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Database of universities

The IAU WHED Portal ( is the International Association of Universities’ (IAU) unique online reference tool that provides comprehensive and detailed information on Higher Education Systems, Credentials and Institutions around the world. It provides authoritative information on higher education worldwide. In partnership with UNESCO, the IAU secretariat receives and updates information in the WHED on an ongoing basis focusing each year on one specific region.

The Portal offers data on Higher Education Systems and Credentials in 186 countries using information made available by the national competent bodies in each country:

  • Description of the pre-higher and higher education system
  • National bodies responsible for higher education and contact details
  • Type of Higher Education Institutions
  • Admission criteria, including information for foreign students
  • Description of main credentials

The Portal contains information on more than 18,500 Higher Education Institutions offering at least a 4-year professional diploma or a post-graduate degree. Institutional data comprises:

  • Contact details for every institution
  • Historical background
  • List of academic divisions and study areas
  • Degrees and diplomas offered at each level of study
  • Key personnel, including principal academic and administrative officers

The IAU offers customized data extractions from the WHED database through Palgrave Macmillan. For more information contact

WHED by region

N° of countriesN° of higher education institutions
Africa 56 1,744
Asia and Oceania 52 6,022
Europe 51 4,151
Latin America and the Caribbean 33 2,249
North America 3 3,814

WHED editorial products

The International Handbook of Universities
The information from the WHED serve as the basis of the annual three-volume International Handbook of Universities (IHU). It is published and sell by Palgrave Macmillan. This publication will be also transformed into an e-publication as of 2018 and more information will soon be available.

Higher Education in ASEAN
To mark the IAU 15th General Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2016, IAU published Higher Education in ASEAN to showcase the higher education systems and institutions in the ASEAN region and to demonstrate the capacity of the WHED to produce special publications. It is available online on IAU website (IAU_Higher_Education_in_ASEAN.pdf) and printed copy can also be ordered.

Official partnership with UNESCO
International Association of Universities, UNESCO House, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris cedex 15, France         Contact  |   Sitemap  |   Terms of use  |   Credits