The Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) is a European cultural and educational network, which was established in 1953 (see AEC History). It represents the interests of institutions that are concerned with training for the music profession. Today, the AEC includes over 280 member institutions in 55 countries. The 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. It does this through providing support, information and expert advice to the specialist institutions offering Higher Music Education, through engaging in advocacy and partnership-building at European and international levels and through measures to raise understanding and enhance standards of Higher Music Education across the European Higher Education Area and beyond. Whilst Music is the primary focus of the AEC, Dance and Drama are often taught alongside Music in the specialist institutions represented by the Association and, under those circumstances, its mission actively embraces these disciplines. The statements made here, and in the Aims, Objectives and Values of the AEC, should therefore be regarded as also applying, where relevant, to these sister performing arts.