International Association of Universities

Building a worldwide higher education community

IAU Global Surveys

IAU 5th Global Survey

5th edition of the Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education

17 international experts on internationalization have accepted to assist IAU in the preparations for the 5th edition of the Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education. they form the Advisory Committee which will review and redesign the questionnaire to be used to collect data from HEIs. The Global Survey has become a renowned source of global and regional insights on institutional trends and perceptions about internationalization. IAU plans to collect data in 2018 and publish the 5th edition in early 2019.


IAU 4th Global Survey (2014)

In April 2014 the IAU published the report of the IAU 4th Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education

  • An electronic copy of the report's Executive Summary, can be downloaded here

  • To order the 4th Global Survey report, please complete and return the order form available here

Each of these reports, as described below, provides a unique analysis of global and regional level data on trends and developments in the field of international higher education and related policy making. The IAU Global Survey reports have become an invaluable resource for anyone working on or interested in internationalization of higher education.

For more information contact the Manager, HE and Internationalization policy and projects: Giorgio Marinoni

4th Global Survey report

Internationalization of Higher Education – Growing expectations, fundamental values

Published on April 1 2014, the IAU 4th Global Survey reports analyses responses from 1,336 higher education institutions in 131 different countries. The report presents the largest and most geographically comprehensive collection of primary data on internationalization of higher education available today.

In preparing the IAU 4th Global Survey, the Association benefited from the support of the European Commission, British Council, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the European Association for International Education (EAIE). As well, and Advisory Committee of experts aided in the formulation of the questionnaire used in the survey.

Some highlights of the report include:

• Institutions world-wide are focusing on internationalization. Over half of the respondents report that their institution has an internationalization policy/strategy, and 22% report that one is in preparation. Just over 15% indicate that internationalization forms part of the overall institutional strategy.

• Student mobility and international research collaboration are the highest-priority internationalization activities within institutions

• Student knowledge of international issues is the most significant expected benefit of internationalization. This is the same finding as in the IAU 3rd Global Survey (2009) and the 2nd Global Survey (2005).

• International opportunities being available only to students with financial resources, was ranked by respondents as the most significant potential risk of internationalization for institutions while the most significant societal risk is noted as commodification/commercialization of education

• In the majority of regions, respondents indicated that their geographic focus for internationalization was on their own region. Europe is also a strong focus for most regions.

• Limited funding is the major internal and external obstacle to advancing internationalization. This finding was also true in the two previous IAU Global Surveys.

• Respondent institutions report that they seek to promote values of equity and sharing of benefits through their internationalization strategy and activities.

The book includes approximately 100 figures and tables presenting, comparing and analysing aggregate and regional results. It is an invaluable resource for anyone working on or interested in internationalization of higher education.

The IAU 4th Global Survey has already been noted in the press:


IAU 3rd Global Survey (2010)

3rd GLobal Survey cover

Internationalization of Higher Education: Global Trends, Regional Perspectives

Published in 2010 the report includes more than one hundred Figures and Tables presenting, comparing and analyzing global (aggregate) results as well as those specific to the six world regions. The report is based on responses from 745 higher education institutions and close to 20 national university associations in 115 different countries.

Analysis of the regional findings is supplemented by commentaries from senior higher education experts in internationalization from each of the regions. Where appropriate, comparisons are drawn with the results of the IAU 2005 Global Survey on Internationalization, showing both continuity and change.

A detailed analysis of how enrolment size affects the form and function of internationalization within HEIs and a review of the Association’s perspectives and role in internationalization is also included.

To order the report, please complete and return the order form.


IAU 2nd Global Survey (2005)

2nd survey cover

Internationalization of Higher Education - New Directions, New Challenges

Second in the series, the 2005 IAU global survey expanded its geographical coverage and broadened the survey to include in addition to higher education institutions, university associations from around the world. At the start of 2005, questionnaires were sent to more than 3,000 higher education institutions, more than 100 national university associations and 17 regional university associations around the world.

Click here to order

Highlights of findings


IAU 1st Global Survey (2003)

1st global survey

Internationalization of Higher Education: Practices and Priorities

In early 2003, the International Association of Universities surveyed its institutional members on the practices and priorities of internationalization at their institutions.

Click here for the full report

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