International Association of Universities
The Global Voice of Higher Education
EN  |   FR

Home > Knowledge hub

IAU Lynx March 2019


March 2019

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.



The call for nominations for the fifth edition of the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is now open. The Prize annually rewards three outstanding projects and programmes promoting ESD with USD 50,000 each. Deadline for nominations submission: 30 April.

UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation have announced the laureates of the 21st International Awards For Women in Science, which honours outstanding women scientists, from all over the world. These exceptional women are recognized for the excellence of their research in the fields of material science, mathematics and computer science.

UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)
UNESCO IIEP has released the report Quality and Employability in Higher Education: Viewing Internal Quality Assurance as a Lever for Change. The publication discusses the role of Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) in improving student learning, boosting employability, its integration in HEIs’ strategic management and how it can support the development of a quality culture. Recommendations for both national and institutional policy-makers on IQA management and implementation are included.

- Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
Presentations of the 2019 AIEA Annual Conference, which took place in January 2019 in San Francisco, are available online. The theme was: “What’s Next? Possibilities and Probabilities in the Future of International Higher Education”.

- International Council for Open And Distance Education - ICDE
The ICDE held its Lifelong Learning Summit, 11 - 13 February in Lillehammer, Norway. Entitled Lifelong Learning for Lifelong Employability, the summit allowed researchers and professionals in lifelong learning and ICT in education to share their research and knowledge with representatives from industries and employers organisations. Presentations and highlights are now available.

- Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges - EAUC
International Green Gown Awards - Call for Applications
Applications to the International Green Gown Awards have been extended to 29 March 2019. Administered by the EAIE and supported by UN Environment, the awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges – from teaching and research, leadership, buildings and food, to how students can benefit the quality of life in the communities around them. The IAU are co-hosting the International Green Gown Awards Ceremony at the High Level Political Forum in New York in July 2019.

- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development - OECD
OECD has just released two new publications: Trends Shaping Education examines major economic, political, social, environmental and technological trends affecting all levels of education. It covers a wide array of topics related to globalisation, democracy, security, and ageing.

The OECD Review of Higher Education, Research and Innovation: Portugal. This report was requested by the Ministry for Science, Technology and Higher Education (Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior, MCTES). It provides information of the key elements and dynamics that drive Portugal’s higher education, research and innovation system and the opportunities to enhance it through government policy.

Return to top


Africa - Asia & Pacific - Europe

- Africa

Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA)
The government of Germany has linked with the Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA) to fund EUR 5 million for a scholarship scheme for Masters degree students, under the East African Community Scholarship programme, from the six member states of the bloc, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

PhD opportunities for Ugandan and Kenyan nationals
The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), an international scientific research institute, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya is offering two PhD scholarships to Kenyan and Ugandan nationals. Funded through a research grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and jointly supervised by scientists from ICIPE, Aga Khan University, Makerere University and University of Berlin, Germany, the scholarships will cover all costs of the PhD programme, including travel, living expenses, medical insurance, university fees and all research and training costs. Closing date: 11 March 2019

- Asia & Pacific

Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU)
AAOU is calling for nominations for its President and Members of the Executive Committee for 2020-2023. Nominees must be a full member of AAOU for the last three consecutive years.
Deadline: 30 July 2019

Asia Foundation
A recent ceremony at the Ministry of Higher Education in Kabul, Afghanistan celebrated the academic achievements of 712 undergraduate Promote women scholarship recipients. The programme, which is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), helps students from economically challenged families pursue higher education at national universities in Afghanistan and international universities in India. The Foundation also awarded graduate scholarships for 2018-2019 to 150 women to pursue master’s degrees in India.

- Europe

European Union
New copyright rules for universities and research
The European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission have reached an agreement to reform copyright rules. Specifically, students and teachers will be able to use copyrighted materials in online courses, including across borders, for teaching. In addition, universities and research organisations hey will benefit from a copyright exception to carry out text and data mining on large sets of data. The agreement needs to be confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in the coming weeks.

European Commission
Transnational partnerships in HE
The European Commission has published Mapping of European transnational collaborative partnerships in higher education. The report presents the results of a survey on cross-border cooperation in higher education. It details existing transnational partnerships between higher education institutions in Europe.

The European Commission has released the annual report for Erasmus+ 2017.

Indicators for monitoring education
The European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (Eurydice) has released Structural Indicators for Monitoring Education and Training Systems in Europe. Covering all levels of education, the report includes indicators and targets for higher education and graduate employability.

Integrating refugees into Higher Education
Eurydice has also just published ‘Integrating Asylum Seekers and Refugees into Higher Education in Europe: National Policies and Measures’. The report presents indicators on migratory flows which provide the context and offers an overview of policies, strategies and measures that exist across European countries.

European University Association (EUA)
Open access research
The EUA has published its response to the ‘Plan S” open access consultation by Science Europe. This comes subsequent to an announcement by European research funding organisations who announced that from 2020 scientific publications based on the results from publicly funded research must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or platforms.

No-deal Brexit plans
EUA and Universities UK have released a guidance document to assist universities prepare for a no-deal Brexit. The document points to the areas where universities can act and indicates for general actions that can be taken.

Active learning
EUA has published Promoting Active Learning in Universities, which provides findings of an EUA Thematic Peer Group and examines the place of active learning to foster skilled professionals, critical and creative thinkers, and engaged citizens. It also points to the need for a cultural shift in the academic environment, in which teachers would become facilitators of learning and students their active partners.

Return to top


Australia - Indonesia
The Australian government signed a free-trade deal with Indonesia on 4 March. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), includes a provision which will allow Australian-owned universities to operate in Indonesia.

European Union - Australia
The European Union concluded a new agreement with the Australian Research Council (ARC) in Brussels on 13 February that enables researchers from Australia to join research teams funded by the European Research Council (ERC) across Europe.

France - Tunisia
On 14 February, a cooperation agreement for the new Franco-Tunisian University of Africa and the Mediterranean was signed in Paris by the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Frédérique Vidal, and her Tunisian counterpart, Slim Khalbous. The new University in Tunisia will grant French diplomas and offer courses in the humanities, social sciences and communication technologies. The joint university aims to open in the academic year 2019-20.

India - Morocco
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications was signed on 22 January 2019 and approved in February. Meant to deepen, enhance and strengthen bilateral cooperation in education and human resource development, it is also expected to increase the inflow of Moroccan students to India under the Study in India Programme.

Ireland - Brazil
A new five-year strategic partnership was agreed in February between the Irish Research Council and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), the largest public research-funding organisation in Brazil. The partnership will support and encourage collaboration in basic scientific research and collaboration conducted by researchers in Ireland and researchers in the State of São Paulo.

United Kingdom - Vietnam
23 Memoranda of Understanding were signed between Vietnam and UK education institutions, including higher education, at the end of January. An MoU was also signed by Vietnam’s minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha and Education minister of Wales Kirsty Williams on research and management cooperation between Vietnamese and Welsh educational institutions.

Return to top


Austria Australia Canada Egypt
France Greece Hong Kong India
Ireland Israel Kenya Mexico
Mauritius Mongolia Nigeria Norway
Spain Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand
United Kingdom United States Zimbabwe

-  Austria

15 Austrian universities have recently founded the UniNEtZ network to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The universities, including IAU Members University of Graz and the University of Salzburg, will be working on the SDGs in a transdisciplinary approach, to reflect the complexity of the SDG framework.

-  Australia

Gender equity - preventing violence programme
Universities will partner with the nation’s leading agency dedicated to preventing violence against women to develop a next-generation respectful relationships education programme for students in Australian universities drawing on violence prevention and online learning research. The online module is part of a whole-of-institution approach to prevent violence — the Respect and Equality Program (REP) for senior leaders, staff and students to promote gender equality.

Guidance for HE institutions on sexual harrassment and assault
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has released a Report to the Minister for Education: Higher education sector response to the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment. It presents TEQSA’s analysis of the responses and information from nearly 170 higher education institutions and details the actions TEQSA is taking to support provider responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment.

International students - English language requirements update
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has also published an updated version of the Guidance Note detailing TEQSA’s expectations of providers offering English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) programmes for entry to higher education institutions.

-  Canada

International student numbers increase
International student numbers in Canada increased by 16% in 2018 according to new data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada published by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE). This is a continued trend from 2017, when international student numbers increased by 20%.

Redefining access - Ontario
The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has released Redefining Access to Postsecondary Education. The report details how despite a dramatic rise in enrolment at Ontario’s higher education over the past two decades, there has been little progress in equitable access. It argues that a new approach to access is needed, focusing on helping underrepresented students rather than continuing to expand overall enrolment.

- Egypt

The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar has announced that the Egyptian government will construct eight international universities in the country by 2020.

- France

France and Brexit
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) have updated ‘FAQ Brexit’, providing information on the implications of Brexit for higher education and research in France. (in French), and for French international students in the UK.

Lifelong education and universities
MESRI has also published the latest statistics on continuous and lifelong education, three quarters of which takes place at public universities in France. Mainly financed by companies and official agencies, nearly 100,000 diplomas were issued to those taking these courses.

- Greece
Education Minister, Costas Gavroglou, has announced that plans to merge technical colleges with universities will continue, despite protests by some university staff.

- Hong Kong
Accreditation report
The Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) has published its Annual Report for 2017/18. Themed “Defining Standards, Appreciating Diversity”, it outlines the Council’s work and activities including as well as the Financial Report for the past year.

Developing higher education - Call for papers
Presentations and papers are welcomed for the 25th Anniversary Conference of the Federation for Self-financing Tertiary Education (FSTE) entitled ’Developing Higher Education for Next Decade’ to take place in Hong Kong, in June 2019. Deadline: 18 March 2019.

- India

Digital education
The Minister of Human Resource Development has launched “Operation Digital Board” to leverage technology that aims at introducing digital education to public higher education institutions by 2022 in order to enhance the quality of education across the country.

New government actions on ’Fake’ universities
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has listed actions that the Central Government and the University Grants Commission (UGC) have taken against fake Universities running without recognition as well as measures to raise awareness among the general public, students and parents on fake Universities.

Association of Indian Universities - Secretary General post open
Nominations are invited for the post of the Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). Deadline: 18 March 2019.

- Ireland

Research investment
In February, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, announced details of €4.3 million investment in the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme. which will provide funding for 53 researchers to take up positions at higher education institutions in collaboration with 48 partner organisations.

Ireland-Palestine masters scholarships launched
An Ireland-Palestine scholarship programme was launched in February by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. The initial cohort will see twenty full scholarships for Palestinian students awarded for a wide variety of Masters level courses in higher education institutions in Ireland in the 2019/20 academic year.

- Israel

Data released in March from the Council of Higher Education shows that the number of Bedouin students enrolled in undergraduate programs in Israeli institutions has doubled over the last decade. However, their number is still low compared to general access rates.

- Kenya

New HE and research Institute
The United States International University-Africa, in Nairobi, a Member of IAU, recently launched the Institute of Higher Education, Research and Leadership Development to deal with challenges in higher education such as funding and low student enrollment rates, as well as explore solutions that can improve the management of institutions of higher education in Kenya and worldwide. The institute will also develop a governance programme for senior leadership within institutions and develop programmes for managers.

- Mexico

Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel López Obrador has published plans for education reform which make all levels of education including university study, compulsory are being discussed in Mexico’s National Congress. The policy would be supported by making higher education free and by opening 100 new universities. ANUIES, the Mexican National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions, have questioned this plan would be funded at a time when existing public institutions are suffering funding cuts.

- Mauritius

Introduction of Free Higher Education
From the start of the 2019 academic year, education in all public tertiary education institutions for both full-time and part-time courses leading to a certificate, diploma or degree, will be free for all Mauritian citizens. The initiative is part of a series of measures to provide equal opportunities for students.

- Mongolia

Mongolia’s National Council for Education Accreditation (MNCEA). has announced that all foreign education quality assurance agencies and organisations operating or planning to operate in Mongolia are requested to register with the MNCEA.

- Nigeria

In a Memorandum of Action signed by the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the government has agreed to release funding for the revitalisation of public universities. Subsequent to this meeting, the Union has officially suspended a strike by academics which began three months ago.

- Norway

The Government has released a White Paper on Quality culture in higher education. The White Paper details expectations of higher education institutions on raising quality, and the measures that the Government will implement in order to realise these expectations.

- Spain

Universities to promote Open Science
In February, CRUE, the Spanish Universities Association, an IAU Member, released a position statement on Spanish universities’ commitment to Open Science, as a collaborative, transparent and accessible approach to research. The publication details ten concrete actions, together part of a structural change in the way that universities conceive of both research and the dissemination of its results.

Brexit and Erasmus - Catalonia
the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) , an IAU Member, has released a statement on Brexit and the Erasmus programme.

- Sri Lanka

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and four Sri Lankan universities have signed project agreements to foster science and technology in Sri Lanka’s higher education. The programme plans to construct faculty buildings following green building standards; develop degree curricula incorporating industry inputs and aligned with international standards; support the recruitment and training of academic staff for the new programs; strengthen staff performance management systems; and initiate university-industry partnerships for research and development.

- Taiwan

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has launched the Technical Universities’ International Talent Cultivation University Pilot Project. Six universities were selected to participate in the project aimed at developing cooperation with international technical universities; Improving students’ technical skills, knowledge and international competitiveness; and improving standards in Taiwan’s industry.

- Thailand

New Ministry
The bill for the creation of a new Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has has gone to the National Legislative Assembly for first reading . If passed, the current Ministry of Science and Technology and the Office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC) would have equal roles in integrating resources for the work of the new Ministry.

Distance learning - Call for Papers
Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) is calling for papers for its International Conference on Education themed “Distance Learning: Research and Innovation for Digital Society”, which will take place in Nonthaburi, Thailand in August 2019. Deadline: 31 March 2019.

- United Kingdom

Brexit and Erasmus+
The UK Government has released new Guidance for Erasmus+. In the case of Brexit with a withdrawal agreement, the UK will participate in Erasmus+ until the end of 2020. In the case that there is no withdrawal agreement, the Guidance says that the UK will negotiate with the EU with the aim of securing the continued full participation in Erasmus+ until 2020.

Erasmus+ - universities’ response
In response, Universities UK has released a statement advising the government to reconsider its position, since this will ensure funding for current Erasmus+ students, but not funding for for European study abroad placements beyond this.

Universities Enterprise Zones
UK Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Chris Skidmore, has announced a £10m fund to facilitate interactions between universities and small businesses. Managed by Research England, the funds will enable ten universities to develop university incubators into University Enterprise Zones (UEZs) to help strengthen links between research developed in universities, and align this with the needs of local businesses.

Funding - Scotland
The Scottish Funding Council announced on 28 February funding allocations for universities for academic year 2019/20 which reduces funding to universities by 1.8%.

Part-time students increase - Wales
The Welsh Government reports statistics that there has been a 35% increase in part-time undergraduates from Wales, further to a 58% increase in the number of postgraduates supported by the bursaries and grants this year in Wales.

- United States

Confucius Institutes - Senate report
A US Senate committee report ‘China’s Impact on the U.S. Education System’ examines the operations and impact of Confucius Institutes, which operate at universities in the United States and in other countries. The report states that the institutes are funded “with strings attached that can compromise academic freedom”, It recommends that unless there is full transparency regarding how Confucius Institutes operate and full reciprocity for US cultural outreach efforts on college campuses in China.

Faculty and equity
A new report from the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California provides the results of a national survey of university and HE faculty. It explores faculty perspectives on the fair treatment of female faculty and faculty of colour, analyses satisfaction with the equity of salary and job benefits and faculty readiness to deal with diversity-related conflict in the classroom.

- Zimbabwe

The government, through the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE), is reviewing degree programmes offered at the country’s State universities. This is being done in an effort to improve university curricula and increase graduate employability

Return to top

IAU Lynx February Edition
IAU Lynx December Edition
IAU Lynx November Edition

IAU Lynx coordinator: Amanda Sudic
Collaborating team: Nicholas Poulton, Samuel Pousson and Carine Sebast
Contact: [email protected]
© IAU 2019

NGO in official partnership with UNESCO in associate status
International Association of Universities, UNESCO House, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris cedex 15, France
Contact  |   Sitemap  |   Terms of use  |   Credits