Is the music student merely a reflection of higher music education, or does higher music education (HME) in fact reflect its students? It appears as though HME institutions need to address a ‘reality gap’ — that is, the discrepancy between educational policies and the reality of the current job market — in which music graduates are required to navigate a ‘protean career’ whilst relating to opposing musical ideologies. How are students and professors relating to this contradictory state in HME? Are key terms (e.g. creative learning, entrepreneurship or the ‘protean musician’) perceived differently, and if so, what are the implications of divergence? This untrodden terrain is the essence of this PhD project, and will be examined by interviewing students and professors from contrasting disciplines in HME in Norway and in the Netherlands.