The Association

Presenting IAU

IAU, founded in 1950, is the UNESCO-based worldwide association of higher education institutions. It brings together institutions and organisations from some 120 countries for reflection and action on common concerns and collaborates with various international, regional and national bodies active in higher education. Its services are available on the priority basis to Members but also to organisations, institutions and authorities concerned with higher education, as well as to individual policy and decision-makers, specialists, administrators, teachers, researchers and students. For more information about IAU please consult the following resources:

Information about the application process, membership categories, admission requirements, benefits and membership fees is available on the page Join IAU.

Do not hesitate to contact Juliette Becker (j.becker(at)iau-aiu.net) should you wish to learn more about Membership in IAU.

Executive Committee

This Executive Committee is composed of the President, who acts as chair, and four Vice-Presidents with due regard to geographic representation. The Committee acts on behalf of the Administrative Board between meetings and guides the Association's action agenda and program of activities. Generally, the Executive Committee meets twice yearly. It provides support to the President of the Association by preparing the meetings of the Administrative Board and the business sessions of the General Conference. One Vice-President, so designated, replaces the President of the Association should the need arise for whatever reason during the latter's term of office. One Vice-President, also so designated, acts as Treasurer.

The Members of the Executive Committee are designated by the President from among the Administrative Board members and approved by them. The Secretary General of the IAU serves as secretary to the Executive Committee.

Members of the Executive Committee 2016-2020

President

Vice-Presidents

  • Abdul Ganiyu AMBALI, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Pornchai MONGKHONVANIT, President, Siam University, Thailand (First VP)
  • Remus PRICOPIE, Rector, National University of Political and Administrative Studies, Romania (Treasurer)
  • Roberto ESCALANTE SEMERENA, Secretary-General, UDUAL (Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe), Mexico

Secretariat

  • Eva Egron-Polak, Secretary General

IAU statutory documents

Introduction

IAU, founded in 1950, is the UNESCO-based worldwide association of higher education institutions. It brings together institutions and organisations from some 130 countries for reflection and action on common concerns and collaborates with various international, regional and national bodies active in higher education. Its services are available on the priority basis to Members but also to organisations, institutions and authorities concerned with higher education, as well as to individual policy and decision-makers, specialists, administrators, teachers, researchers and students.

The Association aims at giving expression to the obligation of universities and other higher education institutions as social institutions to promote, through teaching, research and services, the principles of freedom and justice, of human dignity and solidarity, and contributes, through international cooperation, to the development of material and moral assistance for the strengthening of higher education generally.

Statutory Documents

The IAU statutory documents are composed of the IAU Constitution and the By-Laws which set out the mandate of the Association and framework for its operations. Along with the IAU’s general mission, a four- year Strategic Plan is regularly developed to translate the mission into concrete strategic directions and to define expected outcomes and activities to be pursued between quadrennial General Conferences. All documents are available below. For more information about IAU do not hesitate to contact iau@iau-aiu.net.


Constitution

Nice, 9 December 1950 - Last Amended, Utrecht, 17 July 2008

Conscious of their high responsibility as guardians of the intellectual life;
Conscious of the fundamental principles for which every university should stand, namely: the right to pursue knowledge for its own sake and to follow wherever the search for truth may lead; the tolerance of divergent opinion and freedom from political interference;
Conscious of their obligation as social institutions to promote, through teaching and research, the principles of freedom and justice, of human dignity and solidarity; to develop mutually material and moral aid on an international level;

The universities of the world, through their representatives assembled in conference at Nice, hereby decide to create an international association of universities.

  • Chapter One: Name
  • Chapter Two: Purposes
  • Chapter Three: Membership
  • Chapter Four: Internal Organisation and Administration
  1. The General Conference
  2. The President
  3. The Administrative Board
  4. The International Universities Bureau
  • Chapter Five: Headquarters of the Organisation
  • Chapter Six: Amendment of the Constitution
  • Chapter Seven: Dissolution
  • Chapter Eight: Miscellaneous Provisions

IAU Constitution

IAU By-Laws
The IAU By-Laws support the implementation of the Constitution. It is regularly modified by the Administrative Board and tabled at each General Conference.

IAU By-Laws


Mission:

IAU: Building a Worldwide Higher Education Community.

As stated in its Constitution IAU's mission is based on the fundamental principles for which every university should stand:

  • The right to pursue knowledge for its own sake and to follow wherever the search for truth may lead;
  • The tolerance of divergent opinion and freedom from political interference.

The overall goals of IAU are both internal and external:

  • IAU links up its Members, offering them quality services, networking and collective action.
  • The Association speaks on behalf of universities, other higher education institutions and associations and represents their concerns and interests in public debate and to outside partners.

Both of these complementary goals are pursued through future oriented collective action, including conferences and meetings, information services, policy discussion, research and publications.

By encouraging Members to work together, IAU

  • Facilitates the exchange of experience and learning and fosters cooperation;
  • Restates and defends the academic values and principles that underlie and determine the proper functioning of universities and other higher education institutions;
  • Upholds and contributes to the development of a long-term vision of universities' role and responsibilities in society;
  • Voices the concerns for higher education with regard to policies of international bodies such as UNESCO, the World Bank and others;
  • Contributes to a better understanding of current trends and policy developments through analysis, research and debate;
  • Provides comprehensive and authoritative information on higher education systems, institutions and qualifications worldwide.


IAU Work Plan for 2016-2020

Adopted at the 15th IAU General Conference in November 2016, Bangkok, Thailand, the IAU Stratetic Plan sets direction for the work of the Association.
IAU Strategic Plan (2016-2020)

Administrative Board

Administrative Board:

Chaired by the IAU President, the Administrative Board is made of twenty elected and two ex officio members as follows: eighteen executive heads of member institutions and two heads of member organizations, the immediate past President and the Secretary General. A number of deputy members, from different regions and both categories of members are also elected. The Administrative Board meets annually, ensures that decisions of the General Conference are implemented and guides the work of the International Universities Bureau. Some of its work is carried out through various committees as groups such as, for example the Executive Committee, the Standing Committee on Membership Development (see below) and various specialized Working Groups (described elsewhere on the website). The term of tenure of the Administrative Board is four years.

Administrative Board 2016-2020

Biography of the IAU President and Administrative Board members


President


Immediate Past President

Full Board Members

Africa

Americas

Asia and The Pacific

Europe

Organizations

  • Molly CORBETT BROAD, President, ACE (American Council on Education), USA
  • Roberto ESCALANTE SEMERENA, Secretary-General, UDUAL (Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe), Mexico (IAU Vice-President)

Secretary-General

  • Eva EGRON-POLAK, Executive Director, Ex-Officio, International Universities Bureau

Deputy Members

Americas

Asia and The Pacific

Europe

Organizations

Honorary Presidents

  • Guillermo SOBERON, President 1980-1985, Former Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • Blagovest SENDOV, Acting President 1984, Former Rector, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Justin THORENS, President 1985-1990, Former Rector, Université de Genève, Switzerland
  • Hans VAN GINKEL, President 2000-2004, Former Rector, Utrecht University, Netherlands; Former Rector, United Nations University, Japan
  • Goolam MOHAMEDBHAI, President 2004-2008, Former Secretary-General, Association of African Universities (AAU), Ghana
  • Juan Ramón DE LA FUENTE, President 2008-2012, Former Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico

Standing Membership Development Committee

This Standing Committee is chaired by a member of the Administrative Board and includes only Board members. Its main function is to advise the Administrative Board and Secretary General on all matters related to membership development. More specifically, the Committee provides recommendations on admission policy, Membership categories and annual fees. It also helps to elaborate membership development strategies and examines how to improve membership retention though strong services offered by IAU. The Committee provides advice on specific admission cases brought to the Committee’s attention by the Secretary General or by the Director, Membership and Programme Development.

Members of the Standing Membership Development Committee 2016-2020:

Chair

  • To be named

Members

  • To be named

Secretariat

  • Hilligje van't Land, Hilligje van't Land, Deputy Secretary General
  • Juliette Becker, Executive Assistant/Programme Officer

Secretariat

The International Universities Bureau is IAU's permanent Secretariat and its major instrument of program implementation, along with the Administrative Board, various Committees and Working Groups. Created by UNESCO in 1949, initially as an international information centre on higher education, the Bureau was instrumental in preparing the International University Conference in Nice, 1950, at which the IAU was founded. Today, under the authority of the IAU and as a partner organization of UNESCO, its mission includes:

  • Monitoring and analysing trends in higher education and research at global level,
  • Collecting and sharing information,
  • Developing IAU positions and advocacy

International Universities Bureau Staff:

Annual Reports

Activity Reports:

Activity reports are snapshots of the Association, its activities and achievements. Featuring financial information, they contribute to the Association's total transparency.