The International Association of Universities (IAU) can be considered as one of the most credible international academic organizations being a subsidiary of UNESCO. One of the major purposes of this association is coordinating between universities in different countries so as to expand their facilities and improving academic capabilities and making the most of higher education plans and programs throughout the world.
So far several universities around the world have become members of IAU; reaching 615 universities as of November 2010 including 40 per cent from Europe, 23 per cent from Asia and the Pacific, 13 per cent from the Middle East, 11 per cent from Africa, 8 per cent from North America and 5 per cent from Latin America and Caribbean Islands.
In the Middle East 13 countries including IR Iran have become members of IAU and Iran has the highest rank regarding the number of member universities in the Middle East with 25 member universities.
The major services of the IAU include holding conferences and meetings with educational and research theme within international and regional issues. Participating in such gatherings helps the universities’ presidents to gat familiar with the latest developments and challenges of higher education around the world. The directors of universities and academic decision makers update their information and lay the grounds for adapting international educational strategies in the country through listening to the speakers, meeting scholars and theorists in the academic fields.
Another major advantage of IAU membership is international recognition of the member university which in turn facilitates participating and running of research projects.