It was a real pleasure to return to Budapest on 13 – 15 November for the AEC Congress. In uncommonly mild weather, the city was looking beautiful as was the newly refurbished Frans Liszt Academy. We were hosted most generously by Andrea Vigh, Beáta Furka and former President and AEC Council member, András Batta. The river trip on the Danube on our first evening was especially memorable. With the renewed EU funding for the Polifonia programme, AEC is in a strong position for the future. Congratulations to Jeremy Cox, Linda Messas and all the AEC team. Representing Codarts Rotterdam with my colleagues Wilma Franchimon, Frans Koevoets, Okke Westdorp and Linda Bloemhard, we met old friends and made some very interesting new connections too. Our plan is to increase our participation in Europe and further afield with special interests in Research, Orchestral and Chamber music connections, Pop and Jazz collaborations and, of course, Erasmus Plus exchanges to name a few. There is no doubt that AEC plays a vital role in keeping the world of conservatoires alive and developing.