AEC’s statement on access to Higher Education of refugees and asylum seekers

The Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Music Academies et Musikhochschulen(AEC), representing over 90% of the Higher Music Education Institutions in Europe, does not stay aside when it comes to cope with the consequences of the humanitarian catastrophe Europe is currently facing.

The European Higher Music Education Institutions, their staff members, students, artists and researchers stand for a cosmopolitan openness and a culture of welcome. Music brings people together. Music unites people beyond language barriers and cultural differences. Therefore, music provides special opportunities to contribute to the sustainable integration of those people who came to Europe and those who will come in future to seek shelter from war, death and displacement.

Many of our member institutions are already proactively involved in projects supporting the integration of refugees: by organizing special performances and concerts, by offering targeted educational or even music-therapy programs for the often traumatized people and by helping them in providing the necessary infrastructure in order to be able to study in Europe and to foster and maintain the culture these people bring from their regions of origin.

AEC launches an appeal to political decision makers and governmental authorities to enable displaced and persecuted musicians and musicologists the continuation of their work by reducing bureaucratic obstacles. Students wishing to enroll at one of our member institutions need clarity about their residence status and in many cases financial support. It is crucial to ensure measures to enable the access to Higher Music Education for those students who wish and are qualified to follow their studies in Europe.