HKU University of the Arts Utrecht is at the heart of the cultural and student life of Utrecht. With more than 3,900 students, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht is one of the largest art and culture-oriented institutes in Europe.


HKU University of the Arts Utrecht offers preparatory courses, bachelor's and master's programmes and research degrees in fine art, design, music, theatre, media, games and interaction and arts management.

HKU University of the Arts Utrecht is internationally oriented and involved in numerous international programmes and projects. HKU maintains contact with almost 200 educational institutions abroad for the purpose of exchanging lecturers, students and projects. Almost 20% of the students come from outside the Netherlands. Foreign students can attend HKU as a regular student, an exchange student in programmes such as Erasmus, a bilateral exchange programme or as an MA, MPhil or PhD student.


Courage is something we appreciate and foster. The courage to keep your critical eye for the content and boundaries of your own discipline. What we ask of our students is an explorative attitude, an enterprising spirit and the will to opt for your own individual passion. We offer you the chance to discover and develop your talent.

As a HKU student, during your course you will be working on commissions for customers in the working field. These may be commercial companies or non-profit organisations and cultural initiatives.

That way, you learn hands on where your strengths lie and what you can offer the world as a designer, lecturer, producer or performer. HKU produces creative professionals and entrepreneurs with initiative who know where their chances lie, both nationally and internationally.
We work with renowned art and cultural educational institutions in Europe, Africa, Japan and the US, so you have a wide choice of opportunities for exploring international developments in your discipline.

We consider it important for you to learn to present your work in a professional setting. HKU has its own Academy Theatre, concert halls and an Academy Gallery in Utrecht’s city centre. Experimenting in presenting your work in these venues during your course gives you the opportunity to evolve step by step into a professional.

International collaboration

International collaboration is a high priority for the creative industry and for HKU. In recent years, HKU has entered into alliances with educational and research establishments, companies and governments in various parts of the world. These alliances entail student exchanges, internships, lecturer exchanges, research collaborations, education and research. Other forms of collaboration are also possible.

HKU is also an active member of multiple international networks such as the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA), the art education network Cumulus and the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC).


HKU participates in Erasmus+, the EU's new programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020 and has been awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).

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Creative industry

Nowadays, artists are primarily creative professionals. They need to be entrepreneurs in order to reach their public and fulfil their mission. Creating extensive networks and cooperative links play an essential role in this. In the Netherlands, this has led to the emergence of creative industries, cities and regions, where artists can find one another and look for opportunities together. In order to get your foot on the ladder of this creative industry, it is important that you already learn during your studies how to set up networks and start relationships with other artists and organisations.

At HKU, you will get plenty of opportunity to work with professional artists, the business community and intermediary organisations. You will therefore not only be trained in an art discipline, but you will also take your first steps on the road to becoming a professional creative entrepreneur.


HKU is in the midst of society. We deploy applied research to enable us to focus on developing creative and technological solutions for, for example, healthcare, education, the cultural sector and the design of public spaces. The aim of these research projects is to contribute to the further development of the fields of work for which we are training students. Many of our research projects are on the cutting edge of various disciplines. We encourage future designers, creators and producers to develop research skills to help them see past the borders of their own disciplines. We conduct various research projects in collaboration with international institutions for art education.

Research within HKU is classified under five professorships and four centres of expertise.