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Strategic priorities

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  • Internationalization

    Internationalization of higher education is an inevitable process in the era of globalization and a deliberate strategy for improving quality and relevance. IAU focuses on the academic rationales, the equitable and collaborative nature of the process and aims to minimize the adverse effects of international interactions when these take place in highly unequal and diverse contexts among HEIs with different, resources, needs and interests.


    IAU aims at retaining a leadership role in HE Internationalization which focuses on quality of learning, research and outreach for all.

    Overall objectives for 2016-2020:

    • Provide critical analysis of current trends
    • Research on global developments
    • Increase tailored advisory services
    • Expand IAU expertise in benchmarking and impact assessment
    • Provide information and develop global advocacy


    Over the years, the concept of internationalization has evolved and different definitions exist, IAU adopts the following: “[Internationalization of Higher Education is] the intentional process of integrating an international, intercultural or global dimension into the purpose, functions and delivery of post-secondary education, in order to enhance the quality of education and research for all students and staff, and to make a meaningful contribution to society.“ (De Wit, H., Hunter F., Howard L., Egron-Polak E. (Eds.) (2015) “Internationalization of Higher Education”, European Parliament, Brussels: EU).

    This recently refined definition emphasizes the fact that internationalization is an intentional process, not a passive experience. It underscores that internationalization is not a goal in itself, but a means of enhancing quality and excellence of higher education and research. In addition, the definition notes that internationalization needs to serve societal needs, rather than focusing solely on economic rationales and returns. Although globalization affects all institutions, HEIs experience different pressures; they exist in different contexts, and have different needs. Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” model or approach for internationalization, rather, each HEI must find its own way of internationalizing. At the same time, all HEIs can benefit from the best thinking and good practice from other institutions around the world. This is why IAU developed the internationalization strategies advisory service: ISAS (2.0).



    The objective of the ISAS impact evaluation study, conducted in partnership between IAU and the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, is to investigate the efficacy of the Internationalization Strategy Advisory Services (ISAS) and its successor program ISAS (2.0) on internationalization initiatives at higher education institutions.

    Research objectives of this study are three-fold:

      • To identify progress institutions have made at the suggestion of ISAS;
      • To identify the reason for gaps between recommendations and implementation, defined as barriers to internationalization;
      • To analyze and share results that inform the development of IAU’s future advisory services.

    12 of the 17 institutions that ever undertook an ISAS or ISAS (2.0) service participated in the study. The sampling of institutions included in this study, with unique regional, national and institutional contexts, are a microcosm of global higher education at large. Yet collectively, their responses convey that internationalization remains a pressing priority of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), regardless of geographic location.

    The results show that every university indicated that working with ISAS was helpful in advancing internationalization initiatives. This is a clear endorsement of ISAS by the institutions.

    In their quest for internationalization, all institutions inevitably face challenges. Overcoming those challenges requires a clear, strategic approach, one that is responsive and in alignment with the core mission and values of the institution. IAU through its advisory services stands ready to help institutions in refining or progressing their internationalization priorities built on an inclusive, fair and ethical process.


    Launched in 2016, ISAS (2.0) builds on the former IAU ISAS program, created to help HEIs develop or review their internationalization policies, strategies and programs. ISAS (2.0) consists of several different but complementary services designed for IAU Institutional Members (HEIs), individuals at HEIs, national governments and organizations.

    It 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)

    ISAS (2.0) promotional leaflet

    List of past and ongoing ISAS 2.0 projects

    Giorgio Marinoni

    There are 4 strands of service designed specifically for HEIs.. The duration of each strand of service depends on the specific needs of the HEIs but typically is between 6 and 12 months. Each strand culminates with the award of an IAU internationalization learning badge. Institutions awarded an IAU internationalization learning badge must follow the guidelines for use.

    Planning and Strategy

    Target audience
    Higher Education Institutions at early development stage of internationalization

    Help the institution develop and/or refine its internationalization strategy.


    • Mapping and reviewing internationalization policies and actions at the institution
    • Developing or revising the internationalization strategy
    • IAU Learning Badge rewarded: Planning and Strategy

    Detailed procedure


    HEI Low income country Middle income country High income country
    IAU member 18 000 euros 20 000 euros 22 000 euros

    Assessing Strategy and Monitoring Achievements

    Target audience
    HEIs having an already implemented internationalization strategy

    Help the institution assess its strategy for internationalization and their monitoring achievements and progress towards the goals outlined in its internationalization strategy.


    • Evaluating the institutional strategy and reviewing of monitoring framework
    • Monitoring progress
    • IAU Learning Badge rewarded : Strategy Monitoring and Achievements

    Detailed procedure


    HEI Low income country Middle income country High income country
    IAU member 18 000 euros 20 000 euros 22 000 euros

    Enhancing a specific area of internationalization

    Target audience
    Higher Education Institutions interested in a specific area of internationalization

    Enabling institutions to focus on a particular area of internationalization requiring special enhancing and monitoring efforts including:
    - Governance and management structures for internationalization;
    - Internationalization at home;
    - Internationalization of research;
    - Internationalization of the curriculum;
    - Language policy;
    - Strategic partnerships;
    - Academic and non-academic staff mobility;
    - Student mobility;
    - Transnational/cross border education;
    - On-line and distance learning.


    • Reviewing fitness of purpose of specific goals and objectives for the area of focus within the overall institutional context
    • Assessing the implementation strategies adopted and pursued to achieve objectives
    • Providing recommendations for developing new activities in the specific area
    • Reviewing and/or developing indicators for evaluating progress
    • Evaluating achievement
    • IAU Learning Badges rewarded: Governance or Internationalization at home or Curriculum, Language policy, Strategic partnership, Staff mobility, Student mobility, Distance learning, Research

    Detailed procedure


    HEI Low income country Middle income country High income country
    IAU member 10 000 euros 12 000 euros 14 000 euros

    Achieving comprehensive internationalisation

    Comprehensive Internationalization is increasingly the goal of many institutions that have emphasized internationalization for some time and have devoted particular attention and resources to developing a comprehensive approach within their institution.
    This strand of service is highly selective, not all institutions that would wish to choose this strand might be ready for it.

    Target audience
    Higher Education Institutions at advanced development stage of internationalization

    Assess to what extent the HEI is achieving Comprehensive Internationalization


    • Submission of an application by the institution
    • IAU submission evaluation: decision on acceptance or suggestion to undertake another strand of service of ISAS (2.0)
    • Asses to what extent the HEI is achieving Comprehensive Internationalization, that is, looking at the extent to which internationalization is pervasive throughout the institution.
    • IAU Learning Badge rewarded: Comprehensive Internationalization

    Detailed procedure


    HEI Low income country Middle income country High income country
    IAU member 22 000 euros 24 000 euros 26 000 euros

    One of the major institutional obstacles to internationalization is the limited expertise of academic and administrative staff working at HEIs. IAU has therefore developed this service, intended for individuals and groups of individuals at one or more HEIs wishing to improve their knowledge, skills and competences related to strategic planning and monitoring of internationalization of higher education. It consists of two main strands of service:

    Training workshops for professional development of senior academic and administrative staff

    Target audience
    Higher Education Institutions (or groups of HEIs)
    Enhance staff development to allow them to gain expertise in internationalization process.

    Duration: 2-3 days


    • Request for workshop by an HEI, National rectors’ conferences, national university associations or networks.
    • Tailored-made peer-to-peer workshop by IAU
    • IAU charges to the host institution an all-inclusive fee for the workshop design.
    • Host institution is responsible for the logistics related costs and can charge fees to workshop participants, which must be agreed upon by IAU

    Detailed procedure

    Fees will be negotiated with the host institution on a case-by-case basis.

    Webinars on specific topics on internationalization for academic and administrative staff

    IAU aims to expand the range of learning opportunities available to individuals, and to offer to all individuals at HEIs the opportunity to access its programs.

    In October 2018 the first ISAS (2.0) webinars took place. The topic of the first webinar was “Developing a Strategic Approach to Internationalization”. The speakers were the IAU Senior Fellows Eva Egron-Polak and Madeleine Green. To maximize outreach and accommodate time differences, IAU conducted the webinar in both English and French and re-broadcasted the original English language session.

    The English language webinars drew 36 participants from all over the world, including Australia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and the USA. IAU received positive feedback and participants expressed enthusiasm about IAU’s plans to continue this initiative. Participation was low in the French webinar. Moving forward, IAU will thus develop a whole series of webinars in English, each dedicated to a specific pressing topic in international education.


    Higher education has become a high-level priority for more and more national governments, some of which have adopted national strategies for internationalization or plan to develop one. IAU has gained significant experience in helping national governments and organizations in the development of national strategies and policies for internationalization (e.g Romania, Malaysia).

    Tailored approach at national level

    Target audience
    National governments, governmental agencies and organizations

    Provide international expertise to assist the government (or governmental organization) in developing a proposal for a national strategy

    The approach is tailored to the specific needs of the country. It can focus exclusively on the national policy level, with IAU providing international experts to assist the government or governmental organization in developing a proposal for a national strategy.

    Detailed procedure

    Fees are agreed upon on a case by case basis

    ’Bottom-up’ approach

    Target audience
    National governments, governmental agencies and organizations

    Provide international expertise to assist the government (or governmental organization) in developing a proposal for a national strategy

    The process of designing or revising a national policy can also involve working ’bottom-up’, meaning working at the same time at governmental and institutional levels. It consists in assisting a group of HEIs in revising and developing their institutional internationalization strategies while helping the government or governmental organization developing a proposal for a national strategy. This simultaneous process ensure that national policy recommendations are based on a understanding of HEIs needs and visions.

    Detailed procedure

    Fees are agreed upon on a case by as basis.



    IAU publishes Internationalization of Higher Education: An Evolving Landscape, Locally and Globally

    One of IAU’s strategic priorities is to promote an inclusive, fair and ethical process of internationalization of higher education. IAU advocates for internationalization as a means to improve the quality of teaching and learning, research and service to society for all students and staff.

    Knowing how the process of internationalization is evolving is paramount to gain a thorough understanding of its potential benefits and risks. Researching global trends is essential for IAU to continue providing the required support to higher education institutions (HEIs), governments and individuals as they develop their internationalization strategies, policies and activities.

    Based on input from some 1,000 HEIs in 126 different countries, the IAU 5th Global Survey Report is the most geographically comprehensive collection and analysis of primary data on internationalization of higher education ever undertaken. It covers all aspects of internationalization from policy and activities to research, human resources and staff development, student mobility and the design of curricula.

    Assessing internationalization trends over time and comparing developments across regions, the 5th Global Survey provides unique insights into the internationalization process. It highlights its overall increased importance, which enhances international cooperation and capacity building and has a beneficial impact on the quality of teaching and learning. However, it also reveals its limitations and the main area of concerns, such as funding, commodification of higher education, language barriers, or the recognition of qualifications.

    The Executive Summary outlines the main highlights of the Survey report.

    The IAU 5th Global Survey is available free of charge to IAU Members in its online version.

    >> Not yet a Member? Join IAU now!
    >> Order a copy of the print version


    The IAU 5th Global Survey benefited from the support of UNESCO, Académie de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur (ARES), Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.


    The following articles are based on the preliminary results of the survey:

    A changing view of the benefits of HE internationalisation, Giorgio Marinoni, Eva Egron-Polak and Madeleine Green, University World News, 1 February 2019

    Is internationalisation creating inequality in higher education?, Giorgio Marinoni and Hans de Wit, University World News, 11 January 2019


    Since 2003, IAU has conducted regular Global Surveys, which have become an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the internationalization of higher education. They are used by researchers, as relevant data that stimulate further research and innovation in the field; by HEIs to benchmark themselves in the development of their internationalization processes at global and regional levels; and by policymakers to seek inspiration for policies affecting higher education.

    - 4th Global Survey (2014) - IAU 4th Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education.
    Executive Summary
    - IAU 3rd Global Survey (2010) - Internationalization of Higher Education: Global Trends, Regional Perspectives
    Executive Summary
    - IAU 2nd Global Survey (2005) - Internationalization of Higher Education - New Directions, New Challenges.
    Highlights of findings
    - IAU 1st Global Survey (2003) - Internationalization of Higher Education: Practices and Priorities
    Highlights of findings


    IAU and Boston College collaborated on a research project about the role of English language instruction in higher education institutions(HEIs) around the world. IAU and the Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) co-supervised research undertaken by Xinyan (Sissi) Liu, a student in CIHE’s Master of Arts program in International Higher Education. This program requires that all students participate in a course titled “Field Experience in International Higher Education.” The course combines practical experience at higher education organizations, such as the IAU, with an in-depth research project.

    Sissi’s report explores the national policies and role of English language instruction at HEIs in Brazil, France, Malaysia, South Africa and Spain. This is a particularly timely topic at the time when English language has become dominant in many fields, including in highly cited research and scholarship more broadly.


    Policy Statements - Network of International Education Associations (NIEA) - IAU Working Group

    IAU has developed advocacy positions on internationalization of higher education:


    IAU acts as the coordinator of the Network of International Education Associations, NIEA. NIEA members are non-profit, non-government associations which main stated purpose is to advance international higher education. The Network advances the global learning of post-secondary education organizations through the exchange of information and dialogue, advocacy for international education, professional development, and discovery of new approaches to international education.
    NIEA members meet twice annually, alternating between EAIE and NAFSA conferences.
    Other than IAU as a coordinator, NIEA has a chair elected among its members, the chair for the year 2020 is Phil Honeywood, from the International Education Association of Australia IEAA.

    NIEA organised two Global Dialogues on Internationalization of higher education, the first Global Dialogue held in 2014 and hosted by International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA), led to the Nelson Mandela Bay declaration on the future of internationalization of higher education.

    In 2020, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, NIEA members published a statement reaffirming the importance of international higher education and research, which calls government and higher education institutions around the world for supporting international collaboration as an essential means to finding solutions to global problems, which manifest differently in local contexts.

    This Working Group encompasses a small group of Administrative Board members. It provides advice to the Administrative Board and the Secretary General on the strategic direction. The Working Group develops recommendations on how to improve the visibility and response rate and dissemination of the IAU Global Survey. The Working Group also provides recommendations on how to operationalize the Call for Action: Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization of Higher Education. Finally, it assists in the promotion of the IAU Internationalization Strategies Advisory Service (ISAS (2.0)).


    • Andrew Deeks, President, University College Dublin, Ireland


    IAU Secretariat Staff:

    Giorgio Marinoni


    UNICA-IAU Master Class on Internationalization

    IAU is pleased to have launched its first joint master class together with the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA) on internationalization of Higher Education. The master class targets Vice-Presidents /Vice-Rectors for internationalization as well as academic leaders involved in internationalization policies/strategies. Combining keynote presentations with interactive group sessions, the master class will give participants a set of practical tools and techniques in order to effectively plan, monitor and evaluate internationalization activities as well as analyse local and global trends in international higher education.

    What does it mean to be a Vice-Rector for Internationalization in today’s moving world?
    7-10 April 2019, Dubrovnik, Croatia


    The registration is now closed. You can read about the outcomes of the first Master Class here.

    Giorgio Marinoni

  • Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD)

    Future well-being of humanity and the planet depends on successful resolution of the interconnected challenges of economic, social, cultural, and environmental sustainability. Since 1993, IAU advocates for the key role higher education plays in achieving sustainable development. IAU’s actions in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provide a framework for universities to develop inter-institutional collaboration in pursuit of sustainable development. The aim is to assist higher education leaders wishing to embed sustainable development concepts and principles in strategic planning, academic and organizational work.


    • Encourage peer-to-peer learning using IAU global network of higher education leaders
    • Monitor trends, develop and share expertise on the Sustainable Development Goals
    • Foster whole institution approaches at the leadership level to integrate sustainable development priorities
    • Provide leadership training, capacity building and networking services

    IAU HESD Flyer 2021



    IAU represents the voice of its Members globally, develops guidelines for embedding sustainable development in higher education and research and provides analyzes of global and regional trends on institutional approaches to sustainable development.

    >> To learn more about IAU Policy Statements and the Global Surveys on HESD, go to RESOURCES.


    - The IAU HESD Cluster is a group of 16 IAU Members who, collaborate with IAU to enhance knowledge sharing and develop expertise, projects and recommendations on how higher education can reach the SDGs.
    >> To learn more about the IAU HESD Cluster, go to IAU GLOBAL CLUSTER ON HESD.

    - IAU is a key partner of the UNESCO GAP ESD, which ends 2019. IAU will continue to be involved in the follow-up programme ESD for 2030, which will be launched at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in June 2020. It also collaborates with other international and national entities and sits on several committees to advance cooperation in HESD.


    - The IAU Global Portal maps institutional initiatives and showcases best practices on sustainable development from around the world. It includes more than 800 higher education institutions.
    >> To learn more about the IAU Global portal on HESD, go to GLOBAL PORTAL

    - The SDG Publication Series is a biannual publication — each edition is dedicated to a particular SDG and highlights IAU Member initiatives.
    >> To learn more about the IAU SDG Publication Series, go to RESOURCES.

    The working group, composed of IAU Administrative Board members, provides advice on the strategic direction in HESD:

    - Pornchai Mongkhonvanit, President, Siam University, Thailand

    IAU President
    - Pam Fredman, Former Rector, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

    - Ranbir Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, National Law University, India
    - Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabdi, President, University of Tehran, Iran
    - Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Vice Chancellor, International ‎Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Former Vice-Chancellor Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
    - Roberto Escalante Semerena, Secretary-General, UDUAL, Mexico
    - Remus Pricopie, Rector, National University of Political and Administrative Studies, Romania

    IAU Secretariat
    - Hilligje van't Land, Secretary General, International Association of Universities
    - Isabel Toman, Programme Officer, International Association of Universities


    To enhance international cooperation in HESD, IAU cooperates with various key partners and sits on several committees.
    Click on each partner to learn more about our cooperation:

    UNESCO ESD for 2030

    Copernicus Alliance

    Energy Observer


    Green Gown Awards

    Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

    Association of Commonwealth Universities



    Launched in 2018, the IAU Cluster on HESD promotes the role of higher education institutions in building more sustainable societies. It 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) adopted by all United Nations Member States in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    The Cluster encourages a holistic approach to the SDGs, promoting the whole institution approach, where institutions aim to embed sustainable development in their strategic planning, academic and organizational work.


    Each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is assigned an institutional team leader, joined by a group of up to 8 Satellite Universities. IAU is responsible for leading the work on SDG 17 - Partnerships for the goals.
    IAU and the 16 lead institutions, together with their satellite universities are acting as the voice for higher education at the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum. Through this international cooperation, the project has the most global outreach than any other projects in the field.


    Discover the Members of the IAU Global Cluster on HESD ! Click on each SDG to learn more about the lead institution and its initiatives :

    If you wish to get involved in the activities of the IAU Global Cluster on Higher Education and Sustainable Development, please contact Isabel Toman, IAU Programme Officer for HESD. Please indicate your institution’s name, your contact details and do not hesitate to provide information on the existing and/or future initiatives towards sustainable development at your institution!



    IAU developed a dedicated portal on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development:

    This global portal presents IAU’s strategy to support sustainable development in higher education, reports on all IAU activities in the the field, provides useful resources about sustainable development in higher education and maps more than 800 inspiring initiatives implemented by higher education institutions and organizations to reach the SDGs.|

    The Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) global portal is a tool developed by the International Association of Universities; it provides access to actions and initiatives developed around the world to promote sustainability. It showcases best practises of universities and higher education institutions worldwide. Actions include student initiatives, Living Labs, Green Campuses, faculties engaged in sustainable development, and leadership initiatives.

    The portal is searchable by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), type of initiative, organisation/HEI and area of work. Currently, the portal lists over 480 News items , more than 820 actions from 1186+ HEIs and 274 Organizations globally (May 2021).

    If you wish to add your higher education institution, action, or news to the portal, please contact Isabel Toman.



    The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the yearly conference of the United Nations where governments, UN Agencies and civil society came together to discuss the achievements that have been made towards Agenda 2030. The theme this year for the largely virtual event was “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development".

    HLPF 2021 was held from 6 to 15 July, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This included the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from 13 to 15 July as part of the high-level segment of the Council. The theme and SDGs under review can be found on the 2021 HLPF website.

    >>> List of UN HLPF 2021 virtual events co-organised by IAU (by date) <<<

    The 2021 HLPF was hosted virtually. All official sessions of the 2021 HLPF are available to watch via UN Web TV. Special events, side events and other (all events IAU is actively involved in fall into this category) were streamed live via YouTube. Links can be found on the UN DESA Website.

    IAU and/or Cluster Members were involved in the following side events:

    • 7th July 3-5 pm CEST (9 a.m. EST):
      HESI (Higher Education Sustainability Initiative) Virtual event (Find the recording of the event here) titled: “The role of further education to drive collective action for the SDGs: building a sustainable and resilient recovery”. IAU is part of HESI and follows HESI roundtable discussions throughout the year.

    • 7th July: 5.15-5.45 CEST (11:15 EST):
      Awards Ceremony International Green Gown Awards (IGGA) (Information and Winners here): IAU is partner of the IGGA, sat on the judging panel, and the IAU Secretary General presented the winner for ‘Next Generation Learning and Skills” at the virtual ceremony

    • 12th July 2.30-4.15 CEST (8.30-10.15 a.m. EST):
      UNITAR Workshop with ACU/AUF, and the SDG Academy titled “Filling the gaps in further education for the 2030 Agenda and inspiring action towards the SDGs
      (see programme here; and our session here)
      (All workshop recordings here and IAU Session 9 recording here)
      IAU co-organized this event, IAU partners and representatives from IAU Members were on the panel. The discussion was moderated by Florencia Librizzi from SDSN, and IAU Secretary General Dr. Hilligje van’t Land.

    • 13th July 2:30–4:00pm CEST Paris:
      IAU Webinar Series page here ; Find the recording of the event here

    IAU at the HLPF

    IAU has Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which enables participation in this High-Level event. While 2019 was the first year that IAU participated in the HLPF in New York (IAU secretariat with a delegation of 18 Members), in the years before IAU was represented by its Members (and in particular through the University of Bergen, Norway). Read about it in the 2019 HLPF Report. In 2020 and 2021, participation in the HLPF is virtual.

    Follow us for updates on the UN HLPF also here:


    IAU provides research and monitors trends in order to help higher education institutions worldwide implement HESD.


    >>> Mapping HESD worldwide – IAU HESD Global Portal

    The IAU HESD portal is a tool accessible to all, spotlighting IAU Members’ and Partners’ contributions to the sustainable development goals. The aim is to generate synergies and networking around the world in favour of sustainable development. The portal features more than 700 initiatives and counts some 1000 monthly visitors.

    >>> Researching HESD trends

    In 2016, the IAU launched its first global survey on the role of higher education in fostering sustainable development. The aim was to analyse IAU Members’ approaches to sustainable development. 120 institutions from all continents took part in the survey.
    After launching its first survey in 2016, the IAU launched its second global survey on the role of higher education in fostering sustainable development in 2019. Next to analysing IAU Members’ approaches to sustainable development, it focused on the knowledge and implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2030. The 2019 survey counted 536 valid responses from 428 universities in 101 distinct countries, compared to 120 institutions in the 2016 survey.
    -> Opening soon: The IAU HESD Survey 2022

    >>> Publications

    IAU started a Series of Publication, one for each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The first one on SDG 13 (Climate Action) was released in July 2019, followed by a publication on SDG 5 (Gender Equality) published on the occasion of International Women’s Day in March 2021. In November 2021, a special collection of papers on Higher Education and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) resulting from a paper competition for young scholars with UNODC/E4J was released.
    Currently, IAU is working with the University of Bergen on a publication for SDG 14 (Life below water) to be released shortly later in 2021.


    IAU advocates for the key role of higher education for sustainable development and Agenda 2030 and high-level events such as the UN-HLPF, at UNESCO conferences and other global events with its Members and partners.


    IAU and its Member institutions are committed to working together towards a more sustainable future, including for SDG 13: Climate Action ahead of COP26. Several initiatives are in place to stress the role of higher education in research, teaching, student and community engagement, and more.

    The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November 2021. Leaders, governments, and civil society representatives will come together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Soon the younger generations will take over these events and important decision-making on the international scale. Higher education, thus has the responsibility to prepare them to create a better future for all.

    >>> IAU HESD Cluster on SDG 13

    The University of the West Indies leads SDG 13: Climate Action in the global IAU HESD Cluster. It is located in the Caribbean with campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and hence in one of the regions already affected by climate change. The University has multiple initiatives focusing on sustainable development: the Climate Studies Group Mona (CSGM), Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), and the cross-campus UWI Resilience Working Group (UWIRWG).

    Satellites for SDG 13
    • SUNY, USA
    • University of Bergen, Norway
    • TERI School of Advances Studies, India
    • University of the South Pacific, Fiji
    • University of Waterloo, Canada
    • Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
    • University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
    • University of Aruba, Aruba
    • University of Bristol, UK
    • University of Ghana, Ghana

    More information on their SDG13 Activities with the University Consortium on SDG 13 is available here.

    >>> IAU Partner Initiatives for COP26

    The Global University Climate Forum is a project that aims at empowering students to take action in order to reduce Climate Change. It brings student activists together to share ideas, learn, connect, and act on the global imperative of addressing climate change. Launched during the week of 9 November 2020, the Forum is a one-year program that is inclusive, inspiring, and impact-oriented.

    134 multidisciplinary teams of students from 44 countries have been accepted to participate based on their proposals for actionable projects in one of four tracks: Inspiration and Empowerment, Ideas into Action, Governance and Policy Innovation and Innovation and Imagination. Nearly 500 accepted students participated in a series of workshops in November 2020. Once the workshops were done, students executed and reported on their ideas for six months. They are now working on a publication to be presented during COP26 to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
    More information on the Forum is available here.

    The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), a close partner of IAU for HESD, has also compiled information and opportunities to engage on this website
    The ACU Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort was created in the lead-up to COP26 with an aim to accelerate knowledge transfer across the Commonwealth. The ACU and the British Council have therefore partnered to establish the Cohort supporting 26 rising-star researchers from 16 countries to bring their expertise to a global stage.

    More information on the ACU and BC Cohort is available here.

    The MECCE Project, in which IAU is a partner, also sends a delegation to COP 26 and is involved in discussions around ACE (Action for Climate Empowerment). Read more on how MECCE is involved at COP26 here.

    Carbon conservation and sequestration in ocean: nature-based and technology solutions

    Professor Lise Øvreås from SDG Bergen (University of Bergen, Norway), IAU HESD Cluster Lead for SDG 14: Life below water, is one of five panellists in a COP26 side event discussing how marine ecosystem-based systems and technology can contribute to ocean health on 06 November 2021. More information and livestream here.

    SOS-UK is a student-led education charity focusing on sustainability. The IAU has renewed the cooperation agreement with them in June 2021. They are planning various activities at an around COP26.

    At COP26, Education Ministers will also meet during the session on “Youth empowerment and education” on 5 November. More on the presidency programme here.

    The UK COP presidency, Italy and UNESCO co-organize a joint meeting of Ministers of Education and Ministers of Environment/Ministers responsible for addressing Climate Change. The event will be part of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 26 and organized in collaboration with youth partners including MOCK COP and Youth4Climates delegates and the support of other partner organizations.

    The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) is also planning various activities around COP26, including the participation at the THE Climate Impact Forum.
    Universities and individuals can sign on to the SDG Accord and "Race to Zero" commitments. More information here.

    IAU Secretary General Dr. Hilligje van’t Land joined a pre-COP26 webinar on Higher Education, Knowledge Democracy and Sustainability on Monday, 11th October 2021, from 4-5:30 CEST. Based on the book Socially Responsible Higher Education: International Perspectives on Knowledge Democracy, this webinar focused on two themes: knowledge democracy and place-based learning, offering perspectives from India, Africa, Latin America, and North America. The event is a joint initiative between the UNESCO Chair in Community-based Research and Social Responsibility, the Centre for Research and Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning (University of Glasgow) and the Low and Middle Income Countries Research Network (University of Glasgow).
    More information here..

    The International Science Council (ISC) will be sharing news from its community at the Conference on this regularly updated page , through the Transform 21 portal, and through our social media.

    The page UK Universities’ Climate Innovation Showcase comprises an exhibition of climate-related research, as well as a series of events. This page has been curated by the COP26 Universities Network, an informal association of academics in the UK active on subjects related to climate change, who wanted to work together in support of the aims of the 26th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, i.e. COP26.

    The ISDD Earth Negotiations Bulletin is informing about COP26 and related activities by UNFCCC. An overview can be found here. A webinar for "Youth @ COP 26 " is planned for 25 October. Registration here.

    Updates on general COP26 negotiations can also be found on the UNFCCC page here.


    >>> IAU Policy Statements on HESD & supported declarations

    >>> Letter from the President of the United Nations General Assembly (2017)
    H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, Former President of the United Nations General Assembly, reached out to the IAU to call on all leaders of higher education institutions to embrace the sustainable development goals. The Association disseminated the UN letter to all IAU Members and Partners worldwide.

    >>> Open Letter to COP21 Ministers and Governments (2015)
    On 1 December 2015, a global alliance of higher education sustainability networks, including the IAU, representing more than 3,000 universities and colleges worldwide, jointly issued an Open Letter urging Ministers and Governments to acknowledge and strengthen the research and education role that universities and colleges play in addressing climate change.

    >>> Rio+20 People’s Sustainability Treaty on Higher Education (2012)
    A partnership of over 30 agencies, organizations and associations, led by Copernicus Alliance and the IAU, developed the Higher Education People’s Sustainability Treaty to influence Rio + 20 dialogues.

    Isabel Toman

  • Digital transformation of Higher Education

    Technology has an important impact on all aspects of higher education worldwide. It brings new opportunities; yet, its use to improve higher education is uneven from region to region, from country to country, and from an institution to another within a country. Thus, while pursuing the important potential of digital transformation to bridge divides in terms of access to knowledge and information, it is important to acknowledge that there is a high risk of exacerbating existing or creating new inequalities, as it requires means, infrastructure and human skills. IAU’s action in this area aims to harness the potential of digital technologies as a means to improve the quality of higher education and to increase access to knowledge and education for all.

    Strategic goals for 2016-2022:

    The IAU strategic plan outlines the following strategic objectives to guide the work of the Association in this area:

    • Advocate for equity and solidarity between and within higher education institutions in matters of digital transformation;
    • Promote the design of inclusive digital transformation strategies in HEIs by encouraging and facilitating networking and cooperation between HEIs, international, and national bodies.


    The IAU activities in this field are organized around the following core functions:

    Global advocacy

    Digital transformation is one of the four key priorities in its Strategic Plan. The main priority for this period is to develop a policy statement, building on the previous statement: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Universities from 2004 and adapting it to the current context. An Expert Advisory Group (EAG) has been established to oversee the process. The EAG is composed of Board members and experts from different regions. The group is currently finalizing the work to present the new policy statement to the 16th IAU General Conference.

    More information

    Monitoring transformations

    As a global Association with members in all regions of the world, the IAU has a unique position to monitor trends around the world in order to favour exchange of best practices. In end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 the IAU conducted an Open Consultation to monitor the current state of digital transformation within higher education institutions (HEI). This stocktaking exercise also served to the development of the new Policy Statement which will be submitted to the 16th IAU General Conference for adoption. The consultation led to a report entitled: Higher Education in the Digital Era: The current state of transformation around the world which was released in January 2020 a few months prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, IAU has been monitoring transformations through it Global Surveys on the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Higher Education.

    More information

    Catalyst for collaboration and exchange

    IAU plays an important role as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange. In the field of digital transformation and higher education, IAU seeks to pursue this mission through a series of different activities.

    IAU and UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) have partnered to develop a series of 6 chapters to explore some of the changes we are currently observing in higher education under the title: Innovative Education for Unshaped Futures (IE4UF).

    Learn more

    The IDOCOS project seeks to leverage the opportunity of the accelerated pace of digital transformation during the Covid-19 pandemic by proposing an innovative approach to co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses among universities in different countries.

    Learn more

    IAU launched a new programme in 2019 which is the institutional site visits where higher education institutions that are very innovative or advanced in using technology in higher education in order to improve the quality or to widening access to higher education, invite IAU Members to attend a 2-day meeting to learn from their experiences. The first programme took place at UOC in Barcelona.

    Learn more

    Working Group:

    The working group, composed of IAU Administrative Board members, provides advice to the Administrative Board and the Secretary General on the strategic direction in this field:

    - Remus Pricopie, Rector, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania

    - Marta Losada Falk, Former President, Antonio Nariño University, Colombia
    - Pierre-André Pierre, Rector, Université Notre-Dame d’Haiti, Haiti
    - Daniel Hernandez Ruiperez, Former Rector, University of Salamanca, Spain

    IAU Secretariat
    Trine Jensen, Manager, HE & Digital Transformation

    Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on HE and Digital Transformation?

    Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list

    Trine Jensen


    IAU Policy Statement

    In the context of the rapid development of digital technologies, which affects society and higher education, IAU is currently developing a new IAU policy statement in order to outline the key principles and values that must underpin the digital transformation.

    Expert Advisory Group

    In order to oversee the drafting process, IAU established an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) composed of experts from different regions of the world as well as representatives of the IAU Administrative Board.

    Consult the list of the members of the Expert Advisory Group (EAG).

    Hosted by the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), the IAU Expert Advisory Group met in Bucharest, Romania on 28-29 May 2018 in order to commence the work. The structure and fundamental principles were discussed during the meeting in order to start building the policy statement. The group has since then convened several online meeting and the draft policy statement has been subject to an open consultation among IAU Members as well as Student Associations. The comments of the consultations are currently being considered by the EAG and this final review will lead to the final version of the Policy Statement which will be submitted to the 16th IAU General Conference for adoption.

    Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on HE & Digital Transformation?

    Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list

    Trine Jensen



    As a global Association with members in all regions of the world, the IAU has a unique position to monitor trends around the world in order to favour exchange of best practices.

    Collectively defining and shaping the digital transformation in higher education

    IAU is currently in the process of developing a new policy statement in order to define the values, principles and ethics that must accompany the digital transformation in order to ensure that it contributes to the global common good. As part of the large consultation process for the development of the statement. IAU undertook an open consultation from 1 November 2018 to 1 April 2019 in order to take stock of the current state of digital transformation and to collect the views and opinions of the higher education community at large. The report was launched in January 2020 just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The results of the Open Consultation carried out by IAU from 1 November 2018 to 1 April 2019 are presented in a Report:

    "Higher Education in the Digital Era:
    The current state of transformation around the world"

    IAU is pleased to present this first stock-taking exercise in the field, and to contribute to discussing the current state of transformation, the risk of inequalities, the ethical implications and how to jointly leverage the potential of technological developments for a sustainable future.

    Discover the report !

    Accelerated digital transformation of higher education during the Covid-19 Pandemic

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, the IAU has been conducting Global Surveys to monitor the impact of the pandemic on higher education. These include perspectives on digital transformation which have clearly changed compared to prior to the pandemic. The first Report was launched in May 2020 only months into the pandemic and IAU is planing for the launch of the second report in October 2021 based on data collected one year into the pandemic.

    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 and the results are presented in a Report:

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

    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.

    Discover the report !

    Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on HE & Digital Transformation?

    Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list

    Trine Jensen




    The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation of higher education. After a year of adapting to the sudden disruption of higher education and pivoting operations to increasingly rely on digital technologies in higher education, the new constant is uncertainty and a need for resilience to respond to fast changing environment. Within this context, the International Association of Universities (IAU) and UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) have partnered to develop a series to explore some of the changes we are currently observing in higher education under the title Innovative Education for Unshaped Futures (IE4UF).


    The series is divided into 6 chapters of one hour exploring different levels of change and moving from broader topics to more specific areas in the second part of the series. Each chapter includes perspectives from an online and a campus-based university and the full programme is available below.
    The series is open to all and the recordings will be made available online after the session.

    Policy dialogues

    The series will be followed-up with a policy dialogue series to provide an opportunity for IAU Members to come together and exchange on the topic in question, express ideas, seek advice from peers or provide recommendations for the future of higher education. The policy dialogues are limited to 20 persons per session to allow for smooth interaction and exchange. The discussions will be moderated by IAU and UOC, but the content will be delivered by the participants who contribute to the discussions. The policy dialogues are closed sessions that will not be shared publicly, yet the outcomes of the conversations will contribute to a report which will be submitted to UNESCO as a contribution to the upcoming UNESCO World Higher Education Conference entitled Reinventing the Role & Place of Higher Learning for a Sustainable Future. More information about the Policy Dialogues will be provided at the beginning of October.

    Trine Jensen


    CHAPTER I: Return to Campus: Making sense of (innovative) hybrid teaching and learning | Thursday, 10 June 2021

    This first session in the series includes opening words from the leadership of the two partner organisations to officially kick off the series, followed by a discussion on the changes and innovations in teaching and learning. At Deakin University, students had access to both online and physical campus prior to the pandemic. Learn more about the current trends and developments as well as their vision for blended and hybrid modes of learning moving forward. UOC University, on the other hand, has 25 years of experience in fully online learning and shares experiences about leveraging the potential of this method. The last part of the session is dedicated to questions from the audience.

    - Speakers:

    • Albert Sangrà, UNESCO Chair in Education & Technology for Social Change, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
    • Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education, Deakin University, Australia.

    - Moderator:

    • Trine Jensen, Manager, HE & Digital Transformation, International Association of Universities (IAU)

    CHAPTER II: Assessment practices in hybrid and online HE scenarios | Tuesday, 22 June 2021

    - Speakers:

    • Nati Cabrera, Professor and Director, Master Programme in Quality Evaluation and Management in Higher Education, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain.
    • Henrik Hansson, ICT - Culture - Flexible Learning - Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden.

    - Moderator:

    • Albert Sangrà, UNESCO Chair in Education & Technology for Social Change, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain.

    CHAPTER III: Leadership for Digital Education: Shortcuts and pitfalls | Thursday, 1 July 2021

    - Speakers:

    - Moderator:

    • Deborah Arnold, AUNEGe, Digital University for Management and Economics, France.

    CHAPTER IV: Designing Quality (Online) Learning | Thursday, 16 September 2021

    - Speakers:

    • Sian Bayne, Professor of Digital Education, University of Edinburgh; Director, Centre for Research in Digital Education, Edinburgh Futures Institute, Scotland, UK.
    • Marcelo Maina, Professor and Director Master Programme in Education and ICT (e-learning), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain.

    - Moderator:

    • Trine Jensen, Manager, HE & Digital Transformation, International Association of Universities (IAU).

    CHAPTER V : Interaction and collaboration: being social in digital environments | Thursday, 30 September 2021

    - Speakers:

    • Shanali Govender, Academic Staff Lecturer, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
    • Montse Guitert, Professor, Psychology and Education Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

    - Moderator:

    • Albert Sangrà, UNESCO Chair in Education & Technology for Social Change, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain.

    CHAPTER VI: Data Governance: What should we be aware of?

    Thursday, 14 October 2021 | 2:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC)

    - Speakers:

    • Nela Petkovic, CIO, Information and Communication Technologies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
    • Juliana E. Raffaghelli, Ramón y Cajal Programme Researcher, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

    - Moderator:

    • Trine Jensen, Manager, HE & Digital Transformation, International Association of Universities (IAU)



    The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed significant deficiencies in virtually all countries when it comes to remote learning. When universities overnight pivoted from campus-based education to digital and remote solutions, this very often meant emulating what used to happen on campus and not necessarily quality online learning and teaching. Despite the challenges that the pandemic has caused, it also represents an opportunity to reconsider practices and processes and reform the university education.

    The pandemic has forced a more integrated use of technology and digital tools in higher education and it has become part of everyday life of students in most parts of the world. The IDOCOS project seeks to leverage this opportunity by proposing an innovative approach to co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses among universities in different countries. It proposes a structured process and comprehensive guidance supporting the move towards more internationally co-created and shared resources for doctoral education to enhance reciprocal exchange of research capacity, resources, to increase competencies and ultimately strengthening high-quality research education through international collaboration. It will serve as a proposed model for similar initiatives, yet in a flexible format that can be adapted to the different contexts in different countries. Besides delivering a methodology for co-creation and sharing, IDOCOS shall also deliver a demonstration cross-disciplinary course focusing on digital transformation, the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 UN Agenda.

    Open Consultation

    For the development of the deliverables, it is essential to be informed by the current context and experiences of the universities and higher education institutions around the world to ensure that the project responds to the needs and that it is of relevance to as many institutions as possible. All higher education institutions offering doctoral education are therefore invited to respond to the below consultation to inform the development of the deliverables namely, a proposed methodology and process for international co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses as well as a demonstrator course focusing on digital transformation, the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 UN Agenda. Respondents will receive the deliverables free of charge and will also be invited to take part in other engagement opportunities if interested.

    The consultation is only composed of 15 questions and it will take 5-10 minutes to respond to it.

    There are 2 distinct entry points:

    • One for the leadership in charge of Doctoral education at the institution to provide the replies on behalf of the institution overall:


    • One for supervisors of doctoral candidates:


    Both of the surveys are focused on the current experience in co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses at the international level. Thank you in advance for your contribution!

    Funding source and partners
    IDOCOS project is co-funded by the Erasmus + Strategic Partnership programme of the European Union and within this frame, the key target group for the project deliverables are universities in EU countries. Yet the group of partners is committed to building on the project and engaging with universities from different parts of the world and most particularly Africa.

    The project runs from March 2021 to March 2023.




    In March 2019, IAU launched a new programme entitled ‘Institutional Site Visits’. The purpose of these visits is to create opportunities for exchange among Members while meeting at a university that is very advanced in using digital innovations to improve higher education to learn from experiences at the host university. The aim of the programme is capacity building through exchange of information and experiences. The aim of the site visit is that the participants acquire new insights as to how to use technology and get ideas about how to adapt and use the information in his/her context.

    The Institutional Site Visits are exclusively open to representatives of IAU Members (all categories)

    The first edition took place at the UOC (see more below) as was a great success. The programme is currently suspended while we wait for a context that allows us to pick-up physical meetings and gatherings. We look very much forward to pursuing these important site visits and learning about the innovations taking place across the world with peers from all regions of the world. So stay tuned....


    The first IAU Site Visit was hosted by Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) - the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) – which is the first fully online university worldwide. UOC welcomed 24 IAU Member representatives from 16 countries to Barcelona on 27-28 March in order to share their experience about online learning, the pedagogical and management model and its educational model based on personalization and accompanying students using e-learning.

    - When?: 27-28 March 2019
    - Where?: Barcelona, Spain
    - Watch a video from the Site Visit: click here
    - See the Agenda: click here

    If you believe that your institution is a leader in this field and you wish to promote your institution and share your experience, consider hosting a site visit. Contact IAU to learn more.

    Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on Technology and Higher Education?

    Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list

    Trine Jensen

  • Leadership

    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.



    Get a greater appreciation of the approaches to leading through COVID and how a range of universities are taking novel approaches towards building a new future.

    Create space to reflect on different aspects of global higher education on the horizon with a particular focus on scenario thinking and the implications for your current strategy and future plans.

    Gain better knowledge of the different dimensions of strategic leadership to become a globally engaged leader of change.

    Explore leadership expectations and improve interpersonal management skills to unlock the full potential of diverse high-performing teams.

    Create long-term partnerships, connect and share experiences with colleagues from all over the world and learn how they respond differently 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


    Inter-american Organization for Higher Education (OUI-IOHE)

    The Inter-american Organization for Higher Education (OUI-IOHE) is a reflective and action-oriented forum of over 350 members from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), research centers and national, regional, and international associations.

    OUI-IOHE is a common space composed of 28 countries divided into 9 regions: the Andean countries, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Mexico, the Southern Cone, and the United States.

    It is a network of 5 million decision-makers, leaders, professors, researchers and students in higher education across the Americas with 40 years of experience in internationalization, leadership and training.

  • EAIE

    European Association for International Education (EAIE)

    Founded in 1989, the EAIE is the European centre for expertise, networking and resources in the internationalisation of higher education.

    As a member-led organisation, EAIE provides a platform for learning, networking and knowledge exchange. EAIE’s activities are geared towards helping professionals succeed in their work. EAIE equips academic and non-academic professionals with best practices and workable solutions to internationalisation challenges and provide a platform for strategic exchange. EAIE partners with key stakeholder organisations and institutions to promote its membership interests and advance international higher education. In short, EAIE is dedicated to promoting and driving responsible international education in Europe and beyond.

  • CIN

    Red de Cooperación Internacional de las Universidades Nacionales (RedCIUN) del Consejo Interuniversitario Nacional (CIN)

    The National Interuniversity Board (CIN, by its Spanish acronym) created in 1985, is a non-state-controlled entity under public law mainly supported by the contributions of its members.

    The CIN is in charge of proposing and coordinating policies for the development of Argentine Universities and of promoting activities for the higher education system. In addition, it is a compulsory consultation body in case of major decisions for the university system.
    The Network of International Cooperation of the National Universities (RedCIUN, by its Spanish acronym) is the branch of CIN dedicated to foster International Cooperation of Argentinian Universities.


    NAFSA: Association of International Educators

    NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest non-profit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA’s 10 000 members are located at more than 3 500 institutions worldwide, in over 150 countries.

    NAFSA believes that international education advances learning and scholarship, fosters understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is essential for developing globally competent individuals, and builds leadership for the global community.


    Korean Association of Foreign Student Administrators (KAFSA) (Membership currently suspended)

    The Korean Association of Foreign Student Administrators (KAFSA) was founded in 1999 for leaders and staffers working for international education of domestic educational institutions of higher learning to encourage the interchange of information thereof, and now, it is regarded as the one representing the international interchange of domestic universities.


    Japan Network for International Education (JAFSA)

    JAFSA is an association comprised of universities, individuals, and other entities including private firms as supporting members interested in facilitating the internationalization of education in Japan and around the world.

    JAFSA promotes and enhances excellence in international education in Japan and provides for a connection to the global community.

  • IIE

    Institute of International Education (IIE)

    The Institute of International Education® (IIE), founded in 1919, believes that when education transcends borders, it opens minds, enabling people to go beyond building connections to solving problems together. IIE’s vision is a peaceful, equitable world enriched by the international exchange of ideas and greater understanding between people and cultures.

    IIE’s mission is to help people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world.


    International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA)

    The International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA), a non-profit organisation, was established as a result of the need for universities and universities of technology in South Africa to respond to international educational trends.

    IEASA is a leading African organisation advancing the internationalisation of higher education from the perspectives of the developing and emerging world.

  • IEAA

    International Education Association of Australia (IEAA)

    IEAA is Australia’s leading association for international education. IEAA has a growing membership of almost 3 000 individual members from almost 280 institutions and organisations around Australia and internationally. IEAA membership base comprises individuals from all sectors of the international education industry – including higher education, TAFE, vocational education, schools and English language colleges. Members also include individuals from government and business.


    Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC)

    The Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC) is a not-for-profit membership-based network of approximately 180 institutions of higher education in Canada, the United States and Mexico, as well as a select group of institutions from other parts of the world.

    CONAHEC advises and connects institutions interested in establishing or strengthening academic collaborative programs within the North American region and beyond.

  • CBIE

    Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)

    CBIE is the national voice advancing Canadian international education by creating and mobilizing expertise, knowledge, opportunity and leadership. As Canada’s national, non-profit, membership organization exclusively dedicated to international education, CBIE is a well-regarded service provider with an extensive network of stakeholders.


    Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE)

    The Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) was established in Seoul, South Korea in 2004 by a Founding Committee consisting of thirteen university representatives from across the Asia Pacific region, and has since expanded to become a thriving association. APAIE aims to encourage greater cooperation between institutions, to enrich and support international programmes, activities and exchanges, and to promote the value of international education across the region and beyond. In doing so, APAIE devotes itself to the principles of mutual respect, diversity and collective progress.

  • AIEA

    Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)

    The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) is an association dedicated exclusively to senior leaders in the field of international education. AIEA members are senior international officers who serve as leaders of higher education institutions and of organizations that support international higher education.


    Brazilian Association for International Education (FAUBAI)

    FAUBAI, or the Brazilian Association for International Education, founded in 1988, brings together managers and other responsible parties for international affairs and promotes the integration and training of area managers through seminars, workshops and regional and national meetings. In addition, FAUBAI also discloses the diversity and potential of Brazilian HEI´s together with funding agencies, diplomatic missions, and international programs and organizations.


    Asociación Mexicana para la Educación Internacional (AMPEI)

    The Mexican Association for International Education (AMPEI) (Spanish: Asociación Mexicana para la Educación Internacional [AMPEI]), is a non-profit membership organization which brings together international educators from Mexican higher education institutions.
    Its core membership is composed by individuals in charge of the different international education activities in colleges and universities from Mexico, and elsewhere.

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