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Leadership is a core aspect of quality higher education, vital in enabling institutions to respond to complex challenges and rapid societal change. Higher education leadership must be underpinned by values and responsibility. Leadership must be adaptable and constantly evolving to ensure always more equity. It is essential that higher education institutions fully contribute to the development of sustainable & democratic societies.


IAU aims at strengthening capacities of leaders and enhance cooperation among them. It also tends to reinforce leadership of universities to maximize their impact on communities.

Overall objectives for 2016-2020:

  • Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Learning
  • Provide professional development
  • Monitor trends in leadership challenges



The quality of higher education leadership, while becoming ever-more challenging, is central to the well-being of universities. The expectations and responsibilities of higher education institutions are expanding while the local and global context is continuously changing with leadership becoming more complex. To support new and future leaders of Higher Education Institutions, the IAU has developed a leadership programme entitled: Leading Globally Engaged Universities (LGEU).

Who should take part?
The programme is for successful institutional leaders who wish to extend their experience by engaging with peers from other countries. It is of particular value to those in senior leadership roles:

  • Recently appointed Rectors/Vice Chancellors/Presidents
  • Deputy/Pro Vice Chancellor/ Vice Provost /Vice President/Vice Rector or equivalent.
  • Senior professional service leaders at Registrar/Chief Operating Officer level or equivalent.

To gain maximum benefit from the programme, participants will be expected to be comfortable and confident conversing and engaging with others in English.

What are the benefits of participating?
Participants will gain:

  • Insights from leaders from other universities in all regions of the world that will inform the strategic developments in their institution;
  • data as well as greater appreciation of how these can shape the direction of their university and higher education in different national contexts;
  • knowledge about theory and practice of institutional leadership, management and governance;
  • the opportunity to become part of a global network of peers;
  • International perspectives on national/local challenges and opportunities.
  • Being part of a unique international network of colleagues. LGEU will act as a catalyst for the establishment of partnerships and longer-term collaborations between participants and their respective institutions.
  • LGEU graduates will bring back approaches from other contexts that can be adapted and implemented at home.
  • Institutions will gain from the rich bank of resources made available.

    >> LEAFLET

When is the next session?
The fifth session (LGEU-5) will be hosted by McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada from 13 to 18 may 2018. The deadline for applications is 1 April 2017.

Registration Fees:
Fees include programme delivery and material, accommodation and meals but exclude travel costs.

  • IAU Member: 3,200 € (Euro)
  • Non Member: 6,000 € (Euro)

Applicants from developing countries may apply for financial support. Sponsorships are limited and IAU considers applications on a case-by-case basis.

Each session is limited to 15-20 participants.


Who participated in the past sessions?

LGEU-1: hosted by University Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) in November 2015
LGEU-2: hosted by University College Dublin (Ireland) in April 2016
LGEU-3: hosted by Universidad EAFIT, Medellin (Colombia) in December 2016
LGEU-4: hosted by the University of Botswana (Botswana), in May 2017

Juliette Becker

Discover testimonials from former participants.



IAU was commissioned by the World Bank to undertake a mapping of professional development training programme available around the world for higher education leaders at different levels of the institution. IAU has created an online directory. Based on the mapping findings, IAU has conducted a gap analysis.

>>> Mapping of higher education leadership programs worldwide
Depending on the national or regional context, the number of higher education institutions is growing, the nature of the institutions is diversifying, their role in society is continuously questioned and the demands placed on these institutions is expanding. It is thus not surprising that the leadership of such institutions becomes more complex and that the development of leadership capacity becomes a priority.
In response to these complex realities, there is a growing number of training programs offered to strengthen higher education leadership. Yet, there is no single source of information about what is on offer, nor have there been many studies to look at the impact of such trainings. IAU, itself offering a leadership program since 2015, produced an initial mapping of programs. The aim is to identify and briefly describe programs on offer and discover gaps in terms of geographic coverage, type of program offered, who is being targeted, etc. IAU has issued an analytical report presenting the rationale, methodology and results of the study.

>>> Online searchable directory of programs
The list of all 78 identified programs is available in a directory in a format of a searchable excel file, which allows sorting the programs according to 6 topics as follows:
- Target audience
- Duration
- Delivery mode
- Location
- Tuition fee
- Credential

Leadership Programmes Directory

Juliette Becker

NGO in official partnership with UNESCO in associate status
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