International Association of Universities
Building a Worldwide Higher Education Community
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Knowledge hub

  • Specialized portals

    World Higher Education Database (WHED)

    The WHED provides exhaustive coverage of higher education institutions and education systems. It is the most comprehensive and efficient tool to find information about higher education throughout the world.

    IAU Global Portal on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD)

    The IAU Portal on HESD is a collaborative platform centralizing and disseminating information on activities and actions promoting sustainable development undertaken by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) around the world. It is to assist IAU Member universities and organisations in particular to develop their own activities and services in support of HESD. It is also a source of information for others.

    International Bibliographic Database on Higher Education (HEDBIB)

    HEDBIB is a database on higher education systems, administration, planning, policy, and evaluation. It has been maintained by the IAU since 1988, and was redeveloped and upgraded in 2010. HEDBIB contains bibliographic references to all publications held in the specialised collection of the IAU-UNESCO Information Centre as well as new higher education publications and documents identified by the IAU Information Centre monitoring team.

    Portal on innovative approaches to doctoral education in Africa (IDEA)

    The IDEA - PhD Portal is developed in partnership with IAU Members and in particular with the partner Universities in Africa. It offers institutional and organisational profiles and announces calls and offers of interest to IAU Members in particular.

    To get involved in the various portals mentioned above please go to the respective portals and /or contact us.

  • World Higher Education Database (WHED)

    The World Higher Education Database WHED is the International Association of Universities’ (IAU) unique online reference portal that provides comprehensive and detailed information on Higher Education Systems, Credentials and Institutions around the world. It provides authoritative information on higher education worldwide. In partnership with UNESCO, the IAU secretariat receives and updates information in the WHED on an ongoing basis focusing each year on one specific region.

    This Portal offers data on higher education systems and credentials in 186 countries using information made available by the national competent bodies in each country:

    • Description of the pre-higher and higher education system
    • National bodies responsible for higher education and their contact details
    • Type of higher education institutions
    • Admission criteria, including information for foreign students
    • Description of main credentials awarded

    The WHED contains information on more than 18,500 higher education institutions offering at least a 4-year professional diploma or a post-graduate degree. Institutional data comprises:

    • Contact details for every institution
    • Historical background
    • List of academic divisions and study areas
    • Degrees and diplomas offered at each level of study
    • Key personnel, including principal academic and administrative officers

    The IAU offers customized data extractions from the WHED database through Palgrave Macmillan. For more information contact

    The International Handbook of Universities
    The information from the WHED serve as the basis of the annual three-volume International Handbook of Universities (IHU). It is published and sell by Palgrave Macmillan. This publication will be also transformed into an e-publication as of 2018 and more information will soon be available.

    Higher Education in ASEAN
    On the occasion of the IAU 15th General Conference (Bangkok, November 2016), a booklet entitled Higher Education in ASEAN was published. It showcases the higher education systems and institutions in the 10 ASEAN countries and provides a quick and comparable overview of the Higher Education landscape in the region.

NGO in official partnership with UNESCO in associate status
International Association of Universities, UNESCO House, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris cedex 15, France
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