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The new IAU program of advisory services for advancing internationalization.

ISAS (2.0) consists of several different but complementary services offered to IAU Members, other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), individuals at HEIs, national governments and organizations.

ISAS (2.0), offered by IAU as of 2016, builds on the foundation of the initial Internationalization Strategies Advisory Service (ISAS), created in 2010 to help HEIs develop or review their internationalization policies, strategies and programs.

The new program goes beyond the original ISAS initiative in two important ways. First, it offers a greater variety of specific and tailored services to a more diversified audience. It seeks to assist single HEIs, groups of HEIs within a country, individual professionals, and policymakers in their distinct efforts to enhance internationalization of Higher Education (HE). Secondly, it offers a learning badge for each service as a way of acknowledging the learning journey that has been undertaken.

The main services within ISAS (2.0) include:

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

Please find here the ISAS (2.0) promotional leaflet.

To know more about the original ISAS program please consult the following pages: ISAS program 2010 - 2016

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Internationalization of Higher Education Virtual Resource Center

The following IAU webpages contain a variety of resources – articles, studies, good practice examples and models, policies etc., covering and discussing higher education internationalization processes in all their different aspects. As these processes are continuously changing and evolving, these webpages will hopefully keep up with the evolution, most especially with readership input. Therefore please do not hesitate to send relevant resources or comments for improving the website to the Manager, HE and Internationalization policy and projects, Giorgio Marinoni, mentioning internationalization in the subject line.

In addition to the documentation presented in the following pages, other references can be found in the HEDBIB database, an international database of references on higher education policy, systems, management, planning, and evaluation.

IAU Global Surveys

IAU 5th Global Survey

5th edition of the Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education

18 international experts on internationalization have accepted to assist IAU in the preparations for the 5th edition of the Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education. They form the Advisory Committee which reviewed and redesigned the questionnaire to be used to collect data from HEIs, and its definitions of terms. The questionnaire is now being tested by a pilot group of institutions until 30 September 2017. The Global Survey has become a renowned source of global and regional insights on institutional trends and perceptions about internationalization. IAU plans to collect data in 2018 and publish the 5th edition in early 2019.

IAU 4th Global Survey (2014)

In April 2014 the IAU published the report of the IAU 4th Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education

  • An electronic copy of the report's Executive Summary, can be downloaded here

  • To order the 4th Global Survey report, please complete and return the order form available here

Each of these reports, as described below, provides a unique analysis of global and regional level data on trends and developments in the field of international higher education and related policy making. The IAU Global Survey reports have become an invaluable resource for anyone working on or interested in internationalization of higher education.

For more information contact the Manager, HE and Internationalization policy and projects: Giorgio Marinoni

4th Global Survey report

Internationalization of Higher Education – Growing expectations, fundamental values

Published on April 1 2014, the IAU 4th Global Survey reports analyses responses from 1,336 higher education institutions in 131 different countries. The report presents the largest and most geographically comprehensive collection of primary data on internationalization of higher education available today.

In preparing the IAU 4th Global Survey, the Association benefited from the support of the European Commission, British Council, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the European Association for International Education (EAIE). As well, and Advisory Committee of experts aided in the formulation of the questionnaire used in the survey.

Some highlights of the report include:

• Institutions world-wide are focusing on internationalization. Over half of the respondents report that their institution has an internationalization policy/strategy, and 22% report that one is in preparation. Just over 15% indicate that internationalization forms part of the overall institutional strategy.

• Student mobility and international research collaboration are the highest-priority internationalization activities within institutions

• Student knowledge of international issues is the most significant expected benefit of internationalization. This is the same finding as in the IAU 3rd Global Survey (2009) and the 2nd Global Survey (2005).

• International opportunities being available only to students with financial resources, was ranked by respondents as the most significant potential risk of internationalization for institutions while the most significant societal risk is noted as commodification/commercialization of education

• In the majority of regions, respondents indicated that their geographic focus for internationalization was on their own region. Europe is also a strong focus for most regions.

• Limited funding is the major internal and external obstacle to advancing internationalization. This finding was also true in the two previous IAU Global Surveys.

• Respondent institutions report that they seek to promote values of equity and sharing of benefits through their internationalization strategy and activities.

The book includes approximately 100 figures and tables presenting, comparing and analysing aggregate and regional results. It is an invaluable resource for anyone working on or interested in internationalization of higher education.

The IAU 4th Global Survey has already been noted in the press:

IAU 3rd Global Survey (2010)

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Internationalization of Higher Education: Global Trends, Regional Perspectives

Published in 2010 the report includes more than one hundred Figures and Tables presenting, comparing and analyzing global (aggregate) results as well as those specific to the six world regions. The report is based on responses from 745 higher education institutions and close to 20 national university associations in 115 different countries.

Analysis of the regional findings is supplemented by commentaries from senior higher education experts in internationalization from each of the regions. Where appropriate, comparisons are drawn with the results of the IAU 2005 Global Survey on Internationalization, showing both continuity and change.

A detailed analysis of how enrolment size affects the form and function of internationalization within HEIs and a review of the Association’s perspectives and role in internationalization is also included.

To order the report, please complete and return the order form.

IAU 2nd Global Survey (2005)

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Internationalization of Higher Education - New Directions, New Challenges

Second in the series, the 2005 IAU global survey expanded its geographical coverage and broadened the survey to include in addition to higher education institutions, university associations from around the world. At the start of 2005, questionnaires were sent to more than 3,000 higher education institutions, more than 100 national university associations and 17 regional university associations around the world.

Click here to order

Highlights of findings

IAU 1st Global Survey (2003)

1st global survey

Internationalization of Higher Education: Practices and Priorities

In early 2003, the International Association of Universities surveyed its institutional members on the practices and priorities of internationalization at their institutions.

Click here for the full report

Working Group

This Working Group is chaired by a member of the Administrative Board. Building on the IAU policy statements which include: Sharing Quality Higher Education Across Borders: A Statement on Behalf of Higher Education Institutions Worldwide and past IAU achievements in this area, the Working Group will provide advice to the Administrative Board and the Secretary General on the strategic direction to be pursued in this policy area. The Working Group will also benefit from the work of the Advisory Committee on the IAU Global Survey on Internationalization. More specifically, the Working Group will provide recommendations on how to improve the visibility and response rate for the above cited survey and how to enhance the presentation and dissemination of the results in the interest of IAU Members. The Working Group will also provide recommendations on how to operationalize the Call for Action: Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization of Higher Education. Finally it will assist in the promotion of the Internationalization Strategies Advisory Service (ISAS (2.0)) offered by the IAU, offer comments on how to improve it and more generally advise IAU on what other useful services it could propose to the academic community. The Chair and Members of the Working Group are:


  • Andrew DEAKS, President, University College Dublin, Ireland


  • Salim DACCACHE s.j., Rector, University of St Joseph Beirut, Lebanon
  • Etsuko KATSU, Vice-President, International, Meiji University, Japan
  • Ebenezer ODURO OWUSU, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Oleg SMESHKO, Rector, Saint-Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics, Russian Federation

IAU Secretariat

  • Eva Egron-Polak, Secretary General
  • Giorgio Marinoni, Manager, HE and Internationalization policy and projects

Re-thinking internationalization

Re-thinking internationalization

IAU International Ad-hoc Expert Group on Re-thinking Internationalization (The Ad-hoc Group)

Bringing together a growing number of scholars and practitioners who are questioning the current developments in internationalization, the Ad-hoc Group builds on the lively discussion that took place during the 4th IAU Global Meeting of Associations in Delhi, India, in April, 2011 and poses a number of conceptual questions:

  • Is the concept and the definition of internationalization keeping up with developments in higher education?

  • Is there a shared understanding of the concept?

  • Has internationalization lost sight of its central purposes?

IAU is posing these and other questions in a reflection directly in line with the findings of the 3rd Global Survey on Internationalization.

The Survey clearly points out the differences in why internationalization is pursued in different parts of the world and how it impacts on various institutions in vastly diverse contexts. Furthermore, this initiative is a natural sequel to past normative efforts of the Association, such as the Policy Statement and Declaration and Checklist for Good Practice.

The Ad-hoc Group brings together perspectives from all parts of the world inter alia to: assess the extent to which internationalization activities fit the current conceptual umbrella, to critically examine the causes that are leading to some questioning and even criticism of the concept and to investigate the ways to address these concerns. The Group has met for the first time 'virtually' in July 2011. The Agenda lists the main questions and issues that were covered.

The Notes, prepared by IAU following this first meeting, summarize what was actually a wide ranging beginning to a rich discussion. IAU and all the members of the Group are committed to continue this discussion and move forward in concrete ways in an effort to reposition/reinvent internationalization as a valuable and transformative process of change in higher education in the current context.

For example in April 2012 the IAU published - Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization of Higher Education: A Call for Action

This new IAU Call for Action, which is available here is the main output of the Ad-hoc Group, to date.

The Call is also available in French and in Spanish.

In addition, several group members also contributed to a special double issue of IAU Horizons, whose In–Focus theme was on the topic of Re-thinking Internationalization. Published in early 2012, the magazine (Vol.17 No.3 and Vol.18 No.1 ) can be viewed here

Since the publication of the Call all Group members have agreed to keep moving the re-thinking internationalization agenda forward, and sharing inputs that various audiences may make to the discussion.

Finally, IAU built a virtual resources center for sharing related papers and documents on its webpages devoted to internationalization. Should you have a paper or a presentation that you wish to make known to the Group, or simply to comment on this initiative, please contact Eva Egron-Polak or Giorgio Marinoni.

Policy Statements

From its unique stand point as a global association of institutions and organizations of higher education, IAU has developed advocacy positions on key issues including on internationalization of higher education.

IAU Internationalization Policy Statements

Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization of Higher Education: A Call for Action, 2012

Published in April 2012, the Call for Action is the key output of the IAU Ad-hoc Expert Group on Re-thinking Internationalization. The Call is also available in French and in Spanish.

Sharing Quality Higher Education Across Borders: A Checklist for Good Practice, 2006.

As follow-up to the 2004 statement, the same four Associations (the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the International Association of Universities (IAU) elaborated a practical Checklist for Good Practice to be used by institutions. The Checklist is designed as a tool to help institutions ensure that the principles promoted by the Statement were being respected.

Sharing Quality Higher Education Across Borders: A Statement on Behalf of Higher Education Institutions Worldwide, 2004.

The statement identified a set of principles that should guide the provision of cross-border education and set forth a series of recommendations. This document, was prepared by the IAU, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and was circulated to higher education membership associations worldwide for comment in 2004.

Towards a Century of Cooperation: Internationalization of Higher Education, 2000.

Prepared for the UNESCO World Conference in Higher Education 1998, formally adopted by the 11th IAU General Conference as part of the IAU Policy 2000.

Roster of Experts

Should you wish to join IAU’s Roster of Experts, for the ISAS programme, and the Association's other internationalization of higher education projects, please complete and submit the registration form