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IAU Lynx June 2021


June 2021

IAU Lynx offers a monthly overview of higher education developments around the world. It covers new policies, initiatives and projects on various higher education topics. The information is classified by international, regional, bilateral and national initiatives.



UNESCO Member States have expressed the need to establish a globally recognised qualifications passport, drawing on the experiences and methodology of the European Qualifications Passport initiative. A pilot project was implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) in Iraq, UNHCR, NOKUT and UNESCO. Twenty-one UNESCO qualification passports were officially issued to the candidates at a conference jointly organised by the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and UNESCO on 27 May 2021.

The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was held virtually from 17-19 May 2021, live streamed from Berlin, Germany, to mobilize support for the new global framework ESD for 2030. The Conference was organized in cooperation with and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany. May 17 May 18 May 19

Ms Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education was interviewed in May by the President of the higher council of Education of Quebec on the following question :Towards 2030: How to strengthen the global initiative for quality education for all?

UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)
A new publication "A new generation of external quality assurance. Dynamics of change and innovative approaches. New trends in Higher education" takes stock of the innovative approaches that have emerged in response to the many criticisms of the EQA process at the beginning of the 21st century. This publication identifies the main trends underlying the development of innovative approaches to EQA.

UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE)
The IITE and Shanghai Open University (SOU) has called for submissions to share best practices on digital transformations related to the use of advanced ICT in education, including artificial intelligence (AI). The best practices of schools, TVET organizations and universities will be collected within the UNESCO IITE/SOU joint project on “Promoting ICT Capacity Building and Open Education in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies”. Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2021

UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC)
UNESCO (IESALC) presents itsAnnual Report 2020 that explores its activities, which on this occasion respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic to higher education, aligned with the work programme approved for the 2020-2021.

IESALC’s new report “Thinking Higher and Beyond: Perspectives on the Futures of Higher Education to 2050“ presents findings from consultations with higher education experts based around the world. It questions common assumptions about higher education and its contributions, creating a bold series of possibilities for different futures for higher education for all.

UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI) - Abuja and Dakar Offices
On 11 May 2021, UNESCO-ICHEI and UNESCO Abuja and Dakar Offices virtually signed a partnership agreement for higher education digital transformation in West Africa. The parties agreed to jointly promote access to, quality, and inclusion of Higher Education using innovations of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the ECOWAS region of West Africa.

During the Second International Conference on E-learning held by Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UNESCO called for the continuation of blended learning in universities in Iraq.

On the 15 years of the Quebec-Canada Agreement on UNESCO, a motion adopted unanimously in the National Assembly. "The Agreement "contributes to the influence" of Quebec and "recognizes the specificity of Quebec based, among other things, on the use of the French language and a unique culture. (in French)

UNESCO Santiago
The first report, “Todos y todas sin excepción” ("All without exception") produced by the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report), the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago) and the Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (SUMMA), urges countries in the region not to forget the most disadvantaged children and youth and to promote inclusion in education in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. The seminar presentation is available online.

- Agence universitaire de la francophonie (AUF)

Financed by the European Union and implemented by the AUF in partnership with the national research and innovation agencies of Benin, Burkina, Togo and Senegal, the VaRRIWA project - "Valorization of research and innovation results in West Africa" - was officially launched on 4 June in Dakar (Senegal). With a duration of four years and a budget of more than three billion CFA francs (€4,942,249), the VaRRIWA project aims to contribute to the creation of an incentive environment for the transfer of research and innovation results in West Africa.

REseau quaLIté en Enseignement supérieur et Recherche (RELIER)

The REseau quaLIté en Enseignement supérieur et Recherche (RELIER) organised on 20 May 2021 its 17th Conference in partnership with the Agence de mutualisation des universités et établissements d’enseignement supérieur ou de recherche (Amue) on the theme "International openness and ESR: Impact of the quality approach".
Ms. Olfa Zéribi, AUF Regional Director for Western Europe, presented the development strategy of the French-speaking expertise at the international level in relation with the 2021-2025 strategy of the AUF.

OECD / Ibero-American States (OEI)

The Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) report on Higher Education, Competitiveness and Productivity was launched in Madrid by the Secretary-General of the OECD.

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Africa - Americas - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

Call for Papers: Green Criminological Dialogues: Voices from Africa

The University of Oslo, an IAU Member, has launched a call for abstracts from the Global South on a topic of choice connected with terrestrial or marine environmental conflict, destruction and/or resistance in Africa and invites African scholars from African Universities to contribute.
Abstract to be sent no later than 1 July 2021

- Americas

Asociación de Universidades Grupo Montevideo

Registration is now open for the Winter School on Human Rights Education, organised by the Human Rights Chair of the Association of Universities Grupo Montevideo and the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). The course will be held virtually every Wednesday from 30 June to 1 August. It has a total class load of 34 hours and certificates will be issued to those who complete 75% of the activities.

Asociación Iberoamericana de Educación Superior a Distancia (AIESAD)

The National Distance Education University UNED will host the European Distance and E-learning Network 2021 annual conference in Madrid from 21 to 24 June, 2021. Registration is still open.

Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI)

TheOEI and the Ibero-American Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (RIACES) presented the quality seal ’Kalos Virtual Iberoamerica’, a joint instrument that will accredit the quality of educational programmes or virtual degrees of Ibero-American universities.

The OEI and its Ibero-American Institute for Human Rights Education, in collaboration with the SM Foundation, are launching the 4th edition of the Óscar Arnulfo Romero Ibero-American Prize for Human Rights Education. The call is aimed at institutions that have actively worked in the defence and promotion of human rights through education and pedagogy. Formal education schools and civil society organisations linked to non-formal education work are eligible to participate. The prize is USD 5,000 for the two winners in each category.

Centro Interuniversitario de Desarrollo (CINDA)

CINDA’s Transformation of the Learning-Teaching-Evaluation Process project held two virtual meetings with 38 representatives from 19 universities in the network, to present the main features of the project and plan the work to be carried out during 2021. In this virtual meeting, the general framework of the project and its objectives were presented, as well as the main lines of work designed for this year.

Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe (UDUAL)

With the aim of providing access to information in digital form about universities, UDUAL presented the "Henning Jensen Pennington" Digital Collection. The collection consists of four communities, which include the books and memoirs that have been published by the UDUAL throughout its 72 years of existence and its periodical publications on topics such as the defence of university autonomy, the integration of Latin American and Caribbean universities, internationalisation and academic cooperation. It also includes the Latin American and Caribbean Network of University Archives.

- Asia & Pacific

ASEAN University Network for Business and Economics

Proceedings are now available from the 1st ASEAN University Network for Business and Economics Virtual Conference (16 April 2021) themed: “Enabling the Transformation of Resilient Business Environment and Innovation Ecosystem in the ASEAN

Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)

APRU has joined Solve Climate by 2030, a trailblazing #MakeClimateaClass project by the Graduate Programs in Sustainability at Bard College in New York State. The project harnesses the power of climate-concerned universities and schools worldwide to facilitate Green Recovery action with the aim of solving climate change by 2030.


Youth Leaders from 8 ASEAN countries gathered to consolidate the ASEAN University Student Network (AUSN) at the AUSN Sub-annual and Working Committee Meeting.

Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN)

On 26 - 27 April, theNational Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE) (Japan) and the Temasek Foundation International-National University of Singapore Programme for Leadership in University Management (TF-NUS PLUM) held an an online summit for university leaders to address challenges, exchange perspectives, and develop and advance innovative ideas on ASEAN university governance and management. The theme for this year is "University Leadership in Asia’s Next Normal" which aims to reshape ideas and activities in higher education in response to the global uncertainty caused by COVID-19, as well as to explore paths forward for ASEAN higher education institutions.

- Europe

European Union

To date, 22 EU member states have submitted national plans for the EU’s €800 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility, the key instrument in the EU plan for emerging stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic with a number looking for money to modernise university campuses, reducing the energy footprint and cutting maintenance costs. The recovery fund prioritises projects that promote the green transition and digitalisation.

The European Research Council has presented a new plan for boosting gender equality in its calls for projects in the EU research programme, Horizon Europe.
In the next seven years, the ERC hopes to attract more female applicants than before. In Horizon 2020, 28% of all applicants were female.

The Guild

The Guild, a group of 21 research-intensive universities located in 16 European countries, has called for the creation of a European Ombudsperson to defend and support academic freedom.

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Argentina Australia Belgium Benin
Bhutan Canada Colombia Ecuador
France Ireland New Zealand Singapore
Taiwan Tunisia United Kingdom United States

-  Argentina

The Ministry of Education presented the Plan for the Virtualisation of Higher Education II (PlanVES II), an initiative of the Secretariat for University Policies to provide university institutions with resources to strengthen face-to-face and remote training spaces and the development and implementation of Hybrid Classrooms. The proposal foresees an investment of 1.5 billion pesos.

-  Australia

The Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, has released the Australian Government’s response to the Independent Review of the Adoption of the Model Code on Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in Higher Education.

An expert working group will lead the development of a new roadmap to identify Australia’s research infrastructure needs and priorities for the next five to 10 years.

The 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap website is now available. The Roadmap outlines national research infrastructure required over the coming decade.

Maranoa Country Universities Centre (CUC) officially opened, providing more opportunities for local students to access higher education and training closer to home.
The Australian Government has provided more than $1.3 million to help establish the centre at the Roma Community Hub
– one of nine additional centres funded under the $74.2 million Regional University Centres program

On 30 April, Alan Tudge, Minister for Education and Youth and Stuart Robert, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, announced funding of $9.4 million for an Innovation Fund that will offer grants of up to $150,000 for eligible providers to grow offshore and online delivery.

-  Belgium

The rectors of the Flemish universities and the deans of the faculties of medicine have called on the government not to relax too quickly the measures against the spread of the coronavirus.

-  Benin

The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Eléonore Yayi Ladekan, led an an awareness session for female students on sexual harassment in academia. On 23 March at the University of Abomey Calavi (UAC), The meeting was moderated by her colleague in social affairs, Véronique Tognifode, the President of Women Scientists, and the President of the Gender Observatory.

-  Bhutan
The Bhutan Accreditation Council has launched the Rubrics for Standards of Institutional Accreditation during the Council Meeting held on 2 June.
The use of rubrics is expected to enhance objectivity in the accreditation exercise which will be used to accredit all the HEIs hereafter.

-  Canada

The Canadian government has reiterated its support for international students coming to Canada and the role they can play in helping Canada meet its immigration targets.

-  Colombia

The National Government has signed agreements with nine public Higher Education Institutions in Antioquia and Medellín to advance free tuition for students. These agreements will benefit nearly 98,200 young people in the region, who will have the benefit of zero tuition for the academic periods corresponding to the second semester of 2021 and 2022.

-  Ecuador

On 13, 14 and 17 May, representatives of universities and polytechnic schools, higher technical-technological institutes and conservatories participated in the cycle of workshops for the construction of the Higher Education System Development Plan, organised by the Higher Education Council (CES). The aim of the event was to receive contributions and observations from the country’s higher education institutions for the joint definition of goals around six thematic axes proposed by the Occasional Commission for the elaboration of the Plan: teaching, academic offer, research, students, links and infrastructure.

-  France

TheConférence des Présidents d’Universités, the French Rectors’ Association, has released the survey results from 6,484 students enrolled in apprenticeships in CPU member universities.

-  Ireland
A study, commissioned by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has found that while the number of people aged between 15 and 64 who have achieved a third-level qualification in Ireland has increased by 5% in the past decade,there are relatively low levels of education attainment in specific groups in comparison to overall population levels.
Those specific groups, which were identified in the HEA’s 2015-2019 National Access Plan (NAP) to support increased access to higher education, include mature students, students with disabilities, Irish Travellers, lone parents, teen parents, and ethnic minorities.

A new plan for the safe return to on-site activity for higher and further education for September has been published by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris.

-  New Zealand

The Budget 2021 education plan has been released. It includes an overall operating investment of over $470 million for tertiary education, which includes $110.7 million over four years for 1.2 percent increase in tertiary education tuition and training subsidies and $10 million to extend the temporary hardship fund for learners in tertiary education.

The Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, has confirmed the Government’s commitment to international education and set out key priorities for the sector’s rebuild in a meeting with international education leaders.

-  Singapore

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will extend the suspension of repayments and interest accrual for the government loans for all Autonomous University (AU) and polytechnic graduates for a further four months, until 30 September 2021. This seeks to extend the support for AU and polytechnic graduates whose employment may be affected given the current economic uncertainty

-  Taiwan

A Webinar on COVID-19’s Impacts on the Landscape of Taiwan and International Higher Education took place on 22 March by the Centre for International Policy Studies and Research Chair in Taiwan Studies at the University of Ottawa.

-  Tunisia

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the University of Monastir and, coordinators of work package 5 “Dynamization of Quality Committees and Recommendations towards a better autonomy of universities” – in the framework of the SAGESSE project – organized during May two online events. The first workshop on “Networking of Quality Committees: From quality policy to operation through the quality manual” took place on 4 May.

-  United Kingdom

A new report ’Universities and the UK’s economic recovery: an analysis of future impact’ written by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) and published by Universities UK, predicts that over the next five years UK universities will provide: £11.6 billion worth of support and services to small enterprises, businesses, and not-for-profits., 21,700 new companies and charities will be started because of universities, 191,000 nurses, 84,000 medical specialists and 188,000 teachers will be trained at UK universities and £21.7 billion of research collaboration between universities in the UK and non-academic organisations.

The Russell Group of universities has released Pathways for Potential. The report sets out a roadmap to ensure there are no barriers to anyone fulfilling their potential, regardless of their background or where they live. Its recommendations are informed by: in-depth interviews with social mobility think tanks, practitioners, schools’ representatives and academics and a survey of Russell Group members and an assessment of their most recent access and participation plans.

-  United States

A study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) has shown that there is a 3.5% drop in the number of students in higher education, seven times greater than the year-on-year decline recorded in the spring of 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has released their fourth COVID-19 Snapshot Survey. The survey examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on international educational exchange to and from the United States and finds that US institutions are focusing on bringing students back to campus, with 86% planning some type of in-person study in fall 2021 and none of the reporting institutions intending to offer virtual instruction only. Mirroring this finding, 90% of institutions plan to offer in-person study to international students.

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IAU Lynx May Edition
IAU Lynx April Edition
IAU Lynx March Edition

IAU Lynx coordinator: Amanda Sudic
Collaborating team: Nicholas Poulton, Samuel Pousson, Carine Sebast and Lianne Guerra
Contact: [email protected]
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