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The IAU offers a series of publications of interest to the higher education community.

It also speaks out:
- it develops and adopts Policy papers and
- contributes to international debates on higher education by publishing papers on a variety of issues in journals, magazines and by contributing book chapters to key publications around the world. Please click here to view a sample.


Higher Education Policy

Higher Education Policy (HEP) , published quarterly, is an international peer-reviewed journal for advancing scholarly understanding of the policy process applied to higher education through the publication of original analyses, both theoretical and practice-based, the focus of which may range from case studies of developments in individual institutions to policy making at systems and at national level. The editorial board encompasses international experts in higher education.

All IAU Members receive a complimentary subscription to HEP as part of their membership benefits - information on how to log in to your account can be found on If you are not an IAU Member and wish to subscribe to HEP, you can do this on the journal’s website.

The Promise of Higher Education: Essays in Honour of 70 Years of IAU

The International Association of Universities is immensely pleased to launch the book “The Promise of Higher Education: Essays in Honour of 70 Years of IAU” as part of our ongoing anniversary celebrations. We thank all the colleagues and friends for their insightful contributions. This impressive collection of 65 essays by 82 authors from all around the world represents a fine analysis of and reflection on the past, current and future of higher education and is a wonderful testament to the work of the IAU over the years and into the future. Available online through open access, this book will take you on a tour across the global higher education landscape while addressing pertinent themes and challenges in higher education.

Get your free copy

For more information on the book launch events please click here

Watch the congratulatory videos shared by IAU Members, partners, and friends to commemorate 70 Years of International Cooperation.

Read the special edition of IAU Horizons dedicated to each of the remarkable seven decades that paved the way to what IAU has become today.

Shaping Teaching & Learning and Internationalization beyond the Pandemic

The first and second IAU Global Surveys on the Covid-19 Pandemic identified significant interruptions to both Teaching & Learning(T&L) and internationalization activities. The innovative responses from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) around the world noted in the Global Survey reports generated interest in investigating the particular reasons behind these changes. This qualitative research project focusing on specific aspects of transformations in T&L and internationalization was developed as a result. It was carried out in the aftermath of a particularly turbulent period, but at the same time a period that saw a high level of innovation and resilience as institutions sought to continue their mission despite the challenging context. The results of this qualitative research project allow us to understand how and to what extent the experiences of HEIs during the pandemic have generated changes and transformations that go beyond the pandemic, as the project was conducted at a time where HEIs were no longer forced to rely on digital technologies to continue operating.

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6th IAU Global Survey on Internationalization: Current Trends and Future Scenarios

6th IAU Global Survey on Internationalization: Current Trends and Future Scenarios

In its Strategy 2030, the International Association of Universities (IAU) put renewed attention on the inclusive nature of the internationalization process, both in terms of people and ideas, and on its ultimate goal: societal benefit. To reach this ultimate goal, the IAU has established strategic objectives, the first of which is that HEIs and higher education stakeholders around the world have a clear understanding of internationalization and are aware of the latest trends and developments. Conducting research and the global surveys on internationalization are the main tools at IAU’s disposal for achieving this objective.

The IAU 6th Global Survey on the Internationalization of Higher Education, conducted in 2023, received responses from 722 higher education institutions (HEIs) in 110 countries and territories. The resulting survey report published in 2024 analyses the findings in order to present both global and regional trends. Furthermore, the report compares current findings with data from the IAU’s previous Global Surveys on Internationalization in order to explore long-term changes occurring in the internationalization field.

The study highlights interesting comparisons between private and public HEIs across different regions and looks for common understandings of the potential benefits, risks, and challenges facing internationalization at the global level. The report further provides insights into intersectional aspects of internationalization in teaching and learning, research and society/ community engagement, and links between internationalization and societal priorities such as sustainable development, diversity, equity, and inclusion. In doing so, the 6th IAU Global Survey paints a picture of the current state of internationalization around the world, its recent transformations, and its possible evolutions moving forward.

Read the Report

Read the Executive Summary

Digitalisation of Administrative Services in Universities

The process of digitalization of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) has the main purpose to improve their organizational, administrative, and didactic power through the exploitation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The Covid-19 pandemic has heavily encouraged this process, giving the opportunity to speed up the technological progress of HEI’s services to deal with the altered conditions established. In this regard, it is fundamental to monitor how the digital and technological development of HEIs’ primary and administrative services has evolved during these recent years of emergency, with particular attention on the latter, essential for the smooth running of the primary ones.

This descriptive analysis reveals that the evolutionary trends of technological progress for administrative services increased significantly during the emergency. On the other hand, the forecasts for the future digital evolution of this kind of services follow two different paths: for what concerns the specific software and dedicated apps (i.e., any software/application specifically designed for a service) their usage level is expected to carry on their improvement also in the near future after the pandemic, even if at a lower rate if compared to the emergency period. This appears to be reasonable: when the original conditions would be re-established, most of the activities would return to be held in person, and the need for communication tools would be reduced.

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The Second IAU Global Survey Report on the Impact of COVID-19

In February 2021, the International Association of Universities launched the second edition of the global survey on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education to monitor the situation one year into the pandemic.

The survey gathered replies from 496 HEIs in 112 countries and worldwide. This second edition was a comprehensive survey gathering institutional responses in all aspects of higher education mission and functioning, namely, governance, teaching and learning, research and community/societal engagement. The report, Higher Education One Year into the COVID-19 Pandemic, introduces the global perspective and a comparison between regions and public and private HEIs.

At the same time, the survey results generate concern about the future for some institutions. Still, it also highlights several positive outcomes, where the crisis has brought about new opportunities and possibilities.

The report offers a very detailed picture of the impact of COVID-19 on higher education using the responses by higher education institutions and other stakeholders one year into the pandemic. The webinar held on 1 March 2022 officially launched the report presenting an overview and focusing on the main results.

>> Download the Report here

IAU HESD Survey Report

IAU HESD Survey Report: Accelerating Action for the SDGs in Higher Education

The report, published in January 2023, presents the findings and analyses trends from the third global survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD). IAU conducted the survey in 2022 and received 464 valid responses from higher education institutions in 120 countries were collected. The findings show that higher education and partnerships are essential to address the global challenges identified in the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to build a more sustainable future together. Furthermore, the survey looked closer at partnerships, leadership and strategy for SD and the concept of Climate Change Education (CCE). This report provides data and thus shows the global commitment and responsibilities of many HEIs towards the 2030 Agenda and SD more generally.

The survey was conducted in collaboration with the following partners:

      • ASEF (Asia-Europe Foundation)
      • Crue (Conferencia de Rectores de Universidades Españolas)
      • MECCE (The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education Project)

>> Download the Report here


In complement to the IAU-UOC Innovative Education for Unshaped Futures (IE4UF) Series, IAU is happy to announce the publication of Improving Online Teaching: Practical Guide for Quality Online Education. After two years of pandemic related educational disruption, the need for strong and sustainable digital solutions for higher education is critically clear. The IAU-UOC collaboration to study the effects of and necessary solutions for online higher education learning has culminated in the publication of this text. The final draft will be submitted for official endorsement at the IAU 16th General Conference in Dublin on 25-28 October 2022 in Dublin, Ireland.

Higher Education engages with SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

The International Association of Universities (IAU) is an Implementing Partner for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the two organisations have a longstanding partnership through which they stress the important role higher education can play in promoting and enhancing the rule of law and sustainable development, in particular SDG 16.Through strong and innovative collaboration, and dynamics in higher education and between higher education and society in general, we can address the global challenges identified in the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build a more sustainable future together. Within the framework of the UNODC Education for Justice (E4J) initiative the two organisations developed a Research Grant programme, encouraging young scholars to carry out research linked to SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Thirteen scholars from twelve countries, respecting both regional and gender balance, were selected for the grants, and each of their papers provides a different perspectives on how research, education and overall engagement with SDG 16 can foster sustainability.

International Association of Universities (IAU) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

>> Read the publication

Higher Education and SDG 14: Integrating Ocean Research for the Global Goals

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) calls for increased efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will that ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean. This unique publication, a joint project between the University of Bergen, Lead in the IAU HESD Cluster for SDG 14, and the IAU, includes 11 papers with concrete examples of meaningful research, strategies, initiatives and projects 6 strengthening ocean science, education, and the links between SDG 14 and other SDGs. The authors are connected to higher education institutions and organizations from around the world, from Norway to South Africa, from Fiji to Canada, and the Netherlands. The publication marks the launch of new initiatives and collaboration on projects to advance gender equality in HE and society.

International Association of Universities (IAU) and the University of Bergen (UiB)

>> Read the publication

IAU Policy Statements

IAU is pleased to present the latest edition of its Policy Statements based on issues of global concern for the higher education community. The topics are identified by the Association’s leadership and membership and each statement is the product of extensive drafting and international consultations. All statements are presented and endorsed at the quadrennial IAU General Conference.

>> Read the publication

IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the World

The first IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the world was conducted online from 25 March to 17 April 2020. It received 576 replies from 424 universities and other Higher Education Institutions based in 111 countries and territories.

Almost all responding HEIs declared that they have been impacted one way or another by the COVID-19 crisis. The report presents a general assessment of the situation in universities globally and explores different aspects of the impact of COVID-19, such as: teaching & learning, research, community engagement and other key challenges and opportunities. The results of the survey were analysed at regional (Africa, Americas, Asia & Pacific, Europe) and global level.

Results of the survey were analysed both at the global level and at the regional level in four regions of the world (the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe).
>> Discover the survey report

A new report on Regional/National Perspectives is now available! >> Read the report

IAU HESD global survey 2019

This report is the result of the analysis of the 2nd Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Developement (HESD) conducted by IAU in June and July 2019. It shows the important role that Universities and other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) play in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations and where issues still exist. It is also proof of the commitment and responsibilities of many Higher Education Institutions globally towards the 2030 Agenda.

536 valid responses, from all world regions, were received by IAU during the six weeks the survey was open. The report analyses how universities engage with the SDGs in particular and how they promote sustainable development more broadly speaking.

>> Discover the report!
>> The Executive Summary is now available in French and in Spanish

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

IAU is currently developing a new policy statement defining the values, principles and ethics that must accompany the digital transformation so that it contributes to the global common good. In collaboration with an Expert Advisory Committee composed of Board members and experts from around the world, IAU undertook from Nov. 2018 to April 2019 a large consultation process in order to collect the views of the higher education community at large.

The results of this survey are presented in a report: "Higher Education in the Digital Era: The Current State of Transformation Around the World". With this first stock-taking exercise in the field, IAU contributes to discussing the current landscape, risk of inequalities, ethical implications and how to jointly leverage the potential of technological developments for a sustainable future.

>> Discover the report
>> Interested in Technology and Higher Education? Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list

Higher Education & SDG 13 : Climate Action Through University Teaching, Research and Community Engagement

IAU has gathered concrete examples of meaningful initatives towards climate action, undertaken by higher education institutions and organizations, from Cyprus to Malaysia, from Peru to India, Lithuania, Costa Rica, Uganda, Ireland, Japan, USA, Jamaica and Australia.
This publication is the first of a series dedicated to Member institutions’ contribution to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

>> Access the publication online
>> Request more information

Internationalisation of Higher Education: A Handbook - New issue now available

Issue 2/2018 of “Internationalisation of Higher Education: a Handbook” published by DUZ Academic Publishers, which contains articles on the theme “Managing Risks in HE Internationalization”, has just been published. IAU Members can benefit from a substantial discount on the subscription price.

>> Read abstracts online
>> Order printed copy

Quality Management in Higher Education

The UNESCO Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO), in collaboration with the International Association of Universities (IAU), has just published Quality Management in higher education: Developments and drivers. This publication fills a knowledge gap on the state of quality management in higher education institutions. The Authors, Michaela Martin and Shreya Parikh, draw on the responses of over 300 institutions worldwide to map recent developments, drivers, and obstacles in quality management today. As the first truly global survey of its kind, it provides first-hand primary data on this salient issue in higher education reform.

>> Download the publication

Higher Education Paving the Way to Sustainable Development

The IAU launched the report of its 2016 global survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development, in which 120 higher education institutions worldwide took part. By sharing knowledge and promoting international cooperation, the IAU aims at inspiring higher education leaders to develop sustainability strategies.

>> Access the publication online
>> Request more information

Higher Education in ASEAN

On the occasion of the IAU 15th General Conference (Bangkok, November 2016), a booklet entitled Higher Education in ASEAN was published. It showcases the higher education systems and institutions in the 10 ASEAN countries and provides a quick and comparable overview of the Higher Education landscape in the region.

>> Read the publication
>> Request more information

Previous Global Survey on Internationalization

In September 2019, the IAU published the previous report of the IAU 5th Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education. IAU publishes reports of global surveys on Internationalization of Higher Education which provide a unique analysis of global and regional data on trends and developments in the field of international higher education and related policymaking. The IAU Global Survey reports have become an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the Internationalization of Higher Education.

>> View Latest Report
>> Order printed copy
>> Highlights of findings
>> Request more information

International Handbook of Universities

The International Handbook of Universities was first published in 1959 in response to the growing demand for authoritative information about higher education institutions. It has grown considerably over the years in both the quantity and quality of entries, and includes higher education institutions that offer at least a 4-year degree or a 4-year professional diploma. It is published every year and the latest edition - the 29th edition - has now been released in eformat and in print on demand and can be ordered on the link below.

>> Order printed copy
>> Request more information


Published twice a year, the magazine features IAU Activities, upcoming events and specific projects the IAU has undertaken; IAU Collaboration and Networking; Membership News; New Publications; and a global Calendar of Events. Each issue is also devoted to a special ’In Focus’ topic of interest and debate for the higher education community worldwide. IAU Horizons is available in English, in paper format and electronically.

IAU Horizons issue, Volume 29, no. 1, 2024

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