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  • Celebrating 70 Years of Higher Education Cooperation with the IAU

    IAU turns 70!

    We are delighted to announce a Special Celebratory Webinar marking the 70th Anniversary of the International Association of Universities (IAU).

    The virtual celebrations will feature contributions from IAU’s Members and Partners, and reflect on the Association’s 70 years of Higher Education collaboration at the global level ever since the historical signing of the IAU Constitution by the founding members on 9 December 1950 in Nice, France. This will be followed by a discussion on the Future of Higher Education with university leaders, as well as a short BBC film on the IAU.

    Click here for details and registration. Programme available here.

  • IAU, ACU and AUF advocate for Higher Education at the Global Education Meeting

    IAU, ACU and AUF contributed a position paper advocating for higher education

    One of IAU’s main missions is to advocate for solid higher education worldwide. IAU and its partners - the Association of Common Wealth Universities (ACU) and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) - contributed a joint position paper to advocate for higher education and urge UN governments and stakeholders to include higher education in the Global Education Meeting (GEM) Declaration adopted at the GEM Extraordinary session on Education post-COVID-19 on 22 October 2020.

    >> Learn more about the GEM Extraordinary session and read the GEM declaration

    >> Read IAU, ACU & AUF’s position paper

  • Share your initiatives – Deadline extended until 23 November!

    Share your initiatives on SDG14: Life below water

    In the framework of its activities dedicated to Higher Education & Reasearch for Sustainable Development, the IAU has launched, in partnership with members of the IAU Global Cluster on HESD, a series of publications promoting the work undertaken by universities from around the world to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals identified in Agenda 2030 – Transforming our World.

    The first publication in the series was dedicated to SDG13: Climate Action. Published in July 2019 "Higher Education and SDG 13 : Climate Action Through University Teaching, Research and Community Engagement " gathered 15 concrete examples of meaningful initiatives towards climate action. A publication on SDG 5 - Gender Equality will also be released soon.

    A call for contributions on SDG14 - Life Below Water - Deadline extended!

    To coincide with the UN Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030), the International Association of Universities (IAU) and the University of Bergen (UiB), the university leading the work on SDG 14 in the Global Cluster on HESD, will jointly produce a publication on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 -Life below Water- to present examples of activities, best practices and to show how universities engage in Science and Higher Education, and build back sustainably after COVID-19.
    The publication will avoid the silo thinking prevalent in society and encourage thinking across the SDGs, disciplines, borders and of course, across the Ocean.

    The resulting publication will include a wide variety of initiatives representing all world regions and the diversity of higher education institutions.

    Together with UiB, IAU invites its Members to submit papers on the topic “Higher Education engages with SDG 14: Life below water".


    • IAU Members can submit their expression of interest/abstract by Monday, 23 November 2020, midnight CET.
    • Abstracts are to reflect the topics specified in the extended call for papers and demonstrate a clear link to the role of Higher Education for SDG 14
    • All submissions to the publication will undergo review by a team of academics from the University of Bergen and IAU. Final decision on the publication will be taken by the editorial committee.
    • Authors will be notified by 1 December 2020 if their abstract is accepted.
    • Full papers are expected by 15 February 2021.

      Read details and submit a proposal

  • Join IAU at the 2020 UNESCO Mobile Learning Week

    Join IAU at the 2020 UNESCO Mobile Learning Week!

    Mobile Learning Week (MLW) is the United Nations’ flagship event on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education, and has been organized by UNESCO and its partners for eight years consecutively. This year the event is held online from 12 - 14 October 2020 and is dedicated to the theme "Beyond Disruption - Technology Enabled Learning Futures". IAU Manager, HE & Technology, Trine Jensen, is chairing the session on Resources for Distance Learning in Higher Education.

    Conference Agenda:
    Day 1: Effective Policies – Sharing policies and evaluating effectiveness
    Day 2: Innovative Solutions – Showcasing innovative distance learning solutions
    Day 3: The Future – Setting out policy and research agendas to build back better

    The event is free and open to all!

    >> Learn more about the event and attend the sessions!

  • UIL-IAU Global survey on the role of HEIs in promoting lifelong learning

    Higher Education Institutions are invited to take part in a Global Survey on Lifelong Learning: deadline extended to 15 December!

    With its vast collective expertise, its mandate to educate and its broad spectrum of knowledge production and innovation, the higher education sector constitutes a huge potential for promoting and implementing lifelong learning (LLL). Yet, the extent of universities’ and other higher education institutions’ (HEIs) involvement in lifelong learning, their strategic approaches and practical ways of engaging in lifelong learning, remain insufficiently researched at international level.

    The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in collaboration with the International Association of Universities (IAU), the Shanghai Open University (SOU), the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (UNESCO–IIEP) and the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNESCO–IESALC) launch a global survey in order to close this gap. The survey seeks to develop a solid knowledge base on how and to what extent HEIs contribute to the implementation of LLL, promote the establishment of flexible learning pathways, engage with the community as well as advance the development of LLL as a research field.

    The results of the survey will be published in a comprehensive research report, including an assessment of HEIs’ current levels of engagement in LLL, identification of areas in which further interventions are needed and recommendations for HEIs’ contribution to LLL. The results will further feed into the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in 2021. They will be widely disseminated to UNESCO Member States, United Nations programmes and specialized agencies, Ministries of Education, universities and other HEIs, and relevant national and international organizations to inform policy-making and practical approaches for HEIs’ engagement in LLL.

    The survey will inform further research on the topic as part of a comprehensive research project on ‘The contribution of higher education institutions to lifelong learning’, conducted by UIL and SOU in 2020-2021.

    The survey is open to all universities and other HEIs in the world. We have extended the deadline to 15 December 2020. It is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish.
    All heads of higher education institutions are invited to take part in the survey by submitting one consolidated answer per institution.


    The Arabic version of the survey is available here.

    Lianne Guerra

  • IAU presents Draft Policy Statement on Transformation of HE in the Digital Era

    IAU Members are invited to get involved in the final stage of the development of a new Policy Statement on Transformation of HE in the Digital Era

    Digital transformation in higher education is one of the key strategic priorities of the International Association of Universities (IAU). The pandemic has accelerated in an unprecedented way this transformation and we find ourselves in an important moment in time that requires careful reflections on how it will impact the future of higher education and how to best prepare for an ethical and responsible transformation.

    Over the past two years, IAU has worked with the IAU Expert Advisory Group (EAG) - composed of experts and members of the IAU Administrative Board from different parts of the world - to develop a Policy Statement to distil the values and principles that can find a universal breeding ground. It can be viewed as the ethical, responsible, yet aspiring backbone or compass that must underpin and guide the digital transformation of higher education and society.

    Today, IAU is delighted to present the draft Statement and invite all IAU Members to review it and provide their feedback by 1 November 2020. All details are provided on the cover page of the draft statement.


  • IAU Webinar Series - The Future of Higher Education

  • IAU HESD Cluster and the UN Global Goals Week

    For more than two decades, the International Association of Universities has supported the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN Agenda 2030. In 2018, the Association launched the IAU HESD Cluster which promotes the role of higher education institutions in building more Sustainable societies. The IAU HESD Cluster is a consortium of IAU Member universities from all parts of the world, working in collaboration to develop existing and new exciting initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IAU Global Cluster on HESD promotes the role and potential that HEIs have globally in order to achieve Agenda 2030.

    During the 75th UN General Assembly (15-30 Sep. 2020), a unique forum for multilateral negotiation, IAU, its Members and the IAU HESD Cluster leaders are getting active for a media campaign, showing their contributions in teaching, research, community engagement and more. The 75th General Assembly deals with several themes such as peace, disarmament, promotion of human rights. When it comes to sustainable development the UN General Assembly will work among other things on protecting global climate for present and future generations and on implementing Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Most sessions can be followed live, we invite you to visit the UN General Assembly website to know more.

    >>Get involved in the Global Goals week!
    The Global Goals Week brings together different actors and events around the UN General Assembly. IAU is following the high-level event from distance and communicating on its twitter account @IAU_HESD and invites the IAU HESD Cluster and all IAU Members to share their initiatives related to higher education for the SDGs, using the hashtag #IAUClusterSDGs and tagging @IAU_HESD.

    >> Want to know more about the IAU HESD Cluster and its initiatives? Visit the IAU HESD portal!

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  • IAU & ESN’s joint paper on COVID-19 impact on HE: Institutional and Students’ Perspectives

    A joint paper on the COVID-19 impact on Higher Education: Institutional and Students’ Perspectives

    The International Association of Universities (IAU) and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) release a joint paper providing a reflection on the impact of COVID-19 on student exchange, based on the outcomes of the 1st IAU Global Survey Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education and the ESN’s Research Report on the impact of COVID-19 on student exchanges in Europe.

    The authors draw a parallel between the students’ responses and the higher education institutions (HEIs)’ responses, and come to the conclusion that even though both perspectives are different they remain complementary. This joint reflection explores several aspects of the impact of COVID-19 in higher education including: student exchange, communication between HEIs and students, the shift to online learning, and student support.

    We thank Joana Ribau Leite, Liaison Officer for Quality Education, Erasmus Student Network and Giorgio Marinoni, Manager, HE and Internationalization, International Association of Universities for their contribution to this paper.

    >> READ THE PAPER <<

  • A new Podcast on ’the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and higher education’

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an IAU partner, has launched a new podcast series - Voices of Academia - as part of their Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. " Voices of Academia ” is a platform for academics to share their views and showcase the important role of higher education in advancing policy-making and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN 2030 Agenda.

    IAU Secretary General, Hilligje van’t Land, and César Wasen, Director of the International Affairs Office at Qatar University (an IAU Member) were invited to take part in the very first episode of the series dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and higher education. They discussed the initiatives undertaken by different universities around the world to help society achieve the SDGs, and explained why the SDGs are as important for higher education as higher education is for the advancement of the SDGs.

    This episode is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud and Youtube!


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