EUA & Its Counterparts Set Up Global University Associations Forum

Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Jun 08, 2022


The European University Association (EUA) and its international counterparts in Africa, the United States, the Arab region, and Asia gathered in Barcelona on May 17, to officially establish the Global University Associations Forum (GUAF).

During the meeting, representatives shared their experiences and visions to facilitate international cooperation and exchange, Erudera reports.

“Pathways and mechanisms for fostering collaborative practices were considered in the context of student and researcher mobility, universities’ contribution to achieving goals set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), associations’ respective continental and regional development aspirations as well as the influence of geopolitical factors,” the launch statement by GUAF reads.

According to the statement, the Forum will be committed to achieving agreements by contributing to the dialogue. The statement further notes that the Forum will make its contribution to the development of the higher education sector, regionally and internationally.

The Forum members agreed on the following:

  • Promote the higher education sector’s role and its capacity to facilitate international exchange and cooperation.
  • Emphasize respect for fundamental values, including institutional autonomy and the academic freedom, which are essential to building sufficient scope and decision-making power to get involved in the international collaboration.
  • Commit to sharing resources such as policies, guidelines, and data on several topics of mutual interest.
  • Find ways that can help the Forum member associations to make their contribution to the establishment of collaborative learning approaches.

Initially, the Forum was conceived back in 2020 in a bid to address the disruption that international higher education and research collaboration suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back then, the idea was to create the Forum as a platform with focus on more systematic exchange between member associations and as a result to come up with ways for higher education and research sectors to address global challenges.

So far, members of the Global University Associations Forum are the following organisations:

  • Association of African Universities (AAU) – Africa
  • Association of Arab Universities (AArU) – Arab region
  • China Association of Higher Education (CAHE) – China
  • European University Association (EUA) – Europe
  • Association of Indian Universities (AIU) – India
  • Latin American and The Caribbean Space for Higher Education (ENLACES) – Latin America & The Caribbean
  • American Council on Education (ACE) and Universities Canada (UC) – North America
  • ASEAN University Network (AUN) – Southeast Asia

This was the first physical meeting that the Forum held. It was chaired by EUA and hosted by University Ramon Llull. The next physical meeting, according to the announcement, will be held in 2023 in ASEAN.  

Lately, EUA announced that seven higher education institutions joined the association. EUA is represents more than 850 universities and national rectors’ conferences in 49 countries in Europe.

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