International Association of Universities

Building a worldwide higher education community

Working Group on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (2016-2020)

Terms of Reference

  • Provide advice on on-going IAU activities and projects in the area of HESD;
  • Propose and elaborate new actions and projects the Association could undertake to mobilize and assist its membership to share information and learn from each other as they develop strategies to:

    • Develop projects aiming at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set for the 2030 Development Agenda
    • Assist IAU as Key partner to the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP)
    • develop a whole of institution approach to SD
    • Include SD in curriculum, in research and administration
    • Develop 'greening' policies and practices
    • Launch public information campaigns about SD
    • Conduct research projects that can contribute to knowledge about SD
  • Advise the IAU Secretariat on requests for partnership and collaboration on SD related projects;

  • Review and consider updating the IAU Kyoto Declaration of principles concerning SD;
  • Bring key HE for SD news, events and information on important activities to the attention of the Secretariat for further dissemination to the higher education community;
  • Represent the Association on SD related committees and at topical country specific, regional or international conferences;
  • Help raise awareness for HESD in the Members countries and regions.


IAU works on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) since it adopted the Kyoto Declaration on Sustainable Development in 1993. Since then, IAU develops initiatives and projects, contributes to key international conferences and focuses own conferences on this topic. Key partners for IAU in this area are UNESCO, UNU-IAS, COPERNICUS Alliance, UNEP-GUPES, AAU, among others.

IAU Working Group Members sit on several committees (such as the Ubuntu Committee of peers, the Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs), the UN-DESD Reference Group, UVED, SULITEST).

IAU President

  • Pam FREDMAN, Rector, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Chair of the IAU HESD Working Group

  • Pornchai MONGKHONVANIT, President, Siam University, Thailand

Members IAU Working Group on HESD

  • Ranbir SINGH, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, India
  • Mahmoud Nili AHMADABDI, President, University of Tehran, Iran
  • Mohammad Reza POURMOHAMMADI, Chancellor, The University of Tabriz, Iran
  • Dzulkifli ABDUL RAZAK, Former Vice-Chancellor Universiti Sains Malaysia and Former Vice-Chancellor, Albukhary International University, Malaysia
  • Roberto ESCALANTE SEMERENA, Secretary-General, UDUAL, Mexico
  • Salvador VEGA Y LEON, Rector, Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico
  • Mirta MARTIN, President, Fort Hays State University, USA

IAU Secretariat

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