AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen) is a European cultural and educational network that represents higher music education institutions across Europe and beyond. AEC was founded in 1953 and has approximately 300 member institutions in 57 countries. Previously based in The Netherlands, AEC has operated as an International Non-profit Association since 2013 out of offices in Brussels.
AEC works for the advancement of European higher music education and, more generally, of music, the arts and culture in contemporary society and for future generations. As its members include almost all of the important players in the field, the AEC can, for good reasons, claim to be “the leading voice for European higher music education”.
AEC sees higher music education as combining a quest for excellence in three areas: artistic practice (the doing and making of music); learning and teaching (the transmission of knowledge and understanding of music) and research and innovation (the exploration of new musical knowledge and understanding and of new ways of applying it). It addresses all three areas by providing support, information and expert advice to the specialist institutions in Europe offering higher music education; by engaging in advocacy and partnership-building at European and international levels; and by implementing measures to raise understanding and enhance standards of higher music education across the EHEA and beyond.