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The national vision 2030 for arts education proposes major changes

A national vision for arts education has been completed. The vision proposes measures to strengthen and develop arts education at all levels of education.
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Photo: Jaakko Kahilaniemi

The vision 2030 offers dozens of proposals for action to strengthen the role in society of arts education in music, the visual and performing arts. The unique visioning process, which started in 2019, brings together the views of more than 2,000 arts professionals and stakeholders on the future of arts education and training.

The national vision is based on the idea that art has intrinsic value. However, arts education also helps to respond to societal changes, for example by strengthening emotional resilience, community spirit and creative problem-solving. Investing in arts education can also contribute to wellbeing.

'The field of arts and culture is changing. Our vision is striving for strengthening the arts and culture sector and its capacities in a collaborative and cross-sectoral way. The work has been exceptionally collaborative — done by building networks and cooperation between research units, training providers, organisations and actors in the field. This work aims to raise the profile of the importance of the arts and culture sector more widely and to promote the recognition of this specific expertise,' says Anniina Suominen, Professor of Art Education at the Aalto University Department of Art, who has been closely involved in the visioning process. 

Accessible and equitable arts education to help solve the sustainability crisis

The vision aims at making pedagogically high-quality art studies and cultural activities accessible to all. The supply of arts subjects should be increased and diversified at all levels of education. Learner-centred pedagogy and the research underpinning it must be strengthened. Municipalities must also be obliged to draw up cultural education plans.

'The field is united by a commitment to action and a culture that is sensitive to diversity and systematically promotes inclusion and accessibility. The vision work has been driven by a strong belief in the importance of pedagogically high-quality teaching and guidance: creating positive, life-wide experiences and engagement with art and arts education,' says Anniina Suominen.

The vision highlights the importance of strengthening the social and environmental sustainability of arts education. Equality will be promoted, for example by updating management practices and critically reviewing the arts canon. Also, building a responsible relationship with the environment is in focus, for example by examining the carbon footprint of educational organisations and introducing teaching content on the subject.

The funding gap in arts education and training needs to be closed

The national vision also offers solutions to structural problems in the creative industries. This includes the creation of permanent jobs for professionals in early childhood education and social and cultural services. To achieve these goals, cooperation with other sectors must be increased and adequate resources must be ensured.

This vision was launched at the initiative of the University of the Arts. The vision for music education was published in 2020, and the vision work for the visual and performing arts was completed in 2021-2022. The work including seminars, online surveys and core group work. It has involved teachers, students, artists, researchers, industry experts, organisations and stakeholders. A joint launch event took place on 14 November 2022 in Helsinki.

'Finnish art education and training is of the highest quality by international standards. By implementing the measures outlined in the vision, we will ensure that the creative industries remain Finland's strengths and help us imagine paths towards a more sustainable future. The arts have enormous potential to promote well-being and make everyday life meaningful. Finland should now harness this potential in a holistic way,' says Kaarlo Hildén, Rector of the University of the Arts, which coordinated the visioning process.

'All three visions provide an excellent basis for cultural and educational policy decisions, both regionally and nationally. Now we invite decision-makers, welfare regions, municipalities and other local actors to join us in putting the ideas into practice.'

For more information:

The national vision online

Professor Anniina Suominen, Aalto University
[email protected]
+358 50 4334430

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