Prorector Maren Schmohl as a Evaluator in Astana and Rotterdam

Delegation with prorector Maren Schmohl (second from left)

As members of a delegation from EQ-Arts and MUSIQUE, the two European institutions for quality assurance at art colleges and music academies, Prorector Maren Schmohl made her longest-ever official trip to the Academy of Art and Music in Astana, Kazakhstan, last week.

“With outside temperatures around minus 20 degrees, we were not unhappy to spend most of our time in intensive discussions with our Kazakh colleagues. We were able to gain a profound insight into the management structure, the organization of studies, the quality assurance procedures and the university’s plans for the future. Particularly impressive was the warmth and openness of all university members and the many students we met. Kazakhstan is looking for contact with Western Europe and the framework of the ESG, the European guidelines for quality assurance, gives us a common frame of reference to discuss our work, even across geographical and cultural borders,” explains Maren Schmohl.

The Bajterek Tower, the landmark of the Kazakh capital Astana

The return trip led the prorector via the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, also as part of a visit to EQ-Arts. The last six working days included more than 20 meetings and encounters with the various groups from the two universities, plus countless working sessions with the other evaluators, presentations of student work, guided tours and concerts. A tight schedule, but Maren Schmohl sums it up: “I come back to the Merz Akademie inspired and with many new ideas, and I’m looking forward to starting the new semester with the students and colleagues.”

She won’t be putting her suitcase away too far, though, because her next trip is already coming up: in May, she’s off to the art academy in Tallinn, Estonia.


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