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Global Events

General Conference

The General Conference is the supreme decision-making body of the Association. It meets once every four years and it is on this occasion that all IAU Members elect the IAU President as well as the Administrative Board Members and sets the strategic direction for the Association. In addition to the Business sessions for Members, the General Conference also includes a thematic programme devoted to a specific topic. The General Conference is open to all higher education stakeholders, but only representatives of IAU Member institutions and organizations can take part in decision-making and elections.

International Conference

The annual IAU International Conference is a unique global platform for higher education leaders to meet, network and exchange on the development of higher education. Hosted by IAU Members, the Conference moves around the world, from region to region giving the participants access to the local university atmosphere in the host country. Each conference is devoted to a specific topic of general concern to higher education around the world. The IAU Conference is open to IAU Members and other higher education leaders and experts.

Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)

Every two years the International Conference is preceded by the Global Meeting of Associations (GMA). This one day meeting is organized exclusively for leaders of national, regional and international associations/organizations of higher education institutions. They offer a unique opportunity for these leaders to meet as a relatively small group of peers to exchange ideas, practices and to network.

>> The IAU 16th General Conference will take place from 3-6 November in 2020 in Dublin, Ireland

The next International Conference will take place from 13-15 November 2019 in Puebla, Mexico

>> The next Global Meeting of Associations (GMA) will take place on 12-13 November 2019 in Puebla, Mexico

Upcoming event



The IAU 2019 International Conference

The Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) (Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla) is co-organising the IAU 2019 International Conference which will take place from 13-15 November 2018 in Puebla, Mexico.

The conference is dedicated to ‘Transforming Higher Education for the Future’. At the time of rapid technological, social, economic and political changes worldwide, IAU believes that it is important to rethink the future of higher education and find viable ways of moving forward for all. The conference will be an opportunity for Members, partners and the wider higher education community to come together and exchange ideas, reflect on the most pressing questions, reconnect and form new partnerships.

The full programme and the conference website will become available in April 2019.

The IAU 2019 Global Meeting of Associations

The Global Meeting of Associations is organized on 12-13 November exclusively for leaders of national, regional and international university associations and other higher education organizations. It will offer an opportunity to exchange and network as a relatively small group of peers.

Immediate past event

The IAU 2018 International Conference took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where higher education scholars, researchers and experts from around the globe came together for three days to discuss Higher Education Partnerships for Societal Impact. The conference, which was co-organized with the University of Malaya, drew around 300 participants from 68 countries, including 67 heads of institutions and 63 speakers.

Participants discussed some of the most pressing issues facing today’s higher education community, such as digital transformation, community engagement, responsible research and sustainable development.

Discover the full programme and speakers’ presentations on the conference website.

Below is a list of selected articles on the IAU 2018 International Conference:

European Association of Universities, "IAU 2018 International Conference: Higher education partnerships for societal impact", 14 December 2018
Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation, "SIGHT goes to Kuala Lumpur", 5 December 2018
New Straits Times, "Striving for academic freedom in tertiary education", 21 November 2018
University World News, "Leading role for universities in fight for sustainability", 17 November 2018


Hosting an IAU event

It is a longstanding tradition that IAU events are hosted by its Members. Members interested in hosting an event are welcome to send an official letter to the IAU Secretary General. In case you wish to learn more about what is required in order to host an event, please contact us.

Contact us
List of past events
2017
Leadership for a changing public-private higher education funding landscape
Accra, Ghana
International Conference; Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)
2016
Higher Education: A catalyst for innovative and sustainable societies
Bangkok, Thailand
General Conference
2015
Social innovation: challenges and prospects for higher education
Montreal, Canada
Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)
2015
Internationalization of Higher Education: Moving beyond mobility
Siena, Italy
International Conference
2014
Blending Higher Education and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development
Iquitos, Peru
International Conference
2013
Institutional Diversity in Higher Education: Advantage or Threat for Associations?
Salford, United Kingdom
Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)
2012
Higher Education and the Global Agenda – Alternative Paths to the Future
San Juan, Puerto Rico
General Conference
2011
Internationalization of Higher Education: New Players, New Approaches
New Delhi, India
Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)
2011
Strategies for Securing Equity in Access and Success in Higher Education
Kenyatta, Kenya
International Conference
2010
Ethics and Values in Higher Education in the Era of Globalization: What Role for the Disciplines?
Vilnius, Lithuania
International Conference
2009
Associations, Networks, Alliances etc.: Making Sense of the Emerging Global Higher Education Landscape
Guadalajara, Mexico
Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)
2009
The Role of Higher Education in Fostering the Culture of Dialogue and Understanding
ZOUK MOSBEH, LEBANON
International Conference
2008
Higher Education and Research Addressing Local and Global Needs
Utrecht, The Netherlands
General Conference
2007
Knowledge and Relevant Human Resource Development
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
International Conference
2006
Internationalization of Higher Education: New Directions, New Challenges
Beijing, China
International Conference
2006
The Role of associations in enhancing quality of higher education at home and abroad
Paris, France
Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)
2005
Sharing Quality Higher Education Across Borders: Role of Associations and Institutions
Alexandria, Egypt
Global Meeting of Associations (GMA)
2005
Sharing Quality Higher Education Across Borders: The Role of Associations and Institutions
Alexandria, Egypt
International Conference
2004
The Wealth and Diversity: The Role of Universities in Promoting Dialogue and Development
São Paulo, Brazil
General Conference
2003
Women and Leadership in Higher Education-How Thick is the Glass Ceiling?
Monterrey, Mexico
2003
Education for a Sustainable Future
Prague, Czech Republic
International Conference
2002
Internationalisation of Higher Education: Policy and Practice
Lyon, France
2002
Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities?
Quebec City, Canada
2001
Academic Freedom and University Autonomy
Mexico City, Mexico
2000
Universities: Gateway to the Future
Durban, South Africa
General Conference
1997
Universities Responsibilities to Society
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
1996
Academic Freedom and University Autonomy
St. Petersburg, Russia
1996
The Role of International Organizations in Higher Education
Los Angeles, U.S.A
1995
Global Civilization and Cultural Roots: Bridging the Gap – The Place of International University Cooperation
New Delhi, India
1994
Migration of Brains: International Cooperation and the Mobility of Highly Qualified Manpower
Tianjin, China
1994
International Cooperation in Higher Education and the Universities in Latin America
Buenos Aires, Argentina
1993
The European Challenge: The Implications of European Integration for International Collaboration between Universities
Coimbra, Portugal - Salamanca, Spain
1993
The Role of Universities in the 21st Century

1992
The Meeting of Cultures: The Latin American Universities in a Global Knowledge Network
Bogotá, Columbia
1992
Adaptation of University Management Structures and Strategies for New Requirements
Alexandria, Egypt
1991
Third Consultation Between IAU and its Associate Members
Paris, France
1991
Towards a Long Term Strategy for Financing Higher Education and Research in Developing Countries
Accra, Ghana
1991
Creating a Common Future: University Action for Sustainable Development
Halifax, Canada
1990
Universality, Diversity, Interdependence: the Missions of the University
Helsinki, Finland
1989
Second Consultation between IAU and its Associate Members
Cairo, Egypt
1989
The Responsibility of Universities for Exceptionally Gifted Students
Prague, Czech Republic
1988
International University Cooperation. A Critical Analysis: Failures, Successes, Perspectives
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1988
Consultation of University Leaders on UNESCO’s Mission and Future Activities
Bologna, Italy
1987
The Role of Higher Education in National Development
Harare, Zimbabwe
1987
Access to Higher Education
Amman, Jordan
1986
IAU and the Concept of Universality. IAU Consequences for Cooperation with its Associate Members
Toledo, Spain
1986
The Contribution of Universities to Conflict Resolutions and Education for Peace
Geneva, Switzerland
1985
The International Responsibilities of Universities
Los Angeles, U.S.A
1983
Universities and Environmental Education
Budapest, Hungary
1983
The Future of University Education
Munich, Germany
1982
Education – An Essential Ingredient of Development and the Corner-Stone of a Just Society
Delhi, India
1982
Contemporary Scientific and Technological Changes: Their Impact on the Humanities in University Education
Zagreb, Croatia
1980
The Special Role of Universities in the Development of International Cooperation
Manila, Philippines
1979
Problems of Bulgarian Higher Education in International University cooperation
Sofia, Bulgaria
1979
The Role of the University in Developing Countries
Lomé, Togo
1978
Access and Financing
Philadelphia, U.S.A
1978
The Right to Education and Access to Higher Education
Halle, Germany
1977
The Role of Universities in the Transition from Traditional to Modern Societies and The Internationalization of Higher Education
Kyoto, Japan
1977
Differing Types of Higher Education
Alexandria, Egypt
1975
Higher Education at the Approach of the Twenty-First Century
Moscow, Russia
1974
A Critical Approach to Inter-University Cooperation
Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro
1973
The Social Responsibility of the University in Asian Countries - Obligations and Responsibilities
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1971
Problems of Integrated Higher Education
Constance, Germany
1970
International University Cooperation
Montreal, Canada
1965
Access to Higher Education
Tokyo, Japan
1960
The Interplay of Scientific and Cultural Values
Mexico City, Mexico
1960
Some Economic Aspects of Educational Development in Europe
Lake Como, Italy
1955
The Role of Universities in the Rapidly-evolving Society, with special Reference to the General and Professional Education of Teachers, Research Workers in the Natural Sciences, and Leaders in National Life
Istanbul, Turkey
1950
The Role of Universities in the Face of the Material and Moral Changes brought about in Contemporary Society by Scientific and Technological Progress
Nice, France
1948
UNESCO in collaboration with the Dutch Government Preparatory Conference of University Representatives, which led to the creation of the IAU
Utrecht, The Netherlands

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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