Professor Elaine Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), has today (11 June) been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The award recognises her outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Higher Education.

Professor Thomas has had a long and varied career in Higher Education, including senior roles at the University of Ulster and Sheffield Hallam University. She joined the former Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College as Director in 2000 and managed the merger of the University College with the Kent Institute of Art and Design which took place in 2005.

Professor Thomas oversaw the creation of the University for the Creative Arts, which gained University title in 2008. This was a significant achievement which saw the formation of a unique new university with a distinctive mission placing creativity at its heart. This represents the culmination of a longstanding ambition to raise the status of the creative arts in society.

Today UCA has 7,000 students from over 75 countries and is the second largest provider of art and design education in Europe. It has campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester. Notable alumnae include Zandra Rhodes, Tracey Emin and Karen Millen.

Professor Thomas said: “I am honoured to receive the CBE, and am delighted that the valuable role UCA plays in society has been recognised in this way.”

Loyd Grossman, Chair of UCA’s Board of Governors, said: “Professor Thomas has been a tireless advocate for the creative arts throughout her career. Thanks to her work, thousands of young creative practitioners have had an excellent education and have gone on to succeed in their chosen disciplines.”

Professor Elaine Thomas is a practising fine artist and contributes significantly to Higher Education and cultural organisations.

For more information contact:

David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939