Profile + Values

Highly individualised tuition and research strength: As Switzerland’s first transdisciplinary university of the arts, the Bern Academy of the Arts (HKB) offers a diverse study programme in the divisions of Music, Design and Fine Arts, Conservation and Restoration, Theatre and Literature.

The HKB enables its students to enjoy a top-class education extending over all three academic levels up to a doctoral programme (in collaboration with the University of Bern) and attaches importance to tuition that takes account of the changing nature of the professional world. An outstanding infrastructure, orientation to the latest artistic and scientific developments, innovative teaching methods, a manageable size with a familial atmosphere together with its location in the cultural cities of Bern and Biel contribute to the unique nature of the Bern Academy of the Arts.


What is important to us – HKB guidelines

The HKB stands for social and artistic diversity. As a place of education, training and work, it offers a wide range of disciplines that are taught and learned, the opportunity for diverse cultures to meet, as well as a place where a diversity of people work, study, teach and research. We cultivate an openness towards new ideas and a respectful manner in how we interact. The HKB is a place of artistic practice, where creative drive finds contemporary expression with a view to the future.

At the HKB the students are at the center. We shape and develop the university in exchange with them. With our individualised teaching programmes, we cater to students who are committed as they are inspired, as critical as they are reflective, and as eager to experiment as they are interdisciplinary. Independent and networked activities in research, further education and service complement our offerings. Entrepreneurial thinking and action are important to us. We actively promote diversity within our university and value the manifold potentials that arise from it. 

The HKB has its finger on the pulse. It is an institution which raises questions and develops current artistic discourses and social debates. We support diverse attitudes and are committed to the freedom of art and science. As part of a multidisciplinary university of applied sciences, we contribute our knowledge to cross-disciplinary collaborations that help find solutions to societal challenges. 

We are regionally, nationally and internationally visible and connect the German- and French- speaking cultural areas. As an important cultural organizer, the HKB is in dialogue with the public and is committed to a plural society. 

Setting the course

The HKB accepts the challenges of the future. A vision, six development goals and associated implementation measures outline the coordinate system in which our university intends to develop over the next five years.
The development of the university in 2025 must be understood as a dynamic and open process, because in the face of an ever-accelerating world we must continue to be able to absorb external impulses and adapt our teaching and research content and structures for the benefit of our students. Thus, the development goals take on the role of centres of gravity in terms of content in order to initiate processes of change at their core. This is done with the intention of being able to offer the students of the HKB a contemporary design or artistic education under constantly changing conditions.

Code of Conduct

The HKB brings together people with different identities and of various backgrounds. While this diversity is enriching, it also harbours the potential for conflict when dealing with one another. This guideline is intended to support both staff and students in avoiding, recognizing and naming intolerable behaviour and actively taking action against it.


The academy is governed by the Director, who presides over the Directorate and the academy's Governing Body. This consists of the Heads of the various Divisions and the responsible persons for the Y Institute as well as research and administration. The teachers are also represented in the Governing Body. This is structured into various commissions and work groups addressing issues such as the development of quality, communication, research or internal further education. The HKB is supported by an Advisory Board of personalities from politics, culture and the economy, which pursues the development of the academy and links it to its environment.

Board + Advisory Board

Association of the Mid-Level Academic Staff, Administration and Services

The HKB Advisory Board is a permanent body and supports the Director in an advisory capacity. It advises and supports the Director on strategic, cultural and higher education policy issues, provides impetus for teaching, research, further education and services from an external perspective. Furthermore, it promotes public awareness of matters relating to the HKB and supports the HKB in representing its interests to third parties. The Advisory Board is self-constituting and works on an honorary basis.

The HKB Advisory Board will be reconstituted in 2024.


do.hkb is the voice of the lecturers and represents them in the management bodies of the academy. It is the point of contact for all lecturers and represents their interests in the relevant division management (FBL) and in the school management (DL).

The board of the association is made up of the 5 department representatives.

do.hkb in Brief

  • Since 2004, do.hkb has been organised as an association and thus outside the HKB organisational chart.
  • The association is an independent interface to external interest groups and trade unions.
  • A department representative represents one department at a time.
  • The board members of do.hkb are lecturers and have a seat in the respective departmental management meetings; they send a representative to the departmental management meeting.
  • The association seeks cooperation with the lecturers' organisation of the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH / ProFHesBE.

The Association for Mid-level Academic Staff, Administration and Services of the Bern University of the Arts (VMAD-HKB) represents the interests of the mid-level academic, administrative and services staff at the HKB. The most important goal is to ensure that the interests and perspectives of all members are heard by the university's governing bodies.

The VMAD-HKB establishes contacts within BFH, is involved in higher education policy and advocates for the concerns of staff. The VMAD-HKB is open to all mid-level academic, administrative and services staff at the HKB.

All mid-level academic, administrative and services staff at the HKB are automatically members of the association when they take up their position. All further information for employees can be found at

Kulturesk is the student organisation of the HKB. It unites the over 1000 HKB students from all departments: Music, Theatre, Literary Writing, Design and Art, Restoration-Conservation, Research and CAP (Y).

Kulturesk offers students a platform for performances, concerts, readings, exhibitions and much more, supporting interdisciplinary initiatives in particular with a financial contribution each semester.

The aim is – in addition to an active university policy – to promote contact among students and in doing so specifically student, artistic and cultural creation and life at the HKB.


Joachim looks after his daughter on Tuesdays and Fridays. Catherine wants to be a composer. Manuela is a commuter. Elisabeth exhibits her work. Fabio works in a call centre until midnight. Veronika is doing a second education. Seth is learning German. David is considering to change his degree programme. Roman is living with his parents. Lea plays jazz. Annika is restructuring her life.

The HKB aims to provide excellent conditions for students and employees. To ensure sustainable high quality work, we work to create equal opportunities. Our goal is not merely to accept more men into the degree programme Fine Arts and more women into Jazz. We also regard measures to facilitate the combination of studies, paid work and family life as an integral part of providing equal opportunities, as well as the inclusion of gender-oriented perspectives into teaching and research. Together with students, employees and members of the governing board, we address questions such as the following:

  • A leadership position is advertised. No women have applied. 
  • Part-time study: is this possible at HKB?
  • What does gender competence mean?
  • How does motherhood/pregnancy leave work? 
  • We need more men in our degree programme.
  • I would like to integrate the gender dimension into my teaching more.
  • How can I avoid gender-specific inequality in the evaluation of pieces of work?
  • A teacher is becoming too intimate. What can I do?

The equality officer is responsible for the pursuit of equal opportunities for men and women at the HKB. According to the equality regulations and together with the responsible persons, she develops measures to promote equality that are appropriate to the various different departments and degree programmes.


Culture inclusive

Who is actually disabled? AM I, or have I been MADE disabled? Attitudes, policies and physical barriers prevent people with disabilities from taking part in social activities on an equal basis with others.

Who is actually disabled? AM I, or have I been MADE disabled? Attitudes, policies and physical barriers prevent people with disabilities from taking part in social activities on an equal basis with others.

In 2014 Switzerland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The political debate has since focused on the participation and inclusion of all persons with disabilities.

HKB was awarded the «Kultur inklusiv» label in April 2016. Inclusiveness is an integral part of HKB life. Assuming the usual admission or employment criteria, no student or staff member shall be excluded owing to any form of impairment or chronic illness.


Logo des Labels Kultur inklusiv

All persons – with or without disabilities – shall enjoy full access to all cultural activities. This has been the aim of the «Kultur inklusiv» label. Launched in the Swiss canton of Berne in 2015, the purpose of the pilot project was to promote and implement cultural participation for all, and to support cultural institutions on their journey to wholly inclusive accessibility.

By 2016, fourteen different Bernese cultural institutions, large and small, had joined the project. Currently, the activities of its Service Centre (Fachstelle) extend across all of Switzerland; the label has been awarded to some 75 cultural institutions.

HKB was the first Swiss university of the arts to embark on providing fully accessible courses and activities. Also, HKB recently ratified both the project’s Charter on Cultural Inclusion (Charta zur kulturellen Inklusion) and its Action Plan for 2020–2023.


Die HKB ist in Lehre und Forschung höchster Qualität verpflichtet. Dies formuliert sie in ihrem Leitbild deutlich. Dieser Anspruch an die künstlerischen, fachlichen, methodisch-didaktischen und kommunikativen Qualitäten prägt den ganzen Hochschulbetrieb. Qualitätssicherung und -entwicklung ist eine Aufgabe, in die alle Studierenden, Dozierenden und Mitarbeitenden involviert sind.

Die Qualitätsbeauftragte und die Arbeitsgruppe Qualität (AGQ) befassen sich mit der Methode oder Systematik, wie Qualität an der HKB gemessen, beurteilt und letztlich gefördert werden soll. Die Indikatoren und Ergebnisse zur Qualität von Lehre, Forschung und Dienstleistung sind einer von vielen Wegen, nach innen und aussen aufzuzeigen, worin die Stärken liegen und in welchen Bereichen Verbesserungen erforderlich sind. Dabei ist die Evaluation der Lehre ein wichtiges Kernelement. 

In diesem kontinuierlichen Entwicklungsprozess orientiert sich die BFH/HKB am  Organisationsentwicklungsmodell der European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).


Supporting the HKB scholarship fund

The HKB scholarship fund was set up for the targeted support of students in difficult financial circumstances. It is funded entirely by donations.

Students at HKB requiring the support of the scholarship fund are asked to refer to the site Study at HKB.

Supporting the HKB scholarship fund

Donations for the benefit of the scholarship fund can be made at the diverse HKB events such as concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions, presentations, readings, etc. We are also happy to receive direct payments into the bank account of the HKB scholarship fund.

Scholarship fund contributions of up to CHF100 can be done via TWINT. Each sub-fund has a dedicated QR code – please scan the relevant code for the specific sub-fund that you wish to support.

In regards to deposits made via TWINT, please note the following:

  • TWINT deposits are anonymous (i.e. a name is not attached). Consequently, no confirmation of the donation can be issued (making this option suitable for smaller amounts).
  • If you wish to transfer an amount larger than CHF 100 and/or receive a confirmation of the donation made, we kindly request that you use the bank details indicated below. 

Bank: Berner Kantonalbank AG, 3011 Bern
IBAN: CH73 0079 0020 9186 9843 7
In favour of: Berner Fachhochschule, Hochschule der Künste Bern (HKB), Fellerstrasse 11, 3027 Bern

Please indicate to which specific fund you wish to allocate your donation:

  • Music | Theater
  • Design and Fine Arts | Conservation and Restoration | Contemporary Arts Practice
  • Literature.

For any questions please contact

QR codes for TWINT deposits:

QR codes for payments into the HKB scholarship fund with TWING