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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 2016-2022:

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


LEADING GLOBALLY ENGAGED UNIVERSITIES (LGEU) is a unique leadership development programme intended for HEI leaders, ranging from heads of institutions, to vice-presidents and deans, but also academic departmental heads, registrars, COOs, as well as senior professional administrators.

Keeping in mind the current context, we are pleased to announce the launch of LGEU +, the revamped online programme focusing on linking leadership transversally to the three strategic priorities of the IAU and balancing an emphasis on strategic thinking and planning as well as team-based approaches. The programme encompasses short, focused sessions aimed at enabling participants to:

• Enhance their approach to strategic planning,
• Discover new leadership ideas and insights,
• Extend their international network through peer engagement.

Facilitated by a workshop consultant and IAU’s in-house specialists, LGEU+ builds a mutually supportive coalition of peers and promotes effective university and civil leadership skills as well as strategic communication. Sessions are limited to 20 participants to ensure effective dialogue and group dynamics.

The objective of LGEU + is to empower university leaders to understand emerging trends in higher education and address leadership challenges on the frontline of digital, financial, environmental and societal disruption.

The programme includes an array of activities focused on improved analysis, foresight, innovation and implementation. It will combine:

• Four theme-specific interactive workshops led by the HE leadership consultant Dr. Tom Kennie (Ranmore Consulting)

• Three facilitated peer-learning sessions (Action Learning Groups) split into groups of four participants to ensure maximum interaction led by IAU President and senior staff

All sessions involve some pre and post-session work. In the Action Learning Groups, participants will engage with their peers and develop a specific project of importance to their institution (e.g. strategy paper with a particular focus), facilitated by IAU Senior Staff and Tom Kennie, thus getting tangible value from the workshop.

LGEU outcome 2
To master the mechanisms that help implement the institutional mission, inform decision-making, and provide structure for evaluating progress and taking corrective action.

LGEU outcome 1
To get a greater appreciation for the key trends shaping Higher Education and institutions in various contexts, especially digitalisation, internationalisation and HESD, and gain international perspectives on national/local challenges and opportunities.

LGEU outcome 3
To gain a better understanding of the participants’ preferred leadership style and discover innovative practices in institutional leadership, management and governance.

LGEU outcome 4
To improve interpersonal management skills and explore leadership responsibilities and expectations to unlock the full potential of diverse teams.

LGEU outcome 5
To create long-term partnerships, connect and share experiences with colleagues from all over the world and learn how they respond to common challenges.


- 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.

>>> 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

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