Thomas D. Meier

ELIA President

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

Zurich, Switzerland

Having worked in the museum field for 15 years, I was elected President of Bern University of the Arts in 2003. Bern University of the Arts was the first comprehensive arts university in Switzerland and resulted from a merger. I was a founding member of the Conference of Swiss Universities of Music, Drama, Dance, Art and Design and have served as its President between 2004 and 2011.

In 2008 I was elected President of Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and assumed office in autumn 2009. Zurich University of the Arts is the largest arts university in Switzerland, offering a broad range of degree programmes and further education courses in design, film, art & media, dance, theatre, music and art education/teacher’s training. Closely interrelating teaching and research, the university provides an ideal setting for transdisciplinary work. The student body is about 2500 and faculty about 1000. As in Berne, ZHdK resulted from a merger between the former University of Art and Design and the University of Music and Performing Arts. My principal tasks are to complete the merger, to adapt organisational structures accordingly, to strengthen transdisciplinary collaboration, to develop and introduce a new research strategy, to establish sustainable cooperations, and to further promote the internationalisation of the university. We are opening a transdiciplinary Hong Kong hub at this very moment. ZHdK will move to its new campus this year. Our merger will then also physically be consumed.

I hold a PhD in History, English and American Studies. In 2012 I was elected President of the Rector's Conference of Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts. I have served on the ELIA Board since 2010, since 2011 in the position of the Treasurer.

Beulingstraat 8
1017 BA Amsterdam
The Netherlands

T: +31 (0)20 330 1116
F: +31 (0)20 626 7751

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