The AEC Congress and General Assembly 2023 took place at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague on 9-11 November 2023. The event marked the 70th anniversary of the AEC Foundation and its 50th Congress edition.

This year’s Congress drew more than 420 in-person participants from about 40 countries, making it the most attended event in the history of the AEC! The main sessions were also streamed to an audience of 30 online participants. The event featured not only keynote speakers belonging to higher music education institutions as well as the cultural and creative sector but also interactive workshops, and networking sessions. 

Across 4 days, over 100 speakers contributed to more than 40 sessions, in the format of the usual mix of workshops, plenaries and panels. 

The programme included topics such as quality enhancement, international collaborations, student involvement, diversity and inclusion, power relations, digitisation, artistic excellence, pre-college music education, environmental and mental sustainability, lifelong learning, curriculum development and artistic research. 

A few highlights of the Congress included:

AEC 70th Anniversary Celebration

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Many of the sessions in the Congress, both panel discussions and workshops of the Congress were connected to the work and progress of AEC’s Creative Europe-funded ARTEMIS project. There were sessions led among others by the ARTEMIS Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Equality Working Group, the Capacity Building Working Group, the Digitisation Working Group, the AEC Goes Green Working Group, the Lifelong Learning Working Group as well as of the Advocacy Task Force.


The first European Universities Alliance in the area of music and arts was officially launched in the frame of the Congress on Friday. The alliance will be a role model for the transformation of the European higher music education sector towards an inclusive and excellent, societally responsible and autonomous, innovative and student-centred future.


The newly established EPASA –  the European Performing Arts Student Association took an active role in the event by addressing the needs of the younger generations with a series of sessions.


Georg Häusler, Director for Culture, Creativity, and Sport in the European Commission (DG EAC) addressed the AEC community with a keynote on Friday afternoon and participated in a Q&A afterwards. 

Reflections on AI

Throughout the event, various sessions addressed artificial intelligence and digitisation. The Friday plenary session addressed: “What does the rise and use of Artificial Intelligence mean for the future of our sector?”. The participants also got to reflect on “What does AI mean for the study of musical aesthetics and philosophy? How will AI change our perceptions of music value, education, reception, and what perspectives/approaches can we offer as HMEI staff members?” during the opening brainstorming session on Thursday.

This year a record of projects and initiatives was presented at the Information Forum on Saturday morning. AEC members had the opportunity to learn about 24 projects and 4 sponsors’ products. The Congress was in fact proudly sponsored by 4 organisations: ASIMUT Software, Nkoda, EarMaster and MUVAC. 

Finally, this edition of the AEC Congress was also the most ecologically sustainable organised so far in terms of catering (fully plant-based), paperless information and welcome gifts made out of recycled materials. 

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all our members and partners who travelled from near and far to attend the event. AEC would also like to thank all speakers, moderators, the Congress Committee members, ARTEMIS Working Group members who contributed to making this event a success!

Many thanks also to the Royal Conservatoire The Hague for hosting us, to Samuele Riva for the coordination work and onsite help to ensure a great setup and to the conservatoire’s student representatives for their support.