International Association of Universities
The Global Voice of Higher Education
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About IAU

  • Job opportunities

    We are hiring!The International Association of Universities is currently hiring:

    - Communication and Media Officer.

    The Communication and Media Officer reports to the IAU Secretary-General/Executive Director and works in collaboration with all IAU staff Members.

    The successful candidate will develop, coordinate and implement IAU’s overall communication strategy to Members and further afield, to the world of higher education. This strategy aims to strengthen IAU’s image, visibility and attractiveness within higher education and beyond.

    For more information, download the description here.

    Contract: Permanent position
    Deadline for application: 20 February 2023
    Working hours: 35 hours a week
    Workspace: shared offices, in Paris

  • Contact

    International Association of Universities
    International Universities Bureau
    UNESCO House
    1, rue Miollis
    75732 Paris Cedex 15
    Tel.: +33 1 45 68 48 00
    Fax: +33 1 47 34 76 05

    Contact us

    You can leave a message using the contact form below.

  • Annual reports

    IAU annual reports provide a yearly overview of IAU activities and accomplishments. Featuring financial information, they contribute to the Association’s total transparency.

    Annual Report 2022

    Annual Report 2021
    Annual Report 2020
    Annual Report 2019

    - Annual Report 2018
    - Annual Report 2017
    - Annual Report 2016
    - Annual Report 2015
    - Annual Report 2014
    - Annual Report 2013
    - Annual Report 2012
    - Annual Report 2011
    - Annual Report 2010
    - Annual Report 2009
    - Annual Report 2008
    - Annual Report 2007
    - Annual Report 2006
    - Annual Report 2005


    - IAU Activities and Financial Report 2012-2016
    - IAU Activities and Financial Report 2008-2012
    - IAU Activities and Financial Report 2004-2008
    - IAU Activities and Financial Report 2000-2004

  • Policy Statements

    IAU adopts positions and develops Policy Statements on issues of global concern for higher education. The topics are identified by the Association’s leadership and membership. Each Statement is the product of extensive drafting and international consultations. All statements are endorsed by the General Conference of the Association.

    The topics of such Policy Statements are usually identified by the Association’s leadership and membership as requiring the attention of the international academic community. IAU Policy Statements most frequently identify the issue area, present a number of key principles and include a few recommendations for action at either the institutional or the governmental level or both.

    Traditionally, the development of an IAU Policy Statement has been delegated by the IAU Administrative Board to a small Working Group or Reference Group whose members are drawn from each world region. IAU is committed to being the global voice for higher education institutions hence the international composition of the Expert Groups is essential in order to ensure that each Policy Statement reflects the collective interests of higher education without ignoring the specific concerns or interests of institutions in various parts of the world.

    IAU contributes to international debates on higher education by publishing papers on a variety of issues in journals, magazines and by contributing book chapters to key publications around the world. Please click here to view a sample. IAU takes part in debates to advance fair, inclusive and value based higher education around the world (please click here).

    IAU Policy Statements:

    - Transforming Higher Education in a Digital World for the Global Common Good, 2022

    - IAU The Continuing Need for Internationalization of Higher Education, 2022

    - IAU Transforming Higher Education in a Digital World, 2022

    - IAU Iquitos Statement on Education for Sustainable Development, 2014

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

    - IAU-MCO Guidelines for an Institutional Code of Ethics in Higher Education, 2012, Prepared in collaboration with the Magna Charta Observatory

    - Equitable Access, Success and Quality in Higher Education, 2008

    - Sharing Quality Higher Education Across Borders: A Statement on Behalf of Higher Education Institutions Worldwide, 2005, List of signatories, Prepared in collaboration with AUCC, ACE and CHEA

    - Universities and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), 2004

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

    -  Academic freedom, Institutional Autonomy and Social Responsibility , 1998

    - The Buenos Aires Statement on Higher Education Funding, 1994

    - Kyoto Declaration on Sustainable Development, 1993

  • Secretariat

    The International Universities Bureau is IAU’s permanent Secretariat and its major instrument of programme implementation, along with the Administrative Board, various Committees and Working Groups. Created by UNESCO in 1949, 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


    Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General bio contact

    Andreas Corcoran, Deputy Secretary General bio contact

    Saholi Andriambololo-Nivo, WHED Data Officer bio contact

    Jessica Huang, Assistant, Administration and Membership bio contact

    Trine Jensen, Manager, HE & Digital Transformation, Publication and Events bio contact

    Giorgio Marinoni, Manager, HE and Internationalization policy and projects bio contact

    Angella Nino, Manager, Finance and Administration bio contact

    Nicholas Poulton, WHED Operations Coordinator bio contact

    Samuel Pousson, WHED Data Officer bio contact

    Georgeta Sadlak, Manager, Information Systems bio contact

    Isabel Toman, Programme Officer, Sustainable Development bio contact

    Meg Harris, Communications and Media Officer bio contact

    Mehuli Sarkar, Intern, Higher Education Events and Projects bio contact

    International Association of Universities - International Universities Bureau
    UNESCO House
    1, rue Miollis
    75732 Paris Cedex 15
    Tel.: (33 1) 45 68 48 00
    Fax: (33 1) 47 34 76 05
    Contact us here

  • Secretary General

    Hilligje van’t Land
    IAU Secretary General, International Association of Universities
    Executive Director, International Universities Bureau


    As is the case everywhere in the world, for IAU the years passed have been unprecedented and challenging ones, characterised by uncertainty, complexity, and disruption, but also by accelerated innovation, and the enormous resilience and humanity we share as a global higher education community. The unfortunately still ongoing profound health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and now increased global geopolitical challenges provide the opportunity for a critical redefinition of the way in which universities and other higher education institutions, and as well their organisations and associations operate.

    IAU was quick to adapt to the new normal and decided to make optimal use of the available resources through several new initiatives. To enhance cooperation and exchange, we launched the IAU Webinar Series on the Future of Higher Education – short, medium, and long-term perspectives, to bring together different ideas and perspectives from Members of our global community of universities and higher education institutions. The fundamental transformation to our now hybrid operation mode has been consistent with the IAU values and goals.

    This year we were very pleased to have the opportunity again to meet face to face in Dublin. The IAU 16th General Conference was wonderfully hosted by University College Dublin and welcomed Members and partners from around the world for very constructive debates about Relevance and Value of Universities to Future Society. Please learn more HERE.

    It is clear that the Higher Education sector, like all others, must be prepared for events with the potential to severely disrupt ‘normal’ operations. Understanding change, responding to it, and managing it, requires strong leadership. I believe now is the time to drive radical transformation of our education systems and institutions for the benefit of society. As we look to the future, we must set our ambitions even higher — to accelerate societal progress, drive sustainable growth and heighten our global impact.

    Together, we can achieve what IAU founders envisioned: a more peaceful society, prosperous world, and sustainable future for higher education. The road ahead is however paved with challenges again as we see populism grow, detractors to the value of science and facts become more vocal and higher education’s value for society on the one hand cheered and on the other challenged. We need to care for the sector together to ensure it will receive the trust it deserves and the support it needs in order to fully contribute to building a better and more inclusive world.

    With the newly elected IAU President, the newly elected IAU Members of the Administrative Board (2022-2026) and the Members of the IAU Secretariat, I would like to thank all Members and partners for their much valued commitment and support to the work of the Association and your active engagement during this past and very rich year. We commit to continue to address the new challenges ahead and to best seize the opportunities and will put all valuable lessons learnt to the benefit of navigating complexity with agility, innovation, entrepreneurship, and responsible leadership to further our mission of building stronger, more accessible, and sustainable higher education systems all over the world.
    We wish you nice Holiday Season and a very happy, peaceful and sustainable New Year 2023!

    Hilligje van‘t Land, PhD

  • President’s Message

    Prof Andrew Deeks
    IAU President (2022-2026)
    President and Vice-Chancellor, Murdoch University, Australia


    Welcome to the IAU. It is a privilege to be the current president of this historic, important and inclusive network of universities. We are open to membership by recognised not-for-profit universities and university associations from around the world, with a membership fee structure which recognises differences in economic conditions between countries. Consequently, we have the greatest diversity of membership of any university association, providing universities with the opportunity to work with like-minded institutions from all regions of the world.
    We also provide Higher Education with a global voice which is independent of the pragmatics of national politics and geopolitics. As recent events have shown, a national government has levers it can use to control the voice of universities within its borders. The voice of the IAU is one which no government can control, able to speak of the value of higher education for all who have the capacity and desire to benefit from such study, irrespective of economic capacity. We also speak of the need for all nations to work together to address the most pressing global challenges of our time.

    We work together to address some of these challenges, particularly in the areas of our strategic priorities: Globally-engaged and Value-based Leadership; Internationalisation for Society and the Global Common Good; Higher Education for Sustainable Development; and Digital Transformation of Higher Education. Under our new Strategy 2022-2030, with two consecutive Strategic Action plans (2022-2026 and 2026-2030), we will be looking particularly for initiatives we can undertake together that will bridge across the priority areas. All four of these priority areas contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are a focus for many of our Member universities and organisations.

    If your university or association is already a Member of IAU, I look forward to meeting up with you soon at an IAU event. If your university or association is not yet a member of the IAU, please encourage your decisionmakers to consider joining.

  • Governance Structure

    The International Association of Universities is a membership organization. It is governed by its Members who are represented or elect their representatives to three different decision-making bodies. The two main categories of Members who hold decision making power are the Institutional Members (universities & other higher education institutions) and Organizational Members (association of universities). IAU official statutory documents: IAU Consitution & IAU By Laws



    The General Conference is the highest decision-making body of the association. It is composed of all IAU institutional and organizational members. The General Conference meets every four years. The General Conference decides on the main strategic goals of the association, approves its four year plans, any policy statements or positions elaborated. It elects the President and members of the Administrative Board.


    Elected for a 4-year non-renewable term, the IAU President is elected from among members of the Administrative Board by the General Conference. He/She chairs the Administrative Board and the Executive Committee.

    All the member of the Administrative Board are elected for a four-year term. In addition to the President, the Board comprises 20 members (18 heads of member institutions & 2 heads of member organizations). It also comprises two ex-officio members (Immediate Past President & the Secretary General). Deputy members are also elected for each region and each category of members. A balanced geographic and gender representation are taken into consideration. The Administrative Board meets annually, ensures that decisions of the General Conference are implemented and guides the work of the IAU Secretariat. Some of its work is carried out through specific committees and working groups.

    The Executive Committee is composed of the President and four Vice-Presidents (representing each region of the world). It meets twice a year. The vice-presidents are designated by the President from among the Administrative Board members and their nomination is approved by the Administrative Board. The IAU Secretary General serves as secretary to the Executive Committee. The Committee acts on behalf of the Administrative Board between meetings. It guides the Association’s action agenda. It provides support to the President of the Association by preparing the meetings of the Administrative Board.


    Andrew Deeks bio, President and Vice-Chancellor, Murdoch University, Australia

    Pam Fredman bio, Former Rector University of Gothenburg, Sweden



    • Sunungurai Dominica Chingarande bio, Vice-Chancellor, Women’s University in Africa, Zimbabwe
    • Jouhaina Gherib bio, President, University of Manouba, Tunisia
    • Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah bio, Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja, Nigeria


    • Patrick Deane bio, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Canada
    • Fernando Leon-Garcia bio, President, CETYS University, Mexico
    • David Quigley bio, Provost and Dean of Faculties, Boston College, US
    • Ignacio Sánchez Díaz bio, President of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile

    Asia & Pacific

    • Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor bio, Vice-Chancellor, University of Malaya, Malaysia
    • Hassan Al-Derham bio, Former President, Qatar University, Qatar
    • Salim Daccache bio, Rector, Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon
    • Samit Ray bio, Chancellor, Adamas University, India
    • Yoshiaki Terumichi bio, President, Sophia University, Japan


    • Peter Aronsson bio, Vice-Chancellor, Linnaeus University, Sweden
    • Shahin Bayramov bio, Rector, Mingachevir State University, Azerbaijan
    • Henk Kummeling bio, Rector Magnificus, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
    • Miquel Nicolau-Vila bio, Rector, Universitat d’Andorra, Andorra
    • Inga Žalėnienė bio, Rector, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania


    • Roberto Escalante Semerena bio, Secretary-General, UDUAL (Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe)
    • Cristina Sarmento bio, Secretary-General, Associação das Universidades de Língua Portuguesa (AULP)

    Secretary General



    • Nana Aba Appiah Amfo bio, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Ghana
    • Wondwosen Tamrat bio, President, St Mary’s University, Ethiopia


    • David Julien bio, Secretary-General, Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE)
    • Amr Ezzat Salama bio, Secretary-General, Association of Arab Universities, (AaRU)

    • 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
    • Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, President 2012-2016, Rector, International ‎Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Malaysia

    • 1950-1955: 1st President - Jean Sarrailh, Rector of the University of Paris, France
    • 1955-1960: 2nd President - J. Baugniet, Rector Emeritus of the Universityof Brussels, Belgium
    • 1960-1965: 3rd President - F. Cyril James, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of McGill University, Canada
    • 1965-1970: 4th President - C. K. Zurayk, Professor of History, American University of Beirut and former rector, University of Damascus, Syria
    • 1970-1975: 5th President - V. Merikoski, Professor of law, University of Helsinki, Finland
    • 1975-1980: 6th President - Roger Gaudry, Professor of History, Former rector University of Montreal,Canada
    • 1980-1985: 7th President - Guillermo Soberon, Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico had to step down in 1982 when he was appointed Minister of Public Health in Mexico. The Vice-Presidents, Dr. Sendov, Former Rector, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
      and Dr. Meyerson, President Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania were acting Presidents until the following elections.
    • 1985-1990: 8th President - Justin Thorens, former rector, University of Geneva, Switzerland
    • 1990-1995: 9th President - Walter Kamba, Vice-Chancellor, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
    • 1995-2000: 10th President - Wataru Mori, Former President of the University of Tokyo, Japan
    • 2000-2004: 11th President - Hans Van Ginkel, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU)
    • 2004-2008: 12th President - Goolam Mohamedbhai, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
    • 2008-2012: 13th President - Juan Ramón De La Fuente, Former Rector, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
    • 2012-2016: 14th President - Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Former Rector, University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
    • 2016-2022: 15th President - Pam Fredman, Former Rector University of Gothenburg, Sweden


    - Andrew Deeks, President and Vice-Chancellor, Murdoch University, Australia

    - Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Vice-Chancellor, University of Malaya, Malaysia
    - Patrick Deane (Treasurer), Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Canada
    - Jouhaina Gherib, President, University of Manouba, Tunisia
    - Cristina Sarmento, Secretary-General, Associação das Universidades de Língua Portuguesa (AULP)
    - Inga Žalėnienė, Rector, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania

    - Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General

  • 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 almost 600 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 click here or contact

    As the global voice of higher education, IAU will be the most influential and representative global association of diverse higher education institutions and their organisations, advocating and advancing a dynamic leadership role for higher education in society. Articulating the fundamental values and principles that underpin education and the pursuit, dissemination and application of knowledge, the Association will lead and advocate the development of higher education policies and practices that respect diverse perspectives promote social responsibility and contribute to the development of a sustainable future. IAU will be a think tank and forum for the development of new approaches, the sharing of best practice and the undertaking of joint action, encouraging and facilitating innovation, mutual learning and cooperation among higher education institutions around the world.

    To contribute to peace and human development by promoting and enhancing the power of higher education to transform lives, build capacity, connect diverse peoples, generate and disseminate new knowledge, create insights and find sustainable solutions to local and global challenges.

    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


    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 IAU Strategy 2030, adopted during the 16th IAU General Conference, in 2022, affirms 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.

    IAU 4 strategic priorities:

    IAU fulfils its goals through:

    • Advocacy
    • Standard setter
    • Knowledge hub
    • Capacity builder
    • International collaboration

    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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