With around 3800 students, the University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU) is one of the largest training institutes for culture and the arts in the Netherlands and Europe. HKU offers preparatory courses, Bachelors and Masters degrees and research degrees in design, media, games and interaction, music, fine art, theatre and arts management. University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU) is internationally oriented and involved in a wide variety of international programmes and applied research and innovation projects. HKU co-operates with many universities, institutions and companies worldwide and is active in European Commission funded trans-national research programmes. The school is also an active member of many 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 is nationally and internationally recognised for its teaching and research in digital and interactive media, its research in the areas of e-learning, digital design and knowledge management and was highly ranked by Business Weekly as on of the world’s most influential design schools.
HKU have pioneered the development of Applied Game Design (AGD) in the Netherlands and beyond, having formed a strategic alliance with TNO in 2005. Along with Utrecht University, TU Delft and TU Twente, they formed the GATE research project, which was funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Within GATE, HKU was responsible for the design and development three pilots showcasing the relevance of human focused design when addressing goals with games.
HKU has been active in the co-ordination of many pan-European and international projects. In the uWEAR project (part of wearIT@work), HKU examined the delivery of structured audio in vocational environments and has also recently completed and co-ordinated the Immersive Multimedia Interface project (IM3I) and the GNSS take-up project ImaGeo. HKU also created the technical infrastructure for the recently launched pan-European GAMA media art portal. In addition, HKU has coordinated the Research for SMEs project EUTV as well as coordinating the area on Accessible Convergent Communication for the eACCESS+ Thematic Network, and is a partner in the TISP Smart Publishing Thematic Network. HKU also participates in the Ambient Assisted Living projects STIMULATE (Sustainable E2 Mobility Services for Elderly People) and ASSAM (Assistants for Safe Mobility). HKU is also a lead partner in the InterRegIV-C project BOO-Games (Boosting European Games Industry) that is examining growth models for the regional gaming sector across Europe.
HKU is currently coordinating the pan-European CIP network JamToday that brings together 25 partners across Europe to explore the game-jam instrument as a design method for game-based learning solutions. Since 2015, HKU is also active in the CREA Summer Schools H2020 project and in a number of ERASMUS+ initiatives.