Annual conference of the KHK at the HfG Offenbach

The presidents, rectors and chancellors of the KHK member universities met at the Offenbach University of Art and Design (HfG) from May 15 to 17 for the 2024 annual conference of the Kunsthochschulenkonferenz (KHK).

As a new member of the 25 art academies, Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Eva-Maria Seng from the ABK Stuttgart was welcomed. At the meeting of rectors and presidents, Eva-Maria Seng declared her willingness to represent the KHK on the HRK Standing Committee for Studies and Teaching.

The central topic of the annual conference was how universities of the arts deal with the issue of anti-Semitism and the current protests at German universities. The KHK members endorse the HRK press release "Securing universities as a free space for discourse" from May 13. In particular, they emphasize the autonomy of universities, which must be safeguarded when dealing with difficult discussions and for which the trust of federal and state politicians is necessary.

Dr. Arne Zerbst, spokesperson for the KHK, reported on his HRK Vice-Presidency for the Culture of Cooperation within the Higher Education System and the Interests of Universities of the Arts, which he has held since December 2023. During his two-year term of office, the topic of artistic research in particular will be introduced to the HRK. Overall, the conference was characterized by an intensive and confidential exchange in an open atmosphere.

At the end of the annual conference, Prof. Bernd Kracke, President of the HfG Offenbach, was given a ceremonial farewell as a long-standing KHK member and after 18 years as president.

The Kunsthochschulenkonferenz (KHK) meets twice a year. The focus is on the exchange of experience and opinions on their main activities and interests as well as on matters relating to the degree courses they offer. The KHK also discusses issues relating to higher education and cultural policy. Its concerns and areas of work include the design of study reforms and developments in higher education legislation. The KHK is in close contact with the Rectors' Conference of German Universities of Music (RKM) and raises public awareness of the political, social, legal and economic conditions of German universities of the arts.