International Association of Universities
The Global Voice of Higher Education
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Vision & Mission

Founded in 1950, under the auspices of UNESCO, the International Association of Universities (IAU) is the leading global association of higher education institutions and organisations from around the world.

IAU is an independent, bilingual (English and French), non-governmental, membership organization. IAU membership is open to higher education institutions (HEIs) and organisations.

As a global forum for leaders of institutions and associations, IAU convenes and connects Members from more than 130 countries to identify, reflect and act on common priorities. It acts as the global voice of higher education to a wide range of international and inter-governmental organizations, in particular to UNESCO. Members avail of a wide range of services on a priority basis, but these extend also to other HE stakeholders, such as organisations, institutions, higher education authorities, policy and decision-makers, specialists, administrators, teachers, researchers and students.

IAU is funded primarily through its membership fees and depends on these to effectively carry out its wide portfolio of activities encompassing its series of online webinars and thematic debates, events and conferences, publications, projects and other initiatives.
We need your support to maintain our high quality services and advocacy for the key transformative role higher education plays in society - for a better and more sustainable world.

IAU is an official partner of UNESCO (Associate status) and has been given special consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
IAU was granted the participatory status with the Council of Europe.

For more information on IAU’s activities and membership, please consult our brochure.


VISION
IAU aims to be the most representative and influential global association of diverse higher education institutions and their organizations, promoting and advancing a dynamic leadership role for higher education in society.


MISSION
IAU promotes collaboration among its Members by articulating the fundamental values and principles that underpin the pursuit, dissemination and application of knowledge. The Association advocates for higher education policies and practices that respect diverse perspectives and promote social responsibility. With a particular emphasis on values and leadership, and acting as a forum for sharing and joint action, IAU encourages innovation, mutual learning and cooperation among institutions.


VALUES
IAU promotes core values among its members and the wider higher education community including:
  • Academic freedom, institutional autonomy and social responsibility locally and globally
  • Cooperation and solidarity based on mutuality of interests and shared benefits
  • Tolerance of divergent opinions, freedom from political interference
  • Equity in access and success in higher education and open access to knowledge
  • Scientific integrity and ethical behaviour as cornerstones of conduct for all stakeholders in higher education
  • Higher education and research in the public interest
  • Quality in learning, research and outreach


STRATEGY

IAU works to enhance higher education community’s role and actions in advancing societies worldwide. As a global membership organization, IAU represents and serves the full spectrum of higher education institutions and their associations. The Strategic plan 2016-2020, adopted during the 15th IAU General Conference, in 2016, it deepens IAU’s focus on four key higher education priority themes, while improving support and services to members as well as enhancing their visibility and engagement. Under the current circumstances marked by COVID 19, the IAU strategic plan is extended until 2021.

IAU 4 strategic priorities:

IAU fulfils its goals through:

  • Expertise development & trends analysis
  • Publications & specialized portals
  • Advisory services
  • Training & peer-to-peer learning
  • Knowledge sharing events
  • Global advocacy & representation

IAU continuously enhances its efficiency by:

  • Engaging & enlarging IAU membership
  • Ensuring financial sustainability
NGO in official partnership with UNESCO in associate status
International Association of Universities, UNESCO House, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris cedex 15, France
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