11:45 Behind The Scenes tours (3 x groups of 20, leaving at five minute intervals)
11:45 – 13:00 Self-guided walk round central Stratford (maps will be provided)
13:00 Quick sandwich lunch – standing buffet
13:30 – 14:30 Music at the RSC; in conversation with Bruce O’Neil, head of music
14:30 Departure for BHX for those who wish
14:30 – 15:30 Behind The Scenes tours (2 x groups of 20, leaving at five minute intervals)
15:30 Departure for either central Birmingham or Birmingham airport

Information on the Participation Fees

Early Bird Deadline: 6 August 2018

Participation fees can be paid in the following ways:

– Manual Payment by Bank Transfer before the event (preferable)

– Ideal, Credit Card, Paypal and Bankcontact Systems Online

– Manual Payment (cash on the spot in Birmingham)
– Manual Payment (by Credit Card in Birmingham)

Please note: Only the full price of participation fees is accepted (no early bird price) for manual payment by either cash or credit card in Birmingham

For more information and invoice request please mail

Category Payment and Registration by August 6 (early bird) Payment and Registration after
August 6
Representative of AEC member institution (staff) 180 euro (participation fee) + 50 euro (pre-conference seminar) 240 euro (participation fee) + 50 euro (pre-conference seminar)
Representative of a non-AEC member institution 380 euro (participation fee) + 50 euro (pre-conference seminar) 480 euro (participation fee) + 50 euro (pre-conference seminar)
Student from an AEC member institution 100 euro (participation fee) 50 euro (pre-conference seminar) 160 euro (participation fee) 50 euro (pre-conference seminar)

The participation fee to the IRCs Meeting includes:

  • ​Conference documents
  • Participation to the EASY workshop
  • Participation to all plenary and parallel sessions during the Conference
  • Participation to the networking moments
  • Possibility to display information brochures posters and materials about AEC members institutions
  • Possibility to use for free the conservatoire spaces for project meetings
  • Coffee Breaks
  • One organized dinner
  • One organized lunch
  • Concerts organized by the hosting institution

NB:The rates do not include the participation fee to the Networking Activiy on Sunday (40 euros, payable on the spot) and the participation fee of accompanying partners (25 euros per meal) such as family members, which will be paid on the spot.

The participation fee will not be reimbursed for cancellations notified after August 6, 2018.

Bank details for payments

BNP Paribas Fortis=
Account Holder AEC-Music
IBAN: BE47 0016 8894 2980
When making the transfer, please clearly quote:
  • ​Code of the event (IRC 2018)
  • Last name of the participant
  • Name of your institution (if fitting)

Example: IRC 2018, Smith, Gotham Conservatory


Parallel Session 3 – the ARCO Project



Drink and Think Group C

Drink and Thing Group E

Ethical Challenges Group 2

Ethical Challenges group 4

Ethical Challenges group 6

Practical information

Hotel Information IRCs Meeting Birmingham

Programme and Reader

FINAL Reader Birmingham

EASY Information Brochure


EASY Workshop Introduction to the project by Lucia di Cecca

EASY Workshop Introductory Session on EASY Workflow for Students and Coordinators (new users) by Hanneleen Pihlak

EASY Workshop Introductory session to experienced users about future developments by Sara Primiterra and Breck Shuyler

EASY Workshop Plenary Session on Workflow for External Institutions by Sara Primiterra

EASY Workshop Pleanary Session on Code of Conduct, Standard Application Forms and shared practices by Sara Primiterra

EASY Workshop Parallel Session on Application Form and Export Tables by Jose Luis Fernandez

EASY Workshop Parallel Session on Management of Applications by Lucia Di Cecca

EASY Workshop Parallel Session on Generating Letter Templates by Hanneleen Pihlak

Seminar on Internationalization Introduction by Jan Gerd Krueger

Seminar on Internationalization Theoretical Framework by Elsa Ferreira

Seminar on Internationalization EUJAM by Erling Aksdal

All Plenary Sessions Slides IRCs Meeting 2018 Birmingham

Parallel Session 1 RENEW by Martin Granum

Parallel Session 5 MusiQuE

Newcomers Session IRCs Birmingham by AEC Office Staff

Music as Human Right Lars Andersson

EASY Workshop Parallel Session on Set Up of New Institutions by Dreamapply

Invitation Letters

Invitation Letter IRCs Meeting 2018 Birmingham


IRCs Photo Album 6 Sept version