International Association of Universities

Building a worldwide higher education community

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)

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