International Association of Universities
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  • IAU’s two new articles on University World News

    IAU has published two articles on the University World News — "Is internationalisation creating inequality in higher education?" and "A changing view of the benefits of HE internationalisation". Both articles are based on the initial results from the 5th edition of the IAU Global Survey on Internationalization. IAU has received 986 full responses from 907 institutions in 126 countries and will publish the survey report later this year (Members will receive a free copy). For further inquiries, please contact Giorgio Marinoni.

  • The IAU Global HESD Cluster Members Meet at UNESCO

    On 28-30 January, IAU hosted the first IAU Global Higher Education and Sustainable Development Cluster meeting at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. IAU brought together 15 universities from around the world, each of which acts as a lead institution on a particular Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). It also organised meetings with the UNESCO delegation representatives, in order to raise awareness about the role of universities in achieving the SDGs and to develop future partnerships.

    The meeting primarily served to set the Cluster’s strategic priorities. The members confirmed their commitment to the Cluster and will soon finalise the strategic plan. The next step will be to participate at the UN High Level Political Forum in July 2019, in order to highlight and strengthen the position of higher education institutions in Agenda 2030. The Cluster Members will continue to meet every two years.

    IAU is grateful to the UNESCO Section on Education for Sustainable Development, which supported the Cluster meeting.

    For inquiries, please contact Isabel Toman.

  • IAU at the THE Emerging Economies Summit

    On 14-16 January 2019, the IAU Secretary General Dr. Hilligje van’t Land participated in the Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies Summit, which was hosted in Doha by our Member, Qatar University. Dr van’t Land spoke on the panel about "Can the SDGs form the new dominant measure for higher education impact?" See more here. When engaging with THE’s planned ranking on Sustainable Development Goals, IAU encourages its Members to to ensure that the indicators are comprehensive and well-adapted to their needs.

  • Discover IAU’s 2018-2019 Achievements and Perspectives

    IAU is pleased to have had a productive year and looks forward to the upcoming endeavors. Let’s look back at what we have accomplished together in 2018 and have a glance at what’s coming up! Please click here.

  • IAU at the UNESCO Global Education Meeting 2018

    On 3-5 December 2018, IAU attended the UNESCO Global Education Meeting (GEM 2018), in Brussels, Belgium. The IAU Secretary General Dr Hilligje van’t Land contributed to two important debates on higher education and pedagogical training.

    UNESCO, as the lead agency and coordinator of the Global Education 2030 Agenda, convened the GEM 2018 and the Government of Belgium hosted it. The Meeting brought together stakeholders from the global education community to take stock of progress and identify strategic priority areas requiring political guidance and intervention to achieve the Global Education 2030 Agenda.

    IAU Secretary General, Dr Hilligje van ‘t Land, spoke at the workshop on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and the World of Work, organized by the World Bank and UNESCO, and a panel on Teachers and Educators in a Changing Landscape. The former highlighted the ways in which higher education can respond to the rapidly changing world of work, while the latter discussed emerging challenges for future teachers and educators to effectively address societal needs.

    "Teachers and professors are constantly challenged by the changing classroom setting and the technological transformations, which impact both teaching and learning mechanisms. In addition, they are expected to be at the forefront of what the world of work requires in terms of skills and competences. On the one hand, this generates uncertainty, but it could also create opportunities for change and innovation in teacher training," said Dr van’t Land. In both sessions, she urged for the recognition of the key roles that higher education plays in developing all levels of education that correspond to today’s challenges and securing a better future for all.

    The GEM 2018 resulted in the drafting and adoption of the Brussels Declaration, which sets the course for education for the next four years through eight priority areas:

    1. Making education and training systems more equitable and inclusive “leaving no one behind”
    2. Eradicating illiteracy
    3. Including migrants, displaced persons and refugees in our education and training systems
    4. Providing quality gender-responsive education and training
    5. Strengthening education for global citizenship and for sustainable development
    6. Providing open, flexible and responsive education and training systems to meet new skill needs
    7. Improving teachers, educators, trainers and school leaders
    8. Increasing investment in education

    For GEM 2018 Programme and Meeting Documents, click here.

    IAU supports and informs Agenda 2030 through research and advocacy, building synergies among universities and other stakeholders, promoting peer learning and exchange.
    On 24 October 2018, IAU took part in the Europe and North America 2030 Education Consultation jointly convened by UNESCO in close cooperation with the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Commission, at the CoE, in Strasbourg, France. In July 2019, IAU will participate in the UN High Level Political Forum in New York, where it will facilitate a workshop on the role of higher education and research in achieving Agenda 2030.

  • IAU and BC collaborate on research about English language instruction in higher education

    IAU and Boston College collaborated on a research project about the role of English language instruction in higher education institutions(HEIs) around the world. IAU and the Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) co-supervised research undertaken by Xinyan (Sissi) Liu, a student in CIHE’s Master of Arts program in International Higher Education. This program requires that all students participate in a course titled “Field Experience in International Higher Education.” The course combines practical experience at higher education organizations, such as the IAU, with an in-depth research project.

    Sissi’s report explores the national policies and role of English language instruction at HEIs in Brazil, France, Malaysia, South Africa and Spain. This is a particularly timely topic at the time when English language has become dominant in many fields, including in highly cited research and scholarship more broadly.

    To learn more about IAU’s activities in internationalization, please click here.

  • IAU launches a Global Higher Education Cluster to address Agenda 2030

    The International Association of Universities (IAU) has launched a Global Cluster on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) to advocate for the key role that higher education institutions play in achieving Agenda 2030. This global endeavor directly engages universities in addressing all 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

    The IAU HESD Cluster consists of 16 lead universities, one for each SDG; IAU leads the work on SDG 17 on global partnerships. The lead universities, which are based in all world regions, will work with ‘satellite’ universities to advance a particular SDG, all the while ensuring synergies among all goals. Professor Pornchai Mongkhonvanit, President of Siam University, in Thailand, chairs the IAU work on HESD, including the Cluster.

    The Cluster has two main objectives. First, it will serve as a resource and networking hub for universities around the world. Universities that are already engaged in SDGs locally can establish partnerships through the Cluster and scale up their activities. Those who are just starting this line of work will be able to turn to the Cluster for collaboration and guidance on best practices to translate and advance SDGs in local, national and international contexts.

    Second, the Cluster aims to be a global voice for higher education in sustainable development debates (including at the UN High Level Political Forum, HLPF), informing international organizations and national governments about the role of universities in achieving the SDGs. It will foster collaboration and exchange among all stakeholders and inform decision-making at local and global policy levels. In 2019, IAU plans to attend and present a paper at the HLPF in New York to highlight and strengthen the position of higher education institutions in Agenda 2030.

    “We are not seeking to duplicate the existing work in this field, but rather to find new ways to effectively join forces and work together,” explained the IAU Secretary General Hilligje van’t Land.

    IAU and its Member universities presented the initiative on November 15 at the IAU 2018 International Conference on Higher Education Partnerships for Societal Impact in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dag Rune Olsen, the rector of the University of Bergen that leads on SDG 14 ‘Life Below Water’, spoke at the conference, noting, “Research and education are key; and academia needs to inform policy development. We must work across borders, across disciplines and across the 17 goals.”

    The Cluster adopts a holistic and transformative approach to sustainable development, attending not only to its environmental, but also cultural, economic and social aspects. It promotes the Whole Institution Approach—embedding sustainable development concepts and principles at all levels of university operations, including teaching, learning, research and community engagement.

    In January 2019, the Cluster leaders together with the UNESCO country delegation representatives will meet in Paris at the UNESCO headquarters to discuss further steps and finalize the strategic plan.

    Sustainable Development is one of IAU’s four thematic priorities and the association has been advocating for the importance of higher education for sustainable development and now Agenda 2030 since the early 90s. IAU is part of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP ESD) and partners with many organizations in the field, including the UN Higher Education for Sustainability Initiative (HESI), Regional Centers of Expertise Network, SDG Accord and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) among others.

    For further information on the IAU HESD Cluster and ways to get involved, visit the IAU HESD Portal or contact: Isabel Toman, Programme Officer.

  • Takeaways from #IAU2018 International Conference

    The IAU 2018 International Conference has just ended in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 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 drew around 300 participants from 68 countries, including 67 heads of institutions and 63 speakers. The conference was organized in cooperation with the University of Malaya.

    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.

    In addition, at the conference IAU launched the Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) Cluster, which includes 16 lead universities worldwide per Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and aims to advocate for Higher Education Institutions’ role in achieving Agenda 2030. IAU also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Union of Students in the United Kingdom that will enable us to develop joint projects on the SDGs.

    Please consult the conference programme and IAU’s twitter account to learn more about the discussions that took place at the conference.

    IAU is pleased to announce that its 2019 International Conference will take place from 13-15 November in Puebla, Mexico.

  • IAU Horizons: The New Edition Is Out!

    The latest issue of IAU Horizons (23.2) has just been published. It offers detailed information about IAU’s most recent activities and suggests ways to get involved. The In Focus section gathers 10 contributions from higher education scholars and university leaders worldwide discussing "Higher Education Partnerships for Societal Impact", which was also the topic of the IAU 2018 annual conference on 13-15 November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    • READ the new issue of IAU Horizons
    • To consult former issues, click here

  • Take Part in IAU’s Open Consultation on ICTs

    In light of rapid technological changes, IAU is developing a new policy statement outlining the key principles and values that must underpin this transformation. IAU is committed to making the process inclusive and ensuring that the voices of its Members and the wider higher education community are heard.

    This is why we have launched an open consultation on the topic, allowing both university leaders and relevant staff to share information about how they experience the digital transformation of higher education. The consultation takes place in the form of a survey and is open until 1 April 2019.

    IAU encourages all Members and beyond to contribute to shaping the policy statement and thereby learning more about tech-related initiatives and trends in higher education around the world.


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