International Association of Universities
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  • IAU HESD Cluster and the UN Global Goals Week

    For more than two decades, the International Association of Universities has supported the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN Agenda 2030. In 2018, the Association launched the IAU HESD Cluster which promotes the role of higher education institutions in building more Sustainable societies. The IAU HESD Cluster is a consortium of IAU Member universities from all parts of the world, working in collaboration to develop existing and new exciting initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IAU Global Cluster on HESD promotes the role and potential that HEIs have globally in order to achieve Agenda 2030.

    During the 75th UN General Assembly (15-30 Sep. 2020), a unique forum for multilateral negotiation, IAU, its Members and the IAU HESD Cluster leaders are getting active for a media campaign, showing their contributions in teaching, research, community engagement and more. The 75th General Assembly deals with several themes such as peace, disarmament, promotion of human rights. When it comes to sustainable development the UN General Assembly will work among other things on protecting global climate for present and future generations and on implementing Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Most sessions can be followed live, we invite you to visit the UN General Assembly website to know more.

    >>Get involved in the Global Goals week!
    The Global Goals Week brings together different actors and events around the UN General Assembly. IAU is following the high-level event from distance and communicating on its twitter account @IAU_HESD and invites the IAU HESD Cluster and all IAU Members to share their initiatives related to higher education for the SDGs, using the hashtag #IAUClusterSDGs and tagging @IAU_HESD.

    >> Want to know more about the IAU HESD Cluster and its initiatives? Visit the IAU HESD portal!

  • IAU & ESN’s joint paper on COVID-19 impact on HE: Institutional and Students’ Perspectives

    A joint paper on the COVID-19 impact on Higher Education: Institutional and Students’ Perspectives

    The International Association of Universities (IAU) and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) release a joint paper providing a reflection on the impact of COVID-19 on student exchange, based on the outcomes of the 1st IAU Global Survey Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education and the ESN’s Research Report on the impact of COVID-19 on student exchanges in Europe.

    The authors draw a parallel between the students’ responses and the higher education institutions (HEIs)’ responses, and come to the conclusion that even though both perspectives are different they remain complementary. This joint reflection explores several aspects of the impact of COVID-19 in higher education including: student exchange, communication between HEIs and students, the shift to online learning, and student support.

    We thank Joana Ribau Leite, Liaison Officer for Quality Education, Erasmus Student Network and Giorgio Marinoni, Manager, HE and Internationalization, International Association of Universities for their contribution to this paper.

    >> READ THE PAPER <<

  • A new Podcast on ’the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and higher education’

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an IAU partner, has launched a new podcast series - Voices of Academia - as part of their Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. " Voices of Academia ” is a platform for academics to share their views and showcase the important role of higher education in advancing policy-making and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN 2030 Agenda.

    IAU Secretary General, Hilligje van’t Land, and César Wasen, Director of the International Affairs Office at Qatar University (an IAU Member) were invited to take part in the very first episode of the series dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and higher education. They discussed the initiatives undertaken by different universities around the world to help society achieve the SDGs, and explained why the SDGs are as important for higher education as higher education is for the advancement of the SDGs.

    This episode is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud and Youtube!


  • Pam Fredman, President of the International Association of Universities, interviewed in a Podcast

    Interlace PODCAST is a podcast platform aiming to encourage and facilitate debate among professionals and bring together people with an interest in internationalization of higher education.

    IAU President, Pam Fredman was invited to present the work of the International Association of Universities and explain the history of the Association, its mission and values but also why its role is of paramount importance in this time of global crisis. Pam Fredman also highlighted the importance of networking and mobility – Higher Education, Research and Knowledge must be connected.

    "By becoming a Member of the International Association, higher education institutions and organizations can be an active part of building the higher education community worldwide." - Pam Fredman, IAU President


    >> Not yet an IAU Member?


  • Sign up for a Free webinar on the future of higher education - digital dimension: exploring the different modes of learning

    IAU is pleased to continue its series of free webinars on the future of higher education. These webinars offer a unique opportunity to engage with higher education leaders and experts.

    - Next webinar session:

    The future of higher education - digital dimension: exploring the different modes of learning

    15 September 2020 - 11:00am-12:30pm CEST (Paris Time)

    This webinar will discuss the lessons learnt from the experience of remote teaching and learning. What are the opportunities deriving from this experience and how can it contribute to innovation in teaching and learning?

    - Discussion panel:

    • Dr. Àngels Fitó, Vice-President for Competitivity and Employability, Open University of Catalonia
    • Dr. Kamila Ghazali, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International), University of Malaya
    • Prof. Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education at Deakin University

    >>>> Register now <<<<

  • IAU joins UNESCO Global Education Coalition

    The International Association of Universities joins the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO

    IAU joins forces with UNESCO and partners from around the world to ensure that #LearningNeverStops. UNESCO Global Education Coalition seeks to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption through three main objectives: supporting the equitable continuation of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring a full and fair return to education following the pandemic, strengthening learning systems for the future.

    IAU supports leaders of universities and other higher education institutions around the world by facilitating collaboration and exchange on solutions to the challenges encountered during the pandemic; IAU monitors impacts on the higher education sector, shares solutions and identifies key issues for higher education in the post-pandemic world.

    Amongst its activities to support the higher education sector during the pandemic, IAU published a first Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education and recently published a new report on Regional/National Perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education

    IAU also developed a series of webpages gathering resources related to COVID-19.

    >>> Learn more about the Global Education Coalition

  • New IAU Report: Regional & National Perspectives on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education

    The International Association of Universities publishes a new report on Regional & National Perspectives on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education

    Following the publication of its First Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education, the International Association of Universities (IAU) releases a new report providing Regional and National Perspectives on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education .

    The IAU’s first Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education was conceived to better understand the disruption caused by COVID-19 across higher education institutions worldwide and to investigate the first measures undertaken by them. It aimed to capture a description of the impact of COVID-19 at the global level and on higher education in the broader sense, including all areas: teaching & learning, research, and community engagement.

    In order to complement the report and shed some light on the above mentioned topics, IAU called its member organizations to contribute to a new report focusing on Regional/National perspectives by contextualizing the results of the IAU global survey in their local realities and providing additional information.

    The report presents success stories at regional and national level in Asia, Europe, and North America.


  • A new statement to reaffirm the importance of international Higher Education

    The International Association of Universities contributes to the publication of a new Statement on the importance of international higher education and research

    In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Network of International Education Associations (NIEA) whose IAU is the coordinator, publishes a statement reaffirming the importance of international higher education and research, calling for governments and higher education institutions around the world to support international collaboration as an essential means to finding solutions to global issues, which manifest differently in various local contexts.

    The statement calls for:
    - National governments to:

    • Ensure higher education entities are considered key stakeholders in achieving sustainable development;
    • Support international higher education and research;
    • Increase access to international higher education opportunities globally;
    • Ensure equality;
    • Increase openness to and promote innovation in cooperation in research and internationalization of higher education

    - Higher Education Institutions to:

    • Promote and participate in cross-sectoral collaboration;
    • Improve knowledge development and dissemination;
    • Increase diversity and eliminate discrimination;
    • Develop co-curricular programmes and implement Internationalization at Home;
    • Make an Institutional commitment to society.

    The International Association of Universities (IAU):
    - Fully supports the NIEA call towards national governments around the world;

    - Invites its members to implement the NIEA actions called for, to foster the advancement of international higher education and research.

    >> Not a Member of IAU yet?


  • A partnership for the higher education sector

    IAU, ACU & AUF’s sign a Memorandum of Understanding

    Universities are key to healthier, greener, fairer societies. Their response to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical contribution they make to their communities. None of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved without the contribution of higher education – through research, teaching, and community engagement.

    Higher education is an essential part of a strong and sustainable education ecosystem, and develops the critical thinking and skills required by engaged citizens. Internationalisation in higher education, through partnerships and mobility, is essential to the health and vitality of the sector globally.

    The need for equitable quality higher education is arguably greater than ever, as is the need to advocate for the role of higher education in sustainable development at the highest levels, such as the United Nations. This requires a global response enabled by international cooperation.

    That’s why the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), and the International Association of Universities (IAU) have formalised their collaboration through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed during the 2020 UN High-level Political Forum.

    Together, the three associations represent more than 2,000 higher education institutions across more than 140 countries – providing a strong base to advocate for higher education on a wide international scale.

    The UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) is a key platform for the three organisations, who have used this year’s event to continue promote the role of higher education in sustainable development. Read our joint statement on higher education’s essential contribution to the SDGs made at the 2019 HLPF.

    Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU, said ‘International collaboration in higher education is more important than ever. We are delighted to have signed this MoU with our partners, the AUF and the IAU. It will enable us to build on our existing complementary activities and develop joint initiatives to engage our members and the wider higher education sector’.

    Professor Slim Khalbous, Rector of the AUF, said ‘The strength of the relationship between the world’s three largest global academic associations lies essentially in the complementarity between our exclusive positions and our different offers on several levels – in terms of geographical presence, cultural background, institutional organisation, and priority themes. Consequently, I believe that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between our three organisations emphasises this diversity, which is necessary for a more active and more recognised role for higher education in the world’.

    Dr Hilligje van’t Land, IAU Secretary General underlines that ‘Strong international and multicultural higher education cooperation will lead to the development of a more sustainable world. This partnership contributes to this dynamic and will foster the importance of whole of institutional and interdisciplinary approaches to issues analysed, debated and taught at universities around the world, while linking it to the 17 SDGs adopted as part of UN Agenda 2030. This will enhance the overall quality of higher education’.

    The MoU outlines the associations’ commitment to three priority areas for collaboration: higher education for sustainable development; the quality and vitality of higher education systems; and internationalisation in higher education. A joint working group, with representatives from each association, will develop a work plan, coordinate advocacy, and monitor the progress of activities developed under the MoU.

  • Join IAU at the Virtual High Level Political Forum!

    The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the yearly conference of the United Nations where governments, UN Agencies and civil society come together to discuss the achievements that have been made towards Agenda 2030.

    This year, the event will be held virtually and will be dedicated to the theme: "Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development." IAU holds the Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which allows the Association to take an active part in this high level event. The Consultative Status is the highest status granted by the United Nations to non-governmental organizations.

    In the framework of the HLPF, IAU will take part in various virtual side events and will co-organize a series of virtual events, together with partners and Members. Amongst these, IAU is co-organizing a workshop on 13 July 2020 from 9:00 to 10:30am EST on the theme Teaching, Learning and Integrating the SDGs at universities and beyond - Linking to the Decade of Action with ACU/AUF, ICAE and The SDG Academy. You can register to attend the workshop and other events!

    >>> Learn more about IAU at the HLPF!<<<

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