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Leadership is a core aspect of quality higher education, vital in enabling institutions to respond to complex challenges and social transformation. Higher education leadership must be underpinned by values and responsibility; it must also constantly evolve in order to address emerging challenges and opportunities. It is essential that higher education institutions fully contribute to the development of sustainable and democratic societies by ensuring fair, equitable, and inclusive access to education. IAU endeavours to strengthen capacities of university leaders and enhance cooperation among HEIs across the world, whilst also invigorating university leadership to maximise their impact on communities at all levels.

Overall objectives for 2022-2026:

  • Provide thought leadership
  • Foster professional development
  • Monitor trends in leadership challenges
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning


About the Executive Leadership Program (ELP)
The IAU is pleased to announce the second edition of the IAU Executive Leadership Programme (ELP), scheduled to run from Autumn 2024 to 2025. The ELP is unique. It is radically global in its ambition to support university leaders across all higher education systems and types. It focuses on common issues and challenges and covers central aspects of higher education management for a sustainable running of the institution. The ELP empowers university leaders to navigate the contextual and political dimensions of university leadership. In short, the programme provides a framework with which to confront the big managerial, ethical, economic and societal questions universities face.

Want to learn more or share this opportunity with others? Access the full programme brochure here.

Modular Topics:

Introduction to the ELP
1. The Changing Mission of Universities

Stakeholder Management
2. Effective Leadership, Governance, and Risk Management
3. Building Partnerships Across the Global Higher Education Landscape
4. Creating and Managing Effective Teams
5. Forming Transformative Partnerships with Students

Operational Leadership
6. Navigating the Strategic Planning Process
7. Budgeting, Financial Strategy, and Administration
8. Diversifying Income Streams and Fundraising Strategies in HE
9. Shaping Higher Education in an Increasingly Digital World

Transformative Leadership
10. Towards a Transformation of Higher Education
11. Charting a Sustainable Future for Higher Education
12. Communicating the Role of Higher Education in Society

Learning Outcomes:

- Enhanced Strategic Thinking and Planning: Gain a new perspective on different aspects of global higher education to improve scenario thinking for the implications for your current strategy and future plans.
- Understand Your Leadership Capabilities: Gain better knowledge of the different dimensions of strategic leadership to become a globally engaged leader of change.
- Develop Effective Teams: Explore leadership expectations and improve interpersonal management skills to unlock the full potential of diverse high-performing teams.
- Build a Global Network of Peers: Create long-term partnerships, connect with colleagues from all over the world, and share experiences to learn from each other.

Program Details:
Dates: 25 November 2024 - Autumn 2025. The first session will be held at the IAU 2024 International Conference at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

Format: The ELP will meet in person and online over the course of one year. Each module is complimented by Action Leadership Groups, separated into current and emerging leaders for true peer-to-peer exchange.

Coordinators: Dr. Andreas Corcoran, IAU Deputy Secretary General and Margaret Harris, IAU Communications and Media Officer

Language of Instruction: English

Tuition Fees:
- IAU Members: €2000
- Non Members: €3250
- LDC Rate*: €1500
* Click here to see which countries are categorized as LDCs.

Registration: Please register via the following form:

Register Here

Meet the program facilitators:
- Andrew Deeks, President of Murdoch University, Australia and IAU President
- Pam Fredman, Former Rector Gothenburg University and IAU immediate past President
- Tawana Kupe, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Pretoria, South Africa
- Fanta Aw, Executive Director and CEO, NAFSA, USA
- Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice Chancellor, Queen’s University, Canada
- Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives and Professor, Howard University, USA, and Former Vice Chancellor and Professor of the Humanities and Social SciencesVice Chancellor and Professor of the Humanities and Social Sciences
United States International University - Africa, Kenya.
- Teri Balser, Immediate past Provost and Vice President, University of Calgary, Canada
- Jacob Blasius, Executive Director, Global Student Forum, Denmark
- Manja Klemenčič, Professor of Higher Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Enzo M. Le Fevre Cervini, Senior Researcher, Laboratory on Innovation and Artificial Intelligence (IALAB), University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Andreas Corcoran, IAU Deputy Secretary General and ELP Programme Director


Please note that this program has been redesigned into the IAU Executive Leadership Program and that this particular program is no longer available.




- JUNE 2019 / LGEU-7: ISIT (Paris, France)

- OCTOBER 2018 / LGEU-6: National University of Political Studies and Public Administration
(Bucharest, Romania)

- MAY 2018 / LGEU-5: McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada)

- MAY 2017 / LGEU-4 University of Botswana, (Gaborone, Botswana)

- DECEMBER 2016 / LGEU-3: Universidad EAFIT, (Medellin, Colombia)

- APRIL 2016 / LGEU-2: University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)

- NOVEMBER 2015 / LGEU-1: University Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)



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.

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