The Association of African Universities (AAU) is the apex organization and forum for consultation, exchange of information and co-operation among institutions of higher education in Africa.
It represents the voice of higher education in Africa on regional and international bodies and supports networking by institutions of higher education in teaching, research, information exchange and dissemination. The AAU, whose headquarters is in Accra, Ghana, was founded in Rabat, Morocco on November 12, 1967, following recommendations made at an earlier conference organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Antananarivo, Madagascar in September 1962 for the formation of such an apex organization.
The Antananarivo recommendations were taken up by a preparatory Committee of the heads of African institutions of higher education, which met in Khartoum in September 1963 and drafted the founding constitution of the Association. With an initial membership of 34, the Association now has 199 members drawn from 45 African countries, cutting across the language and other divides.
The Association has provided a platform for research, reflection, consultation, debates, co-operation and collaboration on issues pertaining to higher education. It has provided a range of services to its members and served African higher education in a variety of ways. It has established and increased its role in the five sub-regions of Africa and is thus able, at reasonable notice, to assemble teams of experts in relevant fields from the sub-regions.
The Association possesses a unique capacity to convene higher education institutional leaders and policy-makers from all parts of the continent and on key issues related to African higher education and development, as demonstrated in the WTO/GATS workshop held in Ghana in April 2004. In addition, the Association provides leadership in the identification of emerging issues and support for debating them and facilitating appropriate follow-up action by its members, partners and other stakeholders.
The Mission of the AAU is to raise the quality of higher education in Africa and strengthen its contribution to African development by fostering collaboration among its member institutions; by providing support to their core functions of teaching, learning, research and community engagement; and by facilitating critical reflection on, and consensus-building around, issues affecting higher education and the development of Africa.
Our Vision is to maintain the AAU as the representative voice of the African higher education community both within and outside Africa.
The main objectives of the Association are to promote cooperation among higher education institutions in Africa; collect, classify and disseminate information on higher education and research, particularly in Africa; facilitate cooperation between its members and the international academic world; study and publicize and advocate the educational and related needs of African higher education institutions; and facilitate the exchange of information and experience among members of the academic community, and promote best practices.
Programmes and Services
In pursuit of these objectives, the AAU runs the following programmes and services: Study Programme on Higher Education Management in Africa; International Fellowships Programme (West Africa Region); Staff Exchange; AAI/AAU First Data Western Union Fellowship; Association for the Development of Education in Africa’s Working Group on Higher Education (ADEA/WGHE); and the Roster of African Professionals (ROAP).
Subject to funding, the following programmes and services will be restarted: Higher Education Leadership Development Workshops (formerly Senior University Management Workshops (SUMA)); Networks for Regional Cooperation in Graduate Training and Research; and Database of African Theses and Dissertations (DATAD).
In response to very great demand, programmes have been developed in the following areas: African Universities Responding to HIV/AIDS; Coordination of Information and Communications Technology Initiatives; and Developing Quality Assurance Systems in African Universities