Date: 13 - 16 September 2018
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The Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators 2018 will take 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


11:00 – 18:00  EASY Pre-conference Workshop (free of charge, open to all participants) 

Extensive presentation and live simulations in groups

Tour of the Conservatoire at 18:00

Friday 14th September

Thematic Seminars


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

09:15 - 12:30 Seminar I on International of Curricula

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

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

09:15 - 12:30 Seminar II on Fundraising

“Making sweet music together: building enduring relationships with donors, funders and volunteers”.
This session will offer a practical, step-by-step guide to fundraising for conservatoires at all stages of their development. Including top tips and real case studies, the training will be delivered by a panel of industry experts from across the cultural and HE sectors, led by Robin Leonard, Director of Development at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. A graduate of both the Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Robin has more than a decade’s experience in delivering large-scale capital campaigns, most recently at the University of Oxford, and has a particular expertise in securing transformational (7- and 8-figure) gifts from ultra-high-net-worth-individuals and major trusts and foundations.

12:30 Lunch for seminars' participants


Friday 14th September

IRCs Meeting


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

11:45 Registeration open, refreshments, networking time

12:00 -12:45 Tour of the Conservatoire

13:15 - 14:15 Introductory Session for first-time delegates

  • With group discussion

14:30 – 15:00  Opening Event 

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

15:00 – 15:15 EASY - the AEC's European Online Application System for Mobility

Updates and Users' feedback

15:15 – 16:00 Plenary Session I - Keynote Speech

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

17:30 - 18:15 Plenary Session II 

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 Principle at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

18:15 – 18:30: Link and Sing

AEC Tradition: Let’s Sing a Song from UK – conducted by Duncan Fielden

18:30: Welcome Dinner 

Birmingham Botanical Gardens


Saturday 15rd September

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

10:00 – 10:50  Plenary Session III

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

12:00 – 12:30 Networking with Refreshments

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

1. Creating Joint Modules: METRIC and RENEW
2. European-level curriculum development: VOXearlyMUS and Kodaly HUB
3. Distance Learning: INTERMUSIC and ARCO
4. Joint Programmes 1: EUJAM and ECMAster
5. Joint Programmes 2:CoPeCo and InMICs
6. Interdisciplinary Joint Modules Music and Dance: NEXT MOVE
7. How to link internationalisation and quality assurance: presentation by MusiQuE – Music Quality Enhancement

13:30 – 14:30 Networking Lunch

14:30 – 15:30 Information Forum and Market 

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

16:30  Closing and Sharing 

  • 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 

18:30 – 18:45: Closing Concert



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)
15:45 Departure for Conservatoire/city centre
15:30 Departure for either central Birmingham or Birmingham airport

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Registration Form IRCs Meeting 2018, 13-16 September, Birmingham


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Participants Information

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Picture for the IRCs Photo Album

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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



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


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