But in the following weeks, BoF spoke via phone with 14 students — three current students and 11 former students whose tenures go back all the way to the mid-1990s — two fashion industry professionals and one professor who each work at the school. And while many friends insisted that the student suffered from depression related to his studies at the Academy, others mentioned personal reasons that may have been a factor in his suicide, including his possible return home to South Korea to serve in the military there. To be honest, I think this school resembles a cult. But as head of the school I represented him and gave a short speech as a tribute to [the student] and as a comfort for his family, friends, fellow students and teachers,” Johan Pas, the newly appointed dean of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, wrote to BoF, with input from Van Beirendonck, who declined to respond to a direct request for comment. “The university college also supplies courses for staff…in order to recognise and respond to signals of suicidal tendencies.” Last year, the university launched a programme called “Made to Mind,” which trains fellow students to be “extra perceptive for signals of suicidal behavior.”. Cooperation with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and The Woolmark Company. By suspending the lessons those who want to [be a part of the movement] will get that chance,” Pas added. // }); In BoF’s Global Fashion Schools Rankings 2017, it placed #3 among bachelor’s degree programmes and #4 among master’s degree programmes. Overview. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there is help: Global International Association for Suicide Prevention https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/, Belgiumhttp://www.chsbelgium.org/ Several students reported that they became anorexic; some because they did not have time to eat. Selected Graduate 2020 // googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ As Covid-19 restrictions are causing cancellations of public events worldwide, the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp - AP University College is decidedly moving forward with a new and innovative way to show off its students' end-of-year and graduate collections. // }); For more information read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. Those who do not pass are told so in front of the group. Sleep deprivation is also commonplace because of the workload, with many students only receiving one-to-four hours of rest a night. It was founded in 1711. Kotweb is a collaboration between the city of Antwerp, the higher education institutions in Antwerp and GATE15, Antwerp's student portaI. In 1946, the Architecture program became an independent institute, The National Higher Institute of Architecture. "It wasn't until I left the Academy that I realised how incredibly misguided the intentions were of the professors in how they treated us as students,” he said. | Check out 'Studying at Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp!' After months of remote coursework, the fashion students of Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp physically returned to university. This tragedy has given some of the slumbering criticism against the institution — which, like every other school has its qualities and its faults — a momentum.”, Pas added that the cult allegation is a “strange description, and yet I can see the point: high-end fashion in itself sometimes resembles a cult, and for some students the Antwerp school has a cult status. It’s one of the reasons that the school rarely accepts students for the master’s programme who have not completed its bachelor’s programme. “Like any other school, we aim at providing equal opportunities to all students, regardless of origin, ideology, gender, ethnic background or appearance. The graduating class of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is showcased on June 27, 2020 from 8pm CET, on www.showww.be. Copyright © 2019 The Brussels Times. Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck in 2014. Some are asked to leave, others leave on their own accord. However, there is no such [thing] as cultic practice in the school. But even students who reported a good relationship with Van Beirendonck said it did not guarantee a passing grade. State of the Arts has invited people to come and join them at the square, which protesters will decorate throughout the day. 10K likes. The fashion department at Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious fashion design programs in the world. But after a recent suicide, current and former students have come forward with accounts of depression and drug abuse, calling teaching methods into question. We advise all students staying in Belgium for a full semester to look for student accommodation at Kotweb. Unlike American schools, which often make it challenging to gain acceptance to a top school, Belgian institutions tend to have higher acceptance rates but are more ruthless about dismissing underperforming students. South Korea’s suicide rate is the highest of all 35 industrialised nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). » SEE AND READ FULL ARTICLE HERE Vogue caught up … In a Facebook post published on Monday, the academy explained that “on Thursday 5 December, new actions will be organised against the budget cuts in culture and media by the Flemish Government. // mobileScaling: 2.0, // }); The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp has suspended all its classes on Thursday to allow students and teachers to protest in Brussels against proposed cutbacks in the Flemish cultural sector. On March 22, when the students arrived on campus, they were greeted by counselors, including Sophie Hiels, a school psychologist. ", But students say this is only part of the story. "There’s a difference between constructive criticism and manipulation. Along with the Antwerp Six — Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee — famous fashion department alumni include top designers Martin Margiela, Kris Van Assche and Demna Gvasalia. Its fashion programme entered the international spotlight following the breakthrough of the Antwerp Six designers in the 1980s. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. // googletag.cmd.push(function(){ As the teachers trickled in, Walter Van Beirendonck, head of the fashion department, lead instructor for the third-year students and a member of the Antwerp Six — a clique of agenda-setting designers who studied at the school in the 1980s — addressed the room, saying simply: “Something bad has happened.”. Vogue caught up with them to find out how it felt to be back and what they wore to mark the occasion. // googletag.enableServices(); She was subsequently hospitalised. Why the Fall of Harvey Weinstein Signals the End of Fashion's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Practices, What Anna Wintour’s Big Promotion Means for Condé Nast, The Radical Strategy That Drove Nike’s Pandemic Success, No Parties, No Problem: How Fashion Is Selling Holiday Clothes in 2020, Tim Blanks’ Top Fashion Shows of All-Time: Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2001, September 26, 2000, Africa’s Answer to Amazon on Balancing Speed with Discipline, Report: Rihanna Seeks $100M to Scale Savage x Fenty. In the US, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the majority of those deaths occurring between the ages 20 and 24. Daheng Liu — I made a world for myself, You’re nearly … Fashion & Beauty Longread Willy Vanderperre Olivier Rizzo Subscribe to the weekly AnOther newsletter // renderMarginPercent: 200, “Typically, there are between 16 and 20, but in some cases a little over 20 students make it.” There are 18 active students in 2018’s third-year class. Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is a renowned European institute for higher arts education, established in 1663. US. “Everything is pushed in one direction,” the teacher said. How the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp — a city poised on the edge of Europe and the rest of the world — became the incubator for the contemporary avant-garde. 80 master students from nine graduation disciplines will present their work and projects on the Academy Campus. //Верхний баннер In order to allow students, lecturers, researchers, administrative and technical staff of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp to attend these actions, all classes will be cancelled!”. Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp Hundreds of individual interlocked, laser cut components create volume in my jewellery. (The official graduation rate of the undergraduate class is 23 percent, according to BoF’s 2017 ranking. Located in London. “You have a lot of people who are confronted with quitting or having to quit because of the teachers’ comments and remarks,” another former student said. “They don’t teach you anything, basically,” another student said of the Academy. // fetchMarginPercent: 500, It really looks and feels like an art school,” he wrote. BoF also corresponded via email with 11 other students including multiple current students who offered testimonials about their experiences at the Academy. // addService(googletag.pubads()); While students, both former and current, spanning several different countries and cultures, were forthcoming on the details of alleged conduct by school faculty, perhaps emboldened by recent reports exposing the culture of abuse and bullying in the wider fashion industry, the majority wished to remain anonymous for fear that speaking out would ruin their industry prospects or threaten their chances of graduating. // }); “But the issue is very much alive among our students and staff. I feel so fondly of many professors,” one student said. The platform for Flemish artists, State of the Arts, has organised a for a live exhibition to take place on Martyrs’ Square in central Brussels on Thursday from 3:00 PM to around 6:00 PM. The administrator acknowledged that the behaviour was inappropriate. // googletag.cmd.push(function(){ After the announcement, teachers mingled among the students, expressing disbelief that the young man could have taken his own life. On March 27, a story was published in local paper De Morgen, reporting that the university had posted signs on campus directing students to a suicide hotline where they could seek help. As COVID-19 restrictions are causing cancellations of public events worldwide, the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp - AP University College decided to still show its student's end-of-year and graduate collections. In Belgium, suicide is the number-one cause of death among 15-to-19-year-olds, the second most common cause for men aged 20 to 24 (after car accidents) and the most common cause of death for women aged 20 to 24, according to a 2016 report from the Unit for Suicide Research at the University of Ghent. “Towards the end I started self-harming again” — which she hadn’t done since 2009 — “and dissociating.”. ), At 2:00 p.m., a second meeting — a group counseling session — took place. // googletag.enableServices(); However, many fashion department students say that their isolation from the main Academy makes these support systems feel out of reach. “If you come out and you’re a fashion designer, you will always struggle with journalists judging you,” said one working alumnus who attended the programme but was not awarded a degree. All rights reserved. She left after one year. These are used as a starting point for interviews with staff and students. // googletag.cmd.push(function() { Therefore, I would like to grasp this moment as an opportunity to give this my absolute priority.”, “I think they’re all equally to blame,” said one industry professional who works with the school of the teachers, explaining that Van Beirendonck and his control over the others is only one element of the problem. Antwerp art school cancels classes so students can protest culture cutbacks in Brussels. For instance, it has been claimed by multiple students, both current and former, that those with Asian names are sometimes asked to provide nicknames  because it’s “easier to remember.”. Not everyone deems the process negative. // addService(googletag.pubads()); “If you sleep more than four hours, you’re set to fail,” one student said. Because hard work pays off! © 2020 The Business of Fashion. BA = 3 years MA = 1 year (60 credits) or 2 years, only allowed in specific cases (each 30 credits) Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp's 2017 Graduate Show. In what some attribute to the Belgian way of education, there are many more students accepted into Antwerp than actually graduate. Inside the MoMu Fashion Museum at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp | Source: Getty Images, https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/, https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us, http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. Since the ‘Antwerp Six’ caught the attention of the international media, Antwerp and its fashion school … While the recent passing of a student is top of mind, there are other instances of students breaking down publicly, including in 2011, when a female student from the fashion department was found by police walking naked down Antwerp’s high street and talking to herself. The next three academic years the Royal Danish Academy - Architecture, Design, Conservation will focus massively on the UN Global Goals - in our research, in our educations and in our graduation projects. “We are taking additional measures following the suicide of one of our students,” the signs read. ", Former student Gerald Spiesl | Source: Casper Fitzhue, Gerald Spiesl, a former student who spent three years studying in the programme — he repeated his first year twice and then exited in 2017 after his second year — considers the teaching methods at the Academy as the root cause of the problems faced by students. Here you can explore a selection of projects, articles and photos connected to this effort. According to the current and former students, while some fashion department instructors — many of whom studied at Antwerp and have been teaching at the school for several decades — are more empathetic towards students than others, the general consensus is that teachers believe the status quo should be maintained in order for the school to preserve its high standing in the fashion community. (BoF has decided to honour a request made on behalf of the student’s family not to include his name in this story.) Students also say public shaming is par for the course, with grades read aloud in front of the entire class. // googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); “Apart from the cultural differences, the English language barriers (due to lack of in-depth knowledge of the English language) could be the reason for the inefficient communication and even misunderstandings between the teachers and the students,” Pas said, indicating that there has been an influx of Asian students at the Academy over the past few years. Another key moment in the history of the academy would be 1963. A few students chose to speak out publicly, including Wilton Gorske, an American who left the school after one year. 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The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp has suspended all its classes on Thursday to allow students and teachers to protest in Brussels against proposed cutbacks in the Flemish cultural sector. | Source: Getty Images, Many believe the Academy’s teaching methods have created a toxic environment, with students competing with each other to survive in a “Pop Idol”-style setting where Van Beirendonck plays Simon Cowell, ultimately deciding who stays and who goes. Provide your UAntwerp-email address and correct student number in the appropriate fields. “If you see the [end-of-year runway] shows, it’s all very similar. // googletag.pubads().enableSingleRequest(); After hearing for weeks on end that my work was worthless, I started to believe it myself. You go through an enlightening creative bootcamp, but have to maintain a level head. The fashion programme at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, led by Walter Van Beirendonck, is one of the most prestigious in the world. “However, there should be a substantial change in how this school treats welfare of the students.”. The tragedy also laid bare some negative feelings and grievances about the schools’ working. // googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp offers a broad spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied fine arts and design. “They were trying to constantly push the students by public humiliation again and again, until the point where some students believed in what they were saying,” said Yvonne Koutny, who was 24 and held a bachelor’s degree from a German university by the time she arrived at Antwerp. Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. They were wondering if they could participate in the protests in Brussels. But it’s not simply personal remarks and off-colour comments that accusers say diminish the confidence and mental health of students. // addSize([980, 200], [[970,90], [970,250], 'fluid']). // adsmobileslot = googletag.defineSlot('/312997750/NEW_SITE_MOBILE_TOP_ALL', [300, 250], 'div-gpt-ad-1559116370415-0').addService(googletag.pubads()); // googletag.pubads().enableSingleRequest(); “With other schools, you never get any critique.”. // build(); For this reason, BoF has agreed to grant them anonymity. In a Facebook post published on Monday, the academy explained that “on Thursday 5 December, new actions will be organised against the budget cuts in culture and media by the Flemish Government. Others are less convinced the methods are effective. By this point, Van Beirendonck had left the room, but classmates and friends of the deceased were encouraged to remain. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp published a tweet on Monday explaining why they had decided to cancel classes on Thursday. Official Facebook Page of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp / AP University College “After a long period where nobody would speak, they split the students up in smaller groups and asked them again.”. Some students — even a few of those who were asked to leave and did not receive a degree — believe that the highly critical nature of the school, where the onus is on the student to “fix” his or her shortcomings without the guidance of an instructor, is good preparation for the real world. The Academy of Art University, a proprietary, private university owned by the Stephens Institute, was founded in San Francisco, California in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens. // Admission is competitive and applicants must prove a basic proficiency in spoken and written Dutch to be … In the wake of the suicide, current students were told that anyone contacted by the media should not respond and instead forward the query to school administrators. In the coming days, the student’s family arrived in Antwerp. Some are notified just days before that they are about graduate that they have failed, with several third-year students completing the end-of-year show only to find out afterward that they will not be awarded a degree. // addSize([730, 200], [[728, 90], 'fluid']). ANTWERP, Belgium — On the evening of March 21, 2018, Karine Rotsaert, an administrator in the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, sent an email to students, requesting their presence at the school at 10:15 a.m. the next morning. Luckily it happens rarely, definitely not yearly,” Marijke De Bie, a student services spokesperson, told De Morgen, adding that although the school was prioritising the student’s third-year classmates, there was “help for everyone.”. In the 1960s, the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts established the Fashion Design department, from where the ‘Antwerp Six’ graduated about two decades later. Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University. Welcome! The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague offers educational services to over 850 students from 40 countries. // googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); ANTWERP, Belgium — On the evening of March 21, 2018, Karine Rotsaert, an administrator in the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, sent an email to students, requesting their presence at the school at 10:15 a.m. the next morning. What had been some challenges of doing coursework remotely? // addSize([0, 0], [[300,250], 'fluid']). // There were 22 at the beginning of the year. They also say that just having Antwerp on one’s resume — even without an actual degree — is beneficial because of the school’s reputation and network. "Sometimes it feels like you’re watching a reality show almost, where there’s a panel with someone cutting in with a funny insult,” said one student, who left the Academy after battling depression and suicidal thoughts in her first year in the programme. The Fine Arts programme of Royal Academy of Art, The Hague embraces history and traditions and root our discourse firmly in the contemporary while researching and imagining the future of fine art as an indispensable contributor to culture, society and economy. The fashion department at the Royal Academy accepts 60-to-70 students to its bachelor's programme each year, but fewer than 20 typically graduate and, on average, 10 or less graduate with the master’s degree that most BA students hope to complete when they matriculate at the Academy. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp provides the challenging environment for the soon-to-be designer or artist who wants a very individual and personal artistic education. // var TopMapping = googletag.sizeMapping(). “[This] tragic death has been a tremendous shock to all of us,” Pas continued. “Students and staff mourn his passing and will so for a long time. Van Beirendonck is “perceived as being some kind of god,” according to one former student. The intensity of the programme and workload often causes them to break down physically, too, with some turning to drugs — in particular speed and cocaine — in order to power through. // var adsmobileslot; “It comes down to power and extends to politics, extends to what is out there right now that is surfacing.”. PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS, ANTWERP (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp - AP University College)BA entrance exams | Apply for the MASTER PROGRAM. Graphic design master student at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. The Royal Academy's collection includes the finest examples of fine arts from the 18th century to the present. The Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1963. “I developed a severe dependency on drugs in the first year just to be able to stay awake,” said one current student, who continues to advance through the programme. He is respected, but certainly not treated like a god. On our unique historical location situated in the city center of Antwerp we offer courses and graduate programs in English. “This element of rejection is something I can imagine that some teachers may play into,” said one graduate whose overall experience at the school was positive. Therefore we take these heavy accusations very serious and will do everything to investigate the origins of and reasons for these complaints.”. Ever since the renowned Antwerp Six changed the landscape of fashion forever and put the small, cosy Belgian city in the international fashion map, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp has been a bastion of innovation, creativity, avant-garde and conceptual fashion design. Rental agreement // adslot0 = googletag.defineSlot('/312997750/Super_Billboard_1', [[970, 250], [1230, 250]], 'div-gpt-ad-1555597002018-0').setTargeting("test","infinitescroll"). The school vehemently denies any accusations of cultural insensitivity or tolerance of racism. // We will be hosting a 24-hour drawing marathon that will be simulcast at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp celebrating the primacy of drawing. A psychologist said the students had to take care of each other, adding that “students from fashion never show up to the school’s psychologists and don’t take help that’s there.” (The fashion department is just one part of the wider Academy, although most of the fashion classes take place at a separate location — 15 minutes away from the main campus — that also houses the school’s fashion museum. After the Academy's rapid pivot to virtual classes and online If you cannot pay the full tuition fee at the start of the academic year, you can submit a request for a payment plan in the international helpdesk between 1 August and 1 November by submitting a ticket. However, BoF obtained screenshots of text messages between a student and an administrator where the student complained about the use of a racist slur that included the “n” word by a life model employed by the school at a social event. As for the school, Pas insists that he is committed to making the necessary changes, collecting testimonies from students, teachers and staff of the fashion department. The event will take place on Thursday, February 20, 2020 commencing at sunrise Antwerp time – roughly 7:47 am and at the same moment here in Boston at 1:47 am EST. On March 22, when the students arrived on campus, they were greeted by counselors, including Sophie Hiels, a school psychologist. // defineSizeMapping(TopMapping). Philadelphia. “There are a few really nice teachers, but I don’t think they realise that it’s not okay to act this way.”, “I hope everyone knows there are incredible staff there, contributing their life to keep this school running. Stylistically extre… Many students complete their third year but are not awarded a degree at the end of the course. That way they are...able to maximise their abilities, ideas and imaginations. Others, however, simply believe that the current uprising among students reflects changes in what society perceives as acceptable. The Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts - École supérieure des Arts de la Ville de Bruxelles (ARBA-ESA), in Dutch Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Brussel, is the Belgian art school, established in Brussels in the Kingdom of Belgium. In multiple conversations in recent weeks, students and alumni spoke of the Academy’s notoriously rigorous programme. By connecting 2D textile surfaces one by one, they transform into 3D shapes, patterns and textures. // googletag.pubads().enableSingleRequest(); On Monday, March 26, students gathered for a school assembly, where they observed a minute of silence for him. “They were looking for reasons that could lead to this dramatic ending,” said one current student, who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s considered a good school, so they dare not change anything,” said one teacher, who did concede that the programme is considered by many — both externally and internally — to be an old-fashioned, closed-off process that only rewards one sort of aesthetic or approach to designing. “The school does and will do everything in its power to prevent suicide,” Pas said, noting that the university offers psychological services and coaching programmes for students — including stress management, drug and alcohol prevention and suicide prevention. On Sunday, March 25, the school held a memorial for him that was attended by his parents and his brother. “Several students developed serious depression and drug addictions in order to keep up with the workload,” he claimed, “Or they simply decided to quit their dream of studying there because the pressure was unbearable.”, Hiels, the school psychologist, acknowledged in a recent email seen by BoF that teachers in the fashion department have “unrealistic expectations” and that she hopes “things will change.”, In a detailed statement responding to the allegations, Johan Pas said: “As you know, the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is highly esteemed and is counted among the most highly ranked institutes of its kind.” He continued: “The untimely death of [the student] came as a shock to the students and faculty of our school. If they could participate in the appropriate fields information read our Terms & Conditions and Policy! 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