International Association of Universities
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  • Discover IAU’s 2019-2020 achievements and perspectives

  • Discover IAU’s 2019-2020 Achievements and Perspectives

  • IAU, ACU and AUF strengthen joint collaboration to advance higher education

    The International Association of Universities (IAU), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), and the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) have agreed to strengthen joint collaboration to advance and promote the contribution of higher education to meeting our shared global challenges, with a view to signing a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2020.

    Education – from cradle to grave, including higher education – is the necessary solution to most complex and intractable issues of our time, from climate change to inequality, migration to lack of access to education. None of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified in the UN Agenda 2030 can be achieved without the contribution of higher education and research.

    The need for equitable quality higher education is arguably greater than ever, as is the need to advocate 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.

    The three associations have a complementary membership and together represent more than 2,000 higher education institutions from across all continents, and thanks to the IAU World Higher Education Database ( they can reach out to more than 20,000 institutions. This diverse membership reaches out to higher education institutions, research institutes and associations internationally.

    The associations share a commitment to improving higher education, including access, equity and inclusion in higher education, and a belief that international collaboration is essential to the health and vitality of the sector globally.

    This partnership builds on recent collaboration between the associations, including the release of a joint statement on higher education’s essential contribution to the SDGs at the 2019 UN High-level Political Forum in New York. Jointly the associations will advocate for the role of higher education for sustainable development in global for and develop joint events, projects and initiatives to address higher education issues and in particular to harness higher education’s contribution to the SDGs.

  • IAU releases its first report on higher education and technology

    In collaboration with an Expert Advisory Committee composed of Board members and experts from around the world, IAU undertook from November 2018 to April 2019 a large consultation process in order to collect global views on the current state of play of the digital transformation of higher education. The results of this survey are presented in a report:

    Higher Education in the Digital Era: The Current State of Transformation Around the World.

    The report brings together views and experiences from different parts of the world, highlighting that there is no ’one size that fits all’ to digital transformation in higher education and society. " It is essential to build bridges and create mutual understanding of local as well as global challenges to determine the key principles that are pivotal to shape a meaningful, human-centred digital future, regardless of where in the world we are physically based. " says Trine Jensen, IAU Manager for Technology in Higher education and author of the report.

    This is precisely the aim of this first stock-taking exercise for IAU in the field: to discuss the current landscape, risk of inequalities, ethical implications and ways to jointly leverage the potential of technological developments for a sustainable future. The outcomes of this report will inform a new Policy Statement that IAU is currently developing on the values that must accompany the digital transformation so that it contributes to the global common good.


    >> Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on Technology and Higher Education? Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list

  • Takeaways from #IAU2019 International Conference

    The IAU 2019 International Conference has just ended in Puebla, Mexico. Higher education leaders and experts from around the globe came together to discuss the necessary transformations of higher education for the future. Organized in cooperation with the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, the Conference drew around 250 participants from 60 countries.

    Many insightful discussions took place, bringing new perspectives on the role of higher education today, the one we want for tomorrow and its relevance to societal development. Higher education is constantly shifting: IAU believes that the outcomes of the conference confirm the need to meet across borders to exchange on ways in which higher education can adapt to the changing society and more importantly, on how we wish to shape these transformations for the future.

    The presentations are now being uploaded on the conference website.

    IAU is pleased to announce the dates of next year’s event to be hosted by University College Dublin in Ireland, from 3 to 6 November 2020, on the theme “Relevance and Value of Higher Education to future Society”. This will be a General Conference where Members elect the IAU President and Administrative Board and adopt the next strategic plan. IAU will also be celebrating 70 years since its first General Conference which was held in Nice, France in 1950.
    A call for paper/case studies will open in February 2020. Do not hesitate to contact us in case you are interested in being part of the programme or have suggestions for topics.

  • IAU Horizons: the latest issue is out!

  • We are hiring !

  • Discover the programme and register for #IAU2019

  • Discover the trailer of IAU documentary series : IAU AIMING HIGHER

  • Call for Papers on Gender Equality in Higher Education

    Share your initiatives on gender equality in higher education !

    In the framework of the IAU Global Cluster on HESD, IAU has launched a series of publications promoting the work undertaken by universities from around the world to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals identified in Agenda 2030 – Transforming our World.
    The first publication in the series was dedicated to SDG13: Climate Action. Published in July, "Higher Education and SDG 13 : Climate Action Through University Teaching, Research and Community Engagement " gathered 15 concrete examples of meaningful initatives towards climate action.

    A call is now open for contributions on SDG5 - Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls!

    Together with the University of Bologna, the institution leading the work on SDG5 in the Global Cluster on HESD, IAU invites Members to submit a paper or a case study that showcases what their institution is doing to promote gender equality.

    The resulting publication will include a wide variety of initiatives to represent all world regions and the diversity of higher education institutions.


    • IAU Members should make their submissions (in English or French) using the dedicated application form and send it to Amanda Sudic
    • Submissions should present a research topic, a student initiative, a programme, a MOOC, a community initiative, or any other action specifically targeting SDG-5
    • Each member can submit a maximum of 2 initiatives
    • The University of Bologna and IAU will make a selection among the submissions received for the publication. However, all initiatives will also be published online on the IAU HESD Global Portal.

      Deadline for submissions : 15 November 2019

      Submit a case study!

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