On May 28 and 30, 2024, the Board and Directors shared the two letters below with students and staff. In response to requests from students and staff, we share them here as well on our website.




May 30, 2024

Dear members of our community,

Yesterday, during an open walk-in session, we had a meaningful and substantive conversation with some of you. Thank you for that. The main focus of this discussion was on how to proceed, and we would like to summarize that here.

On May 28, we shared a letter via email and intranet, which included a call for a ceasefire. This letter, along with this follow-up, is now also available on our website and has been shared with various educational consultative bodies.

Ethical Framework Development Timeline

The timeline for developing an ethical framework to advise on the establishment of new and review of existing relationships is as follows:

June: Formation and assignment of the working group by the CvB/MT, after consulting the Supervisory Board (RvT) and Participatory Council (MR).

July: Action plan completed and approved by the CvB/MT, after consulting the MR and RvT.

October: First results and advice from the working group presented to the CvB/MT, and then to the MR and RvT.

End of 2024: Framework and criteria submitted to the CvB/MT, MR, and RvT.

Early 2025: Implementation of actions, including the reconsideration of partnerships. 

Vending Machines and BDS Movement

The Boycott-Divest-Sanctions (BDS) movement calls for a boycott of the Coca-Cola Company. Removing the Coca-Cola vending machines without replacement would significantly reduce the canteen's income, which must operate independently and cannot be subsidized according to regulations. We are exploring options for replacement machines, products and income sources, and we will share an update on this process on July 1, 2024. provide periodic updates. We want to maintain the canteen for the academy. 

Suspension of Exchange Agreements 

We have suspended our exchange agreements with the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and the Jerusalem School of Visual Theater. You can find the details in our exchange list . The letter to these institutions is available for review at the board secretariat's office, and a brief statement is on the exchange page of our website. Any potential changes will be evaluated against our developing ethical framework.

New Partnerships

The ethical framework will also inform all our decisions around seeking and building new partnerships with Palestinian academies or universities.

Overview of Creditors

An overview of current creditors (from €5,000) is available here. For privacy reasons contract teachers and individual freelancers are not included. These creditors, along with partnerships, will be reviewed in light of the new ethical framework.

Berlage Fund

The Berlage Fund is set up to receive donations, which currently benefit ten selected graduates for their final examination exhibition. We aim to also raise funds for students from crisis areas. During the graduation exhibitions, we will launch a campaign to support Palestinian students who wish to apply.

Code of Conduct and Poster Policy

Our code of conduct is rewritten annually, with the next round in September. If a poster is removed, it is because it violates the code of conduct or the poster policy. In the future, if a poster or other expression is removed on the basis of the code of conduct, we will communicate this to the entire community with an explanation.

Progress Tracking

An online document will be made available on the intranet where you can follow the progress of the above topics and all actions taken. 

Finally, we thank the entire community for sharing thoughts, suggestions, and emotions. For artists and designers, expressive power and communication of individual and collective perspectives are essential for our practices, lives, and community. By sharing, we can move forward together. We are always available for questions.


With warm regards,

Maaike, Ruby, Miriam, and Judith




May 28, 2024

Dear students and staff,  

We, the CvB and MT of Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Instituut), continue to strive to make the multiplicity of conversations and considerations we have, visible to all. We have heard and understood the call for more decisiveness and transparency. We thank all students and colleagues for their dedication and involvement and acknowledge the hard work that comes with it. 

A first draft of the letter before you has been shared with various representative bodies of the academy. Their feedback was thoughtful, generous and insightful. In this same spirit, we write in response to various signals and demands from within our community and to bring clarity and transparency vital for dialogue to be possible and sustainable. 

Call for ceasefire  

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the cessation of the attack on Rafah as the International Court of Justice did on Friday, May 24, the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages and all persons in non-judicial detention. The Academie urges the international political community to use its diplomatic power to press for this.    

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie stands for freedom of expression and protest as fundamental democratic rights and condemns the use of police violence against students and staff who participate in demonstrations. We condemn this, as we condemn all violence by any participant in the context of peaceful protests. 

We reiterate that the Gerrit Rietveld Academie stands against all forms of discrimination and racism, including antisemitism and islamophobia. 

Exchange Partnerships

The Gerrit Rietveld Academy has two exchange agreements, with Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and Jerusalem School of Visual Theater. Besides these two exchange programs, the academy has no (in)formal, contractual, institutional, or financial relationships with institutions in Israel. 

The existing agreements concern students who go on exchange, always based on individual requests and weighed on substantive grounds. No money is involved in these exchanges.  

We suspend our agreement with Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and Jerusalem School of Visual Theater as there is sufficient doubt whether the academies can operate independently from the current Israeli government.  

It is and remains of vital importance to emphasize that all students, regardless of their nationality, are and remain welcome to enroll at the academy.  Our academy does not reject anyone based on ethnicity or nationality.  

Network and Collaborations  

In recent months, we have begun re-examining our entire network based on our institutional priorities of inclusion, diversity, and ecology. This includes fundraising, sponsorship, banking relationships, suppliers, and our pension fund's investments.  

To do this we will now focus on establishing ethical, social and ecological criteria for all our current and future partnerships and monitor them. As an academy we continuously strive to act with integrity. This means that we regularly need to critically assess all collaborations and partnerships considering national and international political developments. A working group will be formed, also calling on external expertise to advise the CvB and MT on a relevant framework.   

The ethical framework will inform all our decisions around partnerships, collaborations and suppliers, from seeking and building new partnerships with Palestinian academies or universities through to the choice of products in the canteen and vending machines.  

Financial Support   

We will strive to establish a fund to support Palestinian students applying to the academy. We know this is a difficult task and an effort was already initiated by different groups in our community. We commit to taking this further and will also consult with other organizations to see how this can be made possible.   

The tuition fee aid that was extended to Ukrainian students was a government decision and not one we can take unilaterally. We have been voicing the need for such a rule to also apply to Palestinian students in the higher education networks we are part of. We will continue to do so.   

Code of Conduct and Poster policy  

We have a code of conduct. This forms the foundation upon which our poster policy is based. Statements or posters are sometimes removed either because they are in violation of the code of conduct or because their placement is outside of dedicated areas.  

The code of conduct is updated yearly in dialogue with all participation bodies of the academy.  


To summarize the points of action:  

Form working group in order to advise on ethical framework for collaborations, partnerships and suppliers.

Suspend exchange agreements with Israeli academies.  

Critically assess supplier contracts with a view to changing products when necessary.  

Establish support fund for Palestinian students.  

Yearly review and update of code of conduct. 

We look forward to the continuation of the ongoing dialogue. A first opportunity for talking and asking questions is as early as Wednesday next, 29 May between 3pm and 5pm during an open walk-in session on the first floor of the BC building, at the long table, where we will be happy to answer questions and engage in conversation.   

Maaike, Miriam, Judith, Ruby