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  • Take part in the 2nd Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development!

    As Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are at the core of discussions about how universities can shape future societies, the International Association of Universities (IAU) has developed the 2nd Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD).

    The main goal of the survey is to demonstrate the contribution of higher education to Agenda 2030 and to wider societal transformation. We aim to identify the ways in which universities incorporate sustainable development into teaching, learning and research, as well as into their day-to-day running, in order to provide a comparative analysis of HESD trends around the world, highlighting the diversity in the approaches to sustainable development.

    IAU will present the initial findings at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum in New York, USA, to highlight the key role that higher education is playing in achieving the SDGs. It will next be presented at the IAU 2019 Conference in Puebla.

    Participants will also be able to use the results to inform their own decision-making, and benchmark their own institutions against others, in order to develop new and innovative strategies. The survey report will be published by the end of this year.

    The survey will only take 15-20 minutes to complete and is available in English ; French ; Portuguese and Spanish

    To ensure that we collect as many diverse perspectives as possible, we have designed the survey in such a way that anyone within an institution can contribute.
    Deadline : 1 July 2019.

    For more information, contact Isabel Toman.

  • IAU Horizons: The New Edition Is Out!

    The latest issue of IAU Horizons (24.1) has just been published.

    This issue offers detailed information about IAU’s most recent activities and suggests ways to get involved. It presents the topic of the IAU 2019 International Conference on 13-15 November and the Global Meeting of Associations on 12-13 November in Puebla, Mexico: Transforming Higher Education for the Future.

    The In Focus section features contributions to sustainable development from the lead institutions in the IAU Global Cluster on HESD. We hope that this will inspire other universities to join the effort towards achieving a more sustainable present and future.

    >> Read the new IAU Horizons

    >> Consult former issues

  • The IAU workshop on Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education

    In the beginning of March, IAU held a workshop on Leveraging AI for Higher Education during the UNESCO’s flagship event “Mobile Learning Week” (MLW). IAU’s Members from Spain, Malaysia and South Africa described distinct opportunities and research to use AI for the benefit of higher education. The main aim of the workshop was to explore how to leverage AI for good— augmenting human intelligence through the support provided by machines and artificial intelligence.
    Agata Lapedriza, Professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Spain and Visiting Researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Medialab, introduced the state of the art in Emotional Artificial Intelligence. She explained the role of emotional recognition in analyzing students’ experiences in the learning process. This tool has the potential to support student-centered learning and to tailor the learning process to the specific needs of individual students.

    Ram Gopal Raj, Deputy Director of the Centre for Academic Strategic Planning at the University of Malaya, spoke about its challenge to ensure employability of students. The university is therefore developing a Virtual Assistant Teacher service with a view to tracking the progress of student learning and competences and then linking this to the needs of employers. It thus hopes to ensure a more seamless transition from university to the world of work. Raj also underlined the necessity to continuously update the syllabus to reflect the rapid changes in technology and fluctuations of the labor market.

    Mandla Makhanya, Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa (UNISA), shared his experience at the largest online and distance learning university in Africa, with 800,000 students enrolled (75 % in Africa and 25 % in other regions). UNISA uses AI to process student applications in order to match the necessary requirements for enrollment with the information provided in the application form. Furthermore, they are testing how to better use this technology to assess when students are underperforming, so that university can offer them greater support.

    Daniel Burgos, Director of the Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education at the International University of Rioja (UNIR), Spain introduced the potential of learning analytics using big data to enhance learning. He made a case for the use of OERs as a tool to make higher education more accessible and for more openness in education at large. He explained that 40 % of UNIR’s modules and support material is freely available whereas the remaining 60 % is fee-paying in order to sustain the work of the university.

    The session was well received by the audience and IAU was also pleased to ensure that the MLW included considerations specifically related to higher education. In effect, AI concerns society as a whole and will have an impact all fields, but the education sector, including higher education, plays a particularly important role as it plays a key role in shaping minds and preparing students for the life of work.

  • Take part in IAU Documentary Series!

    Dear Members,

    I am excited to announce that BBC StoryWorks, the commercial creative arm of BBC Global News, will produce a series on higher education for the IAU and the wider higher education community. The purpose is to reaffirm the fundamental values of higher education and its role in transforming societies. In order to do this, we will spotlight the work of IAU Member institutions contributing to this effort around the world.

    Higher education is instrumental to the development of sustainable and democratic societies; shaping minds, promoting diversity, leadership and social responsibility. In light of increasing global challenges, HEIs play a key role in addressing the societal transformations that lie ahead.


    • Highlight the importance of core values being implemented at universities to contribute to sustainable and fair societies
    • Understand and communicate how universities are central to prosperity, innovation and social change
    • Promote strong and diverse higher education systems and institutions


    As part of this process, I would like to invite you to share your impactful and innovative work. We’d like to know about the case studies and stories occurring within your institutions that translate core university values into action.

    In order to have real impact with viewers, it is vital that we bring to life work in the areas of internationalisation, technology, leadership and sustainable development. These are not only in line with the IAU’s strategic priorities, but also at the forefront of transformations in higher education today.

    BBC StoryWorks will produce mini documentary-style films that tell these meaningful stories. Their creative teams will work with various institutions around the world, to capture their work in a compelling and visually engaging way. Those involved in the project will be able to use this content in their communication, advocacy and fundraising efforts.


    Please express your interest in this project by responding to the three questions below. Selected institutions will be asked to fund the production costs of a mini-documentary. They will have the opportunity to shape the film’s creative treatment using BBC StoryWorks teams’ expertise and knowledge. The series will be distributed to relevant audiences across the globe in a cross-platform campaign managed by BBC StoryWorks.

    IAU is committed to ensuring the diversity of voices in this project. Whilst we understand the terms of this project might not be suitable for all IAU Members, we have worked to develop an approach that we hope will enable a broad range of institutions to participate.

    This opportunity is open exclusively to IAU Members. We welcome non-member institutions to discover IAU’s membership benefits and join the Association, in order to participate. For more information, please contact Juliette Becker.


    The deadline for expressions of interest from institutions is April 30. Please respond with the requested information and details before this date, after which point the BBC StoryWorks team will be in contact with those expressing an interest.

    Production will then be conducted in advance of the series launch at the IAU 2019 International Conference on 13-15 November in Puebla, Mexico.

    We hope this is not only an exciting opportunity for you to profile important initiatives of your institution on a global scale, but also for the higher education sector as a whole.

    I look forward to seeing your stories brought to screen, demonstrating the important role of higher education in societal development!

    Hilligje van’t Land, PhD
    IAU Secretary General
    Executive Director


    To express your interest in participating in the series, please respond to the following in an email to Elan Shuker:

    1. How are IAU’s core values reflected in your institution’s philosophy and overarching mission?
    2. Please describe one or two specific projects that contribute to positive change in society through internationalisation, technology, leadership and sustainable development (past, present or future)
    3. Please include any relevant links/URLs to supporting information or content.

    Please provide contact details for the leader of your institution (e.g. Chancellor / Vice Chancellor /President) as well as the Head of Marketing and Communications. Please include phone number and email address.

    For all IAU queries, please contact:
    Juliette Becker
    Programme & Membership Development Officer
    Juliette Becker

  • Outcomes of the 1st UNICA-IAU Master Class on Internationalization

    On 7-10 April, IAU held its first joint Master Class on Internationalziation with UNICA in Dubrovnik, Croatia. We welcomed 35 university leaders from 24 countries at University of Zagreb’s Center of Advanced Academic Studies. Beyond the geographic diversity, participants represented a great mixture of positions and professional backgrounds, which allowed for dynamic and nuanced discussions. The goal of the Master Class was to address the needs of today’s Vice-Rectors/-Presidents for internationalization, in order to achieve comprehensive and values-based internationalization. It combined plenary and interactive peer-learning sessions on a variety of topics, including strategic planning, global engagement, regional networks and language policy.

    “We were pleased to welcome such a diverse group of internationalization leaders. They not only exchanged on specific challenges and opportunities in their local contexts, but also critically discussed the latest trends in internationalization globally, based on the results of the IAU 5th Global Survey. For IAU, the Master Class also provided an opportunity to strengthen our collaboration with UNICA and promote our vision of fair and ethical internationalization,” said Giorgio Marinoni, the Manager of Internationalization Policy and Projects at IAU.

    Participants were encouraged to shape the agenda of the Master Class and themselves led several sessions presenting the experience of their home institutions. When it came to global trends, Marinoni presented the preliminary results from the IAU 5th Global Survey on Internationalization, which takes place every four years to identify and analyze emerging internationalization trends worldwide. The results—particularly about geographic priorities and perceptions of risks, benefits, drivers and obstacles to internationalization—helped inform the participants’ own strategic plans.

    “It was a real privilege to participate in the UNICA-IAU Master Class and exchange with decision-makers from universities around the world. I feel inspired and have found a renewed sense of motivation for my own role and daily tasks", said Prof. Gerhard Berchtold, Dean of European Programmes, UCN Universidad Central de Nicaragua.

    In their feedback participants indicated that they found the discussions enriching and networking allowed for potential partnerships, which they would like to develop further. IAU and UNICA to build on the positive outcomes of this initiative to strengthen the community spirit and continue promoting values-based internationalization.

    IAU will continue to offer Members and beyond opportunities for peer-learning and exchange, as we believe that these are key to making international interactions more equal and respectful of the diverse contents in which higher education institutions operate.

    To learn more about IAU’s work in internationalization, click here.

    Contact: Giorgio Marinoni

  • IAU’s first Institutional Site Visit on Tech & Higher Ed was a success!

    On 27-28 March, IAU held its first Institutional Site Visit on technology in higher education at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in Barcelona, Spain. We welcomed 24 participants from 16 countries, both online and onsite universities. The visit combined plenary and interactive sessions on a variety of tech-related solutions for enhancing higher education and achieving SDG 4. Participants were able to shape the agenda of the visit by choosing topics of their interest. These included: accreditation of online universities, online student mobility, doing an internship online, virtual labs, chatbots and AI for student-centered learning.

    "It was a true pleasure for IAU to bring together representatives from 5 regions to discuss how to leverage the potential of technology. Beyond geographic diversity, we also had a mixture of online and onsite universities and this allowed for dynamic and nuanced discussions. Finally, I’d like to commend UOC for its openness and eagerness to share its extensive experience. At IAU, we believe that collaborative approach is essential for shaping the future of higher education", said Trine Jensen, Lead on Higher Education & Technology at IAU.

    IAU chose UOC as the first host for Institutional Site Visits, as it is the world’s first 100% online university with nearly 25 years of experience. It thus provided participants with invaluable insights on the operations of online education and how technology in general can enhance higher education.

    "To share experiences is to support learning, so it is a pleasure for UOC to host IAU’s first site visit on technology! We also look forward to learning from participants joining us from around the world", the UOC President Josep A. Planell said at the opening of the IAU Institutional Site Visit.

    In their feedback participants indicated that they came away with concrete tools and practices, which they can take back and adapt to their home institutions. Based on the positive outcomes, IAU is now considering a follow-up capacity-building project that would draw on the expertise of open and onsite universities for digital transformations.

    IAU will continue offering annual Institutional Site Visits – open exclusively to IAU Members – to create opportunities for peer-learning and to foster innovation and institutional partnerships. We believe that multilateral and intercultural dialogues are central to finding viable ways of harnessing digital innovations for the benefit of learning, teaching and research. Members are welcome to suggest topics that they would like to see covered in future site visits.

    Sign-up to receive invitations to future site visits and to be informed about IAU’s work on Higher Education & Technology!

    To learn more about IAU’s activities on technology in higher education, click here.

    Contact: Trine Jensen

  • IAU awards Cardiff Met Uni with the Comprehensive Internationalization Learning Badge

    IAU awarded Cardiff Metropolitan University with the IAU Comprehensive Internationalization Learning Badge in recognition of successfully embedding internationalization in all its institutional strategies and activities. Giorgio Marinoni, IAU’s Manager of Higher Education and Internationalization policy and projects, visited Cardiff Metropolitan University on 7 March to award the institution with the Learning Badge. It was received by Professor Leigh Robinson, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Cyncoed Campus) and the Dean of the School of Sport and Health Sciences. Cardiff Metropolitan University expressed its gratitude through the words of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, chair of the Board of Governors: "We are absolutely delighted with this award. It recognises our deep commitment to internationalisation and diversity across all activities of this University. We value our close links and shared values with our international partners".

    In 2017, Cardiff Metropolitan University undertook an "ISAS (2.0)- Achieving Comprehensive Internationalization" service in order to assess the progress of the university in implementing a holistic approach to internationalization. The IAU Expert Panel visited Cardiff Metropolitan University on 9-11 October 2017. The members of the IAU Expert Panel were Madeleine Green, Senior Fellow, International Association of Universities (chair), Eva Egron-Polak, Senior Fellow and former Secretary-General and Executive Director, International Association of Universities, Tim Gore, Chief Executive Officer, University of London Institute in Paris and Giorgio Marinoni, Manager, Higher Education and Internationalization Policy and Projects, International Association of Universities. Cardiff Metropolitan University met all criteria to be awarded the Learning Badge. IAU also provided the university with relevant recommendations to enhance their internationalization process. The Learning Badge is valid for five years (2017 - 2021).

    IAU’s approach to internationalization of higher education focuses on the equitable and collaborative nature of the process, and recognises that international interactions take place in highly unequal and diverse contexts among Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with different, resources, needs and interests. IAU thus promotes values-based internationalization by offering ISAS (2.0) tailor-made advisory services to HEIs, relevant individuals at HEIs, national governments and organizations. In particular, ISAS (2.0) consists of three services:

    • Advancing strategic internationalization at HEIs (for HEIs)
    • Facilitating individual learning for internationalization for HEIs and individuals working at HEIs. (for HEIs and individuals at HEIs)
    • National advisory service for strategy or policy development for HE internationalization (for national governments, agencies and organizations)

    Since the launch of ISAS (2.0) in 2016, four universities from four different countries have benefited from ISAS (2.0) services and three more institutions are in the process of undertaking them.

    If you are interested in benefiting from IAU’s tailor-made advisory service in the field of internationalization, please do not hesitate to contact Giorgio Marinoni ([email protected])

  • Higher Education Policy: the new issue is out!

    The new edition of Higher Education Policy (HEP), IAU’s quarterly journal, has just been released. This special issue is entitled Taking Account of 20 years of Quality Assurance in German Higher Education and features peer-reviewed papers with distinct research methodologies.

    >> Read

  • IAU’s Annual Report is out!

    IAU has just published its 2018 Annual Report, which provides an overview of past year’s achievements. IAU has enhanced its engagement with Members, strengthened partnerships and launched new initiatives for the benefit of higher education. Special thanks goes out to our partners and Members for supporting IAU’s vision and mission. Members are at the heart of all IAU does - we remain committed to incorporating your feedback and working with you closely for a better future of higher education worldwide!

    Read the IAU Annual Report 2018.

  • IAU to Lead a Workshop during UNESCO MLW

    Join IAU at the UNESCO the Mobile Learning Week, which takes place from 4-8 March in Paris, France. It is dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Sustainable Development. On 5 March, IAU will hold a session on Leveraging AI for Higher Education. Members from Spain, Malaysia and South Africa will present innovative initiatives that seek to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. IAU’s participation will ensure that the higher education sector will also be represented in the discussions that will take place during the MLW. You can attend the session free of charge. To register, click here. For further information, please contact Trine Jensen.

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