IAU supports leaders of universities and other higher education institutions around the world by facilitating collaboration and exchange on solutions to the challenges encountered during the pandemic; IAU monitors impacts on the higher education sector, shares solutions and identifies key issues for higher education in the post-pandemic world.

The International Association of Universities (IAU)

Paris, France
Non-profit organization
Established : 1950
Education and COVID-19 Response


Support the equitable continuation of learning
During the COVID-19 pandemic
Ensure a full and fair return to education
Following the pandemic
Strengthen learning systems
For the future
Close digital divides and enhance connectivity for education

Through its global report on higher education in the digital era, IAU monitors and creates awareness about the important divides among higher education institutions when it comes to leveraging the potential of technology to improve higher education governance, teaching & learning, and research. To mitigate the divides, IAU brings universities together across continents to build capacity, facilitate peer-to-peer learning and advocate for equal access to connectivity and, hence, to information and knowledge.
IAU also develops a series of global surveyson the short, medium and long-term impact of Covid-19 on higher education, focusing in particular on the challenges deriving from the rapid pivoting online of most HE operations including teaching and learning. Reports are being shared globally (in May 2020, end of 2020 and 2021), also with decision makers, to inform best possible decision making for the future of higher education.

Regional Focus


Member Video

The International Association of Universities facilitates exchange and dialogue among higher education leaders and stakeholders, including students, to support equitable continuation of learning and discussing different modalities for a full and fair return to undisrupted higher education. It is also calling for strong emphasis on quality when strategies are being developed to pursue remote solutions during the time of the pandemic. IAU monitors the impact of the crisis on higher education and generates exchanges about how this current crisis will impact higher education institutions and systems beyond the time of the pandemic to ensure that we continue to strengthen higher education learning systems for the future. This is covered through a range of different initiatives, all made available online and for free including: a Webinar series on the future of higher education, always involving speakers from the five continents; these webinars debate the future digitalization, internationalization and the transformation of HE in context and for the future. The following IAU thematic priorities are addressed: sustainable development, internationalization, digital transformation of higher education, globally engaged leadership.

Action areas

Learner Wellbeing

Learning opportunities

Digital Learning Content

Establish and expand repositories of learning resources
Validate and certify learning

Capacity Development

Capacity development to support distance learning
Capacity development to manage the reopening and return to education
Capacity development to strengthen system resilience and response to future shocks

Advocacy and Communication

Assess the short-term impact of educational disruption
Generate disaggregated data on connectivity for learning

Primary Contact

Ms. Trine Jensen

IAU Manager, Higher Education & Technology

Senior Contact

Ms. Hilligje van't Land

IAU Secretary General