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Internationalization of higher education is an inevitable process in the era of globalization and a deliberate strategy for improving quality and relevance. IAU focuses on the academic rationales, the equitable and collaborative nature of the process and aims to minimize the adverse effects of international interactions when these take place in highly unequal and diverse contexts among HEIs with different, resources, needs and interests.


IAU aims at retaining a leadership role in HE Internationalization which focuses on quality of learning, research and outreach for all.


  • Provide critical analysis of current trends
  • Research on global developments
  • Increase tailored advisory services
  • Expand IAU expertise in benchmarking and impact assessment
  • Provide information and develop global advocacy


IAU program of advisory services for advancing internationalization

What is internationalization?

over the years, the concept of internationalization has evolved and different definitions exist, IAU adopts the following: “[Internationalization of Higher Education is] the intentional process of integrating an international, intercultural or global dimension into the purpose, functions and delivery of post-secondary education, in order to enhance the quality of education and research for all students and staff, and to make a meaningful contribution to society.“ (De Wit, H., Hunter F., Howard L., Egron-Polak E. (Eds.) (2015) “Internationalization of Higher Education”, European Parliament, Brussels: EU).

This recently refined definition emphasizes the fact that internationalization is an intentional process, not a passive experience. It underscores that internationalization is not a goal in itself, but a means of enhancing quality and excellence of higher education and research. In addition, the definition notes that internationalization needs to serve societal needs, rather than focusing solely on economic rationales and returns.Although globalization affects all institutions, HEIs experience different pressures; they exist in different contexts, and have different needs. . Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” model or approach for internationalization, rather, each HEI must find its own way of internationalizing. At the same time, all HEIs can benefit from the best thinking and good practice from other institutions around the world. This is why IAU developed the internationalization strategies advisory service: ISAS (2.0).

What isISAS (2.0),?

Launched in 2016, ISAS (2.0) builds on the former IAU program, ISAS, created to help HEIs develop or review their internationalization policies, strategies and programs. ISAS (2.0) consists of several different but complementary services designed for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), individuals at HEIs, national governments andorganizations.

It consists of three services:

  • Advancing strategic internationalization at HEIs (for HEIs)
  • Facilitating individual learning for internationalization for HEIs and individuals working at HEIs. (for HEIs and individuals at HEIs)
  • National advisory service for strategy or policy development for HE internationalization (for national governments, agencies and organizations)

ISAS (2.0) promotional leaflet


There are 4 strands of service designed specifically for HEIs:

  • Planning and Strategy
  • Assessing Strategy and Monitoring Achievements
  • Enhancing a specific area of internationalization
  • Achieving comprehensive internationalization
    Each strand is independent of the others and each institution can decide which one to undertake at any given stage of its development.
    Duration: The duration of each strand of service depends on the specific needs of the HEIs but typically is between 6 and 12 months.
    Each strand culminates with the award of an IAU internationalization learning badge.
    Institutions awarded a IAU internationalization learning badge must follow the guidelines for use.

List of past and ongoing project

1.1 Planning and Strategy

Target audience: Higher Education Institutions at early development stage of internationalization

Goal: help the institution develop and/or refine its internationalization strategy.


  • Mapping and reviewing internationalization policies and actions at the institution
  • Developing or revising the internationalization strategy
  • IAU Learning Badge rewarded: Planning and Strategy

Detailed procedure

HEILow income countryMiddle income countryHigh income country
IAU member 18 000 euros 20 000 euros 22 000 euros
Non-IAU member 20 000 euros 23 000 euros 25 000 euros

1.2 Assessing Strategy and Monitoring Achievements

Target audience: HEIs having an already implemented internationalization strategy

Goal: help the institution assess its strategy for internationalization and their monitoring achievements and progress towards the goals outlined in its internationalization strategy.


  • Evaluating the institutional strategy and reviewing of monitoring framework
  • Monitoring progress
  • IAU Learning Badge rewarded : Strategy Monitoring and Achievements

Detailed procedure

HEILow income countryMiddle income countryHigh income country
IAU member 18 000 euros 20 000 euros 22 000 euros
Non-IAU member 20 000 euros 23 000 euros 25 000 euros

1.3 Enhancing a specific area of internationalization

Target audience: Higher Education Institutions interested in a specific area of internationalization
Goal: enabling institutions to focus on a particular area of internationalization requiring special enhancing and monitoring efforts
Main areas: Governance and management structures for internationalization; Internationalization at home; Internationalization of research; Internationalization of the curriculum; Language policy; Strategic partnerships; Academic and non-academic staff mobility; Student mobility; Transnational/cross border education; On-line and distance learning.


  • Reviewing fitness of purpose of specific goals and objectives for the area of focus within the overall institutional context
  • Assessing the implementation strategies adopted and pursued to achieve objectives
  • Providing recommendations for developing new activities in the specific area
  • Reviewing and/or developing indicators for evaluating progress
  • Evaluating achievement
  • IAU Learning Badges rewarded: Governance or Internationalization at home or Curriculum, Language policy, Strategic partnership, Staff mobility, Student mobility, Distance learning, Research

Detailed procedure

HEILow income countryMiddle income countryHigh income country
IAU member 10 000 euros 12 000 euros 14 000 euros
Non-IAU member 12 000 euros 14 000 euros 16 000 euros

1.4 Achieving comprehensive internationalisation

Comprehensive Internationalization is increasingly the goal of many institutions that have emphasized internationalization for some time and have devoted particular attention and resources to developing a comprehensive approach within their institution.
This strand of service is highly selective, not all institutions that would wish to choose this strand might be ready for it.

Target audience: Higher Education Institutions at advanced development stage of internationalization

Goal:. Assess to what extent the HEI is achieving Comprehensive Internationalization,


  • Submission of an application by the institution
  • IAU submission evaluation: decision on acceptance or suggestion to undertake another strand of service of ISAS (2.0)
  • Asses to what extent the HEI is achieving Comprehensive Internationalization, that is, looking at the extent to which internationalization is pervasive throughout the institution.
  • IAU Learning Badge rewarded: Comprehensive Internationalization

Detailed procedure

HEILow income countryMiddle income countryHigh income country
IAU member 22 000 euros 24 000 euros 26 000 euros
Non-IAU member 28 000 euros 30 000 euros 32 000 euros


One of the major institutional obstacle to internationalization is the limited expertise of academic and administrative staff working at HEIs. IAU’s has therefore developed this service, intended for individuals and groups of individuals at one or more HEIs wishing to improve their knowledge, skills and competences related to strategic planning and monitoring of internationalization of higher education., It consists of two main strands of service:

2.1 Training workshops for professional development of senior academic and administrative staff

Target audience: Higher Education Institutions (or groups of HEIs)
Goal: enhance staff development to allow them to gain expertise in internationalization process.
Duration: 2-3 days

  • Request for workshop by an HEI, National rectors’ conferences, national university associations or networks.
  • Tailored-made peer-to-peer workshop by IAU
  • IAU charges to the host institution an all-inclusive fee for the workshop design.
  • Fees will be negotiated with the host institution on a case-by-case basis.
  • Host institution is responsible for the logistics related costs and can charge fees to workshop participants, which must be agreed upon by IAU

Detailed procedure

2.2 Webinars on specific topics on internationalization for academic and administrative staff

Target audience: Individuals at HEIs
Goal: To expand the range of learning opportunities available to individuals, and to offer to all individuals at HEIs the opportunity to access its programs.
IAU organizes webinars on various specific topics related to internationalization. Webinars can draw experts from all over the world and on specific topics of internationalization.

Detailed procedure

IAU Member: free
Non-IAU member: 150 Euro


Higher education has become a high-level priority for more and more national governments, some of which have adopted national strategies for internationalization or plan to develop one. IAU has gained significant experience in helping national governments and organizations in the development of national strategies and policies for internationalization (e.g Romania, Malaysia).

Target audience: National governments, governmental agencies and organizations

Goals:. Provide international expertise to assist the government (or governmental organization) in developing a proposal for a national strategy

Tailored approach at national level: The approach is tailored to the specific needs of the country. It can focus exclusively on the national policy level, with IAU providing international experts to assist the government or governmental organization in developing a proposal for a national strategy.
’Bottom-up’ approach: The process of designing or revising a national policy can also involve working ’bottom-up’, meaning working at the same time at governmental and institutional levels. It consists in assisting a group of HEIs in revising and developing their institutional internationalization strategies while helping the government or governmental organization developing a proposal for a national strategy. This simultaneous process ensure that national policy recommendations are based on a understanding of HEIs needs and visions.

Detailed procedure

Fees are agreed upon on a case by as basis.


Global surveys on Internationalization
Since 2003, IAU has conducted Global Surveys on Internationalization of Higher Education. Each IAU global survey report provides a unique analysis of global and regional level data on trends and developments in the field of international higher education and related policymaking. The Global Survey reports have become a invaluable resource for anyone working on or interested in internationalization of higher education.

5th edition of the Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education
An Advisory Committee of 18 international internationalization experts assists IAU in the elaboration of the 5th edition of the Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education. The Committee redesigned the questionnaire to collect most relevant data from higher education institutions. The questionnaire has been tested by a pilot group of institutions. Data will be collected in 2018 and publish in early 2019.

Former surveys:

  • 4th Global Survey (2014) - IAU 4th Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education. Read Executive Summary here.
  • IAU 3rd Global Survey (2010) - Internationalization of Higher Education: Global Trends, Regional Perspectives
  • IAU 2nd Global Survey (2005) - Internationalization of Higher Education - New Directions, New Challenges. read Highlights of findings
  • IAU 1st Global Survey (2003) - Internationalization of Higher Education: Practices and Priorities Read the full report


Policy statements

IAU has developed advocacy positions on internationalization of higher education:

IAU Working Group

This Working Group encompasses a small group of Administrative Board members. It provides advice to the Administrative Board and the Secretary General on the strategic direction. The Working Group develops recommendations on how to improve the visibility and response rate and dissemination of the IAU Global Survey. The Working Group also provides recommendations on how to operationalize the Call for Action: Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization of Higher Education. Finally, it assists in the promotion of the IAU Internationalization Strategies Advisory Service (ISAS (2.0)).


  • Andrew DEAKS, President, University College Dublin, Ireland


  • Salim DACCACHE s.j., Rector, University of St Joseph Beirut, Lebanon
  • Etsuko KATSU, Vice-President, International, Meiji University, Japan
  • Ebenezer ODURO OWUSU, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Oleg SMESHKO, Rector, Saint-Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics, Russian Federation

IAU Secretariat Staff:

  • Giorgio Marinoni, Manager, HE and Internationalization policy and projects

Resources & Publications

IAU has built a virtual resources center that provides a variety of resources related to
Higher education internationalization processes in all their different aspects.

  • Definitions
  • Areas of internationalization
  • HEI Internationalization Strategies
  • Indicators and Assessment
  • National Policies
  • Organizations active in the field of internationalization
  • Journals and newsletters
  • Glossary

To share information on the virtual resources center, send an email to Giorgio Marinoni.

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