About ELIA

What is ELIA

ELIA is the major multidisciplinary membership organisation for higher arts education institutions with about 250 members in 47 countries. Founded in 1990, the ELIA network represents some 300,000 students in all art disciplines.

ELIA advocates the arts on the European level and creates new opportunities for its members through sharing knowledge, facilitating the exchange of best practices and stimulating academic innovation. ELIA has well-established partnerships with other networks and cultural organisations worldwide.

ELIA Mission and Objectives

The principal mission of ELIA is to represent Higher Arts Education and to be an influential voice and advocate in promoting the interests of its members. In placing emphasis on the value of arts education and artistic research, ELIA is dedicated to enhancing the conditions in which Higher Arts Education can flourish, nationally and internationally. Our current time is dominated by financial uncertainty, global ecological challenges and rapidly shifting political landscapes. Therefore, ELIA’s mission is vital, urgent and relevant.

ELIA’s main objectives are to:
  • Strengthen the position of higher arts education;
  • Support the free development of education in the arts;
  • Promote the arts as a central contributor to social and economic development;
  • Encourage cultural diversity and foster communication between cultures.
(More on ELIA's objectives can be found in the Manifesto here).

ELIA’s Strategic Focus 2016-2020 is based on four pillars, which aim to promote, enable and facilitate:
  • Knowledge exchange and academic discourse;
  • Networking, collaboration and interaction;
  • Advocacy and representation;
  • Academic leadership and professionalism. 
ELIA’s strategic focus 2016-2020 covers five key topics, which inform all ELIA’s activities:
  • Sustainable careers and entrepreneurship;
  • Inclusion, participation and social engagement;
  • Research and practice;
  • Pedagogy – curriculum development, learning and teaching;
  • Art education in schools and adult learning contexts.
ELIA’s aims are primarily realised through:
  • Events, projects and initiatives, which address all levels of the higher arts education community (leaders and managers; lecturers and researchers; artists and students). For our current events and projects visit the Activities page
  • Partnership: ELIA's collective knowledge accumulated over many years and its strong network create the ideal platform for cooperation and partnerships. More can be found on the Benefits page.
  • Dissemination: Through the ELIA website and social media, the office supports its members to share information with the network and to find project partners and funding. Publications and position papers are disseminated to share knowledge and experiences on the key ELIA’s key topics.For more Publications visit our Library page or register to our Newsletter for current updates. 

Organisational Structure

ELIA members participate in various ELIA projects and events. They are encouraged to network and share information not only during ELIA events but also with the network via the ELIA website.

The Representative Board consists of a maximum of 21 members elected during the General Assembly from and by registered full members of the organisation, ensuring a proportional representation of disciplines and regions. The Representative Board elects the President and Treasurer. The tenure is for a period of two years. See the current board by clicking here.

The Executive Board, including the President, comprises a maximum of nine members chosen from the Representative Board.

The Executive Office, currently residing in Amsterdam, coordinates daily affairs, project manages the events in cooperation with local partners and handles all membership requests and related inquiries.

ELIA has over 25 years' experience in representing higher arts education in Europe. Its Executive Office, elected Board, specialist steering groups and members provide the organisation with a wealth of expertise that bolsters its advocacy and forms an extensive resource for research, the development of new projects and networks, policy review and future scenario planning.


Beulingstraat 8
1017BA Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Phone nr. +31(0)20 330 1116
Email: info@elia-artschools.org

Office hours:
Monday - Friday from 09.30 - 17.30

ELIA's activities are funded with support of the European Commission. The website reflects the view only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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