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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 Executive Leadership Programme (ELP) is unique. It is radically global in its ambition to support university leaders across all higher education systems and types focusing on common issues and challenges. It covers central aspects of higher education management for a sustainable running of the institution, and it empowers university leaders to navigate the contextual and political dimensions of university leadership. In short, the ELP provides a framework with which to confront the big managerial, ethical, economic and societal questions universities are facing or will face.

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

Modular Topics:

Transformative Leadership
1. The Changing Mission of Universities
2. Building Partnerships Across the Global Higher Education Landscape
3. Navigating the Strategic Planning Process

Higher Education Management
4. Effective Governance, Risk Management, and Oversight
5. Budgeting, Financial Strategy, and Administration
6. Diversifying Income Streams and Fundraising Strategies in Higher Education
7. Creating and Managing Effective Teams

Values Based Leadership
8. Leadership in the Transformation of Higher Education
9. Charting a Sustainable Future for Higher Education
10. Defining and 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 2023 - Autumn 2024. The first session will be held at the IAU 2023 International Conference at Qatar University in Doha.

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

Coordinator: Dr. Andreas Corcoran, IAU Deputy Secretary General

Language of Instruction: English

Tuition Fees:
- IAU Members: €1500
- Non Members: €2250
- LDC Rate*: €1000
* Click here to see which countries are categorized as LDCs.

Registration: Please register via the following form:

Register Here

Meet the program facilitators:
- Teri Balser, Immediate past Provost and Vice President,
University of Calgary, Canada
- Chris Brink, Former Vice Chancellor, Newcastle University, UK
- Andreas Corcoran, IAU Deputy Secretary General
- Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice Chancellor, Queen’s University, Canada
- Andrew Deeks, President of Murdoch University, Australia and IAU President
- Pam Fredman, Former Rector Gothenburg University and IAU immediate past President
- Tawane Kupe, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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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