• Arabic (اللغة العربية)
Public Lecture
Summary of Lecture

Higher Education is undergoing monumental change. The time has come to foster innovation, competitiveness and prepare a roadmap for a new era of higher education.

Dr Hilligje van’t Land is the Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU) comprised of more than 650 members in 130 countries around the world. In this lecture, she will reflect on the on the challenges facing higher education and present potential means to respond to those challenges. She will share ideas on possible transformations for higher education systems such as policies and structures as well as for the institutions themselves in order to develop higher education and research for the future.

The public lecture will engage the audience by setting aside significant time for participants to interact with Dr van’t Land, to pose questions, share ideas and discuss the concepts presented.


Dr. Hilligje van’t Land serves the global higher education community as Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU) - global NGO with UNESCO Associate Status. IAU celebrated it’s 70th Anniversary from 9 December 2020 to 9 December 2021. For the past two decades, she has fostered the key role of higher education in societal transformation. She supervises the overall programme activities of the IAU, develops the Association’s strategic plans and oversees the everyday work of the secretariat. She positioned the IAU as partner in UNESCO work on Education for sustainable development and in the UNESCO Futures of Education initiative, and higher education as a key stakeholder for the UN Agenda 2030 – Transforming our world. Hilligje van’t Land strongly believes in the importance of international cooperation and intercultural understanding and has developed multilateral projects related higher education and beyond.

She represents IAU in various working groups and expert committees including at the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the UN as member of the High Level Advisory Board to the UNESCO Futures of Education Initiative and Mission 4.7; the UNESCO ESD for 2030 Programme; the UNESCO and Bergen Expert Group on Universities and Sustainability; the Council of Europe (CoE) Ad hoc Working Group on the Local Mission of the University; the CoE Steering Committee for Best Practice Programme in Promoting Academic Integrity; the CoE Ad hoc Working Group on Competences for a Democratic Culture; the Advisory Board of UVED, OneHE and Sulitest; the Advisory Board of the Observatory of Academic Freedom (GOAF - Soros Foundation).

Hilligje van’t Land holds a PhD in comparative francophone literature, speaks six languages and published on higher education issues of relevance locally and globally. Latest publications: The Promise of Higher Education; Higher Education’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Building a More Sustainable and Democratic Future, Book coedited by IAU, the Council of Europe et al. published as part of the Council of Europe Higher Education Book series. Higher Education and SDG 14: Integrating Ocean Research for the Global Goals, 2021; First Global Survey Report on the impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the World; IAU-UNODC Young Scholars Competition: Higher Education engages with SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, 2021; IAU HESD global survey 2019

For other recent publications and conferences, please click on the links.

For further information on the IAU: www.iau-aiu.net – IAU Webinar Series on the Future of Higher Education, click HERE.

Sohar University