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  • Learn more about higher education’s role in sustainable development

    IAU is pleased to contribute to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

    To achieve a more sustainable world, education needs to engage fully with Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals; higher education’s role in this respect is crucial.

    The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development will be held as a virtual conference from 17 to 19 May 2021. The conference is organised by UNESCO in cooperation with and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, and with the German Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner. It will look at how education can best be harnessed to address interconnected global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, green and circular economies - and participants will be called upon to commit to the Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development that outlines a range of policy measures encompassing teaching, learning, professional training and civic engagement.

    IAU leads the session on higher education’s role for ESD and the link to the UN SDGs. In this session, to take place on Wednesday, 19 May 2021, university representatives, including from the IAU Global HESD Cluster and IAU partners, will present wholistic institution approaches to sustainable development and the role of associations and alliances. Building on the discussion in previous sessions, this session focuses on concrete ESD actions that can be undertaken by specific stakeholder groups around the five Priority Action Areas of ESD for 2030 and provides best practices and tools that can help the work of the stakeholders.

    • Hilligje van’t Land, IAU Secretary-General.

    Part 1: Universities engage
    • Katja Brundiers, Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States.
    • Pornchai Mongkhonvanit, President, Siam University, Thailand.
    • Bruno Nkoumakali, Director-General, National School of Water and Forestry, Gabon.
    • Philip McGowan, Chair, SDG Committee, Newcastle University, and Co-Chair, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the SDGs Network, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Part 2: Associations and organisations foster the role of HE for SD
    • Sam Barratt, Chief, Youth, Education and Advocacy Unit ans Co-Chair, UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI).
    • Jonghwi Park, Head of Academic Programme Innovation and Education, United Nations University.
    • Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
    • Slim Khalbous, Rector, the Francophone University Agency (AUF).

    The conference is by invitation only. However, some plenary sessions will be livestreamed for the public and later available as recordings.

    Click here to visit the official Conference website with full programme.

    More information on the IAU global HESD portal.

  • New Book in the Council of Europe’s Higher Education Series

    Get Your Copy of Higher Education’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Building a More Sustainable and Democratic Future

    We invite you to read the book Higher Education’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Building a More Sustainable and Democratic Future , co-edited with the Council of Europe and published in its higher education series. It includes some 31 chapters by more than 40 authors across the globe, including many IAU Members. The book was launched by CoE and IAU during three webinars:

    • A first Webinar as part of the IAU Series: Higher Education’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic on 16 March 2021 - watch recording and read closing remarks by Ira Harkavy, AVP and Founding Director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania; Chair, International Consortium.
    • Launch Webinar in Ireland on 21 April 2021, with opening remarks by Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris, on the role and contributions of HE to society - watch recording.
    • Launch in Latin America, in Spanish, on 21 April 2021 - watch recording.

    In addition, the publication was also announced in University World News.


  • Read the new edition of our biannual magazine - IAU Horizons

    Presenting the new issue of IAU Horizons and inviting you to a launch webinar on 18 May

    The magazine presents you with a series of articles related to the IAU key priority areas of work, including new projects and initiatives.

    In particular the In Focus section of this volume is dedicated to the theme Democratising Knowledge: Open Science in a Closed World? and features a series of thought-provoking papers discussing different aspects of Open Science from the perspective of universities around the world. This resonates with the preparation by UNESCO of a Recommendation on Open Science representing a global commitment towards the subject, while also contributing to creating a common understanding of what it implies.

    On the occasion of the launch of the magazine, we invite you to attend the webinar on Open Science in a Closed World co-organised by IAU and the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College and to take place on 18 May. Four of the authors who have contributed to the magazine will share their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead on the road to Open Science.



  • Second IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education

    Participate in the Second IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education
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    We are pleased to announce that the deadline to take the Second IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the World has been extended to 1 June 2021!

    Through this Survey, IAU endeavours to raise concerns of universities and higher education institutions in the current context by providing evidence-based data to underline the seriousness of the impact of COVID-19 on higher education and society.

    Submit your response by Tuesday, 1 June 2021. Should you have any questions, please contact Giorgio Marinoni or Trine Jensen.



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  • ISAS Impact Evaluation Survey 2020 Report

    ISAS Impact Evaluation Survey Report is now available


    Conducted in partnership between IAU and the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, the ISAS impact evaluation study investigates the efficacy of the Internationalization Strategy Advisory Services (ISAS) and its successor ISAS (2.0) on internationalization initiatives at higher education institutions. Research objectives of this study are three-fold:
    1) To identify progress institutions have made at the suggestion of ISAS;
    2) To identify the reason for gaps between recommendations and implementation, defined as barriers to internationalization;
    3) To analyze and share results that inform the development of IAU’s future advisory services.

    Twelve of the 17 institutions that undertook an ISAS or ISAS (2.0) service participated in the study. The results show that all of them found ISAS to be useful in advancing their internationalization initiatives, which is a clear endorsement of the program on their part. In their quest for internationalization, all institutions inevitably face challenges. Overcoming those challenges requires a clear, strategic approach, one that is responsive and in alignment with the core mission and values of the institution. IAU through its advisory services stands ready to help institutions in refining or progressing their internationalization priorities built on an inclusive, fair, and ethical process.

    For further details, please contact Giorgio Marinoni at


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  • IAU Webinar Series - The Future of Higher Education

  • New Publication on SDG 5: Gender Equality

    On the occasion of International Women’s Day, IAU presents a new publication focusing on SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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    Gender Equality is a crucial issue for society in the 21st century, with more than half of the world’s population being women. Around the globe, universities and other higher education institutions, their leadership, academic and administrative staff, and students, are increasingly mobilised for the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 5, in particular, is receiving more and more attention, due to its crucial role for the advancement of all of the SDGs and society. IAU and the University of Bologna, Italy, SDG 5 Lead in the IAU Global HESD Cluster, have jointly collected examples of best practices undertaken by universities around the world on this topic. The publication is part of a series of publications on university actions for the SDGs, with the overall aim of building new synergies and capacities to act while informing higher education more broadly. Furthermore, it provides evidence to policy and other decision makers in order to stress the important role of higher education for the SDGs.


  • Deadline extended! Call For Papers: IAU – E4J Grants Programme for Young Researchers

    IAU - UNODC joint call for papers for young researchers working on issues related to SDG 16: peace, justice and strong institutions

    The International Association of Universities (IAU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are delighted to announce the launch of the IAU – E4J Paper Competition for Young Researchers: Higher Education engages with SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, within the framework of the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. This grants programme aims to support young scholars (up to the age of 35 years) to conduct research on topics related to SDG 16 and the rule of law, to provide them with a platform to present their research, and to foster networking between young scholars working on related themes at the international level, while at the same time strengthening cooperation between academia and the United Nations.

    Interested young scholars are invited to submit a short paper outlining the core idea latest by Sunday, 14 March 2021. Only authors of selected abstracts will be notified latest by 19 March 2021. Full papers (6000-8000 words, including graphs and tables, excluding references) need to be submitted by 23 April 2021. All submissions will undergo review by a team of academics selected by UNODC and IAU. Up to 15 proposals will be accepted, and each selected proposal will receive 500 US$ upon submission of the full paper. Authors will be recognised in a press release and the awarded papers will be featured in a special issue of the IAU HESD publication series on SDG16.

    Please carefully consult the eligibility criteria, submission and selection process. Incomplete submissions will be disregarded.

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  • Contribute to the Next Edition of IAU Horizons

    Contribute to the Next Edition of IAU Horizons

    The In Focus section of the next issue of IAU Horizons will be dedicated to the topic Democratizing Knowledge: Open Science in a Closed World?

    In these unprecedented times, the use of digital technologies in higher education has increased massively. The question then arises whether the process of discovery and development of solutions around the world could be accelerated if scientific results and data were shared more openly. Has the current context accelerated progress towards more Open Science initiatives? What opportunities and challenges can one expect moving forward? Who are or should be the key actors of transformation in the field and what levels of action or systemic changes are required if Open Science is to move from ideal to action within universities?

    We invite Higher Education leaders to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject by submitting a paper, which will be featured in the magazine. Please send your expression of interest in submitting a paper to Trine Jensen by Friday, 19 February. This should include a brief abstract outlining the scope and angle of the proposed article. Authors retained for publication will be informed by Wednesday, 24 February.

    The articles are short opinion pieces of maximum 800 words. Deadline for submission of contributions is Monday, 15 March. More information available here.

  • Read the Celebratory Edition of IAU Horizons

    Special Edition of IAU Horizons

    On 9 December 2020, we celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the International Association of Universities! Within the context of ongoing festivities, we are pleased to present this collector’s edition of IAU Horizons – a special issue dedicated to each of the remarkable seven decades that paved the way to what IAU has become today, also featuring a series of papers by Higher Education leaders from around the world on Imagining Higher Education in a Post-pandemic World.


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