Who Can Join the AAU?

Public and private universities, polytechnics, higher education colleges and other institutions recognized by the country authorities as higher education and research institutions. For details, see the AAU constitution and bye-laws.

How to Join the AAU

Complete the Online Application Form


Know More about the AAU

The following publications and sources provide a clearer insight into the AAU

Constitution and Bye-Laws

Core Programme of Activities

Annual and Financial Report

Report of the General Conference

The AAU website provides up-to-date information on current and future activities.

About the AAU 

Current Members


Any university desiring membership in the Association shall submit an online application for membership to the Governing Board at least one month before the convening of the next General Conference. The application shall confirm that the applicant intends to adhere to the aims and objectives of the AAU and that the applicant meets the requirements set forth in Section I of the Bye-Laws.

The Governing Board may admit new members subject to ratification at the next General Conference by a simple majority of voting members present.

Categories of Membership

Two categories of members are spelt out under Article III (Sections 1 to 5) of the Constitution of the Association of African Universities as follows:

Full Membership

Section 1:

Full Membership to the Association is open to

(a) Universities in Africa

(b) Institutions of higher education in Africa, which have university status in their respective countries.


Section 2:

(a) The Governing Board admits new members subject to ratification by the General Conference following the decision

(b) In recommending admission, the Governing Board shall be guided by the ‘charter’ or the instrument of incorporation of the applicant

(c) Where the applicant operates in a country with a national accreditation board or process, the Governing Board may take the decision of such a body into account in considering the application


Associate Membership

Section 3:

An institution which does not satisfy Section 1 of this Article may be admitted as an Associate Member.


Section 4:

If in an African country there is no institution which is eligible to be admitted as a member of the Association in accordance with the provisions of the preceding sections of this Article, one institution of higher learning in that country may as a special case be admitted as an Associate member of the Association.


Section 5:

Associate membership may be extended to other institutions of higher education or regional bodies and networks whose members are accredited universities or whose objectives are to promote activities of universities, whether located in or outside Africa, in accordance with Section 2 of this Article and any bye-laws enacted for the purpose.


Exceptional Admissions to Membership

Associate Members shall have the same rights and privileges and the duties of members except that an Associate Member may not vote or be a member of the Executive Board.

If and when an Associate Member fulfils the requirements for full membership, they may be admitted to full membership at the next General Conference by a simple majority of voting members present provided the Association has received advice in writing from the Associate Member, through the Governing Board, of the attainment of such status.


Subscription Rates

The Annual Membership Subscriptions rates are as follows:

Full Members Up to 500 Students – US$2,000

Full Members Over 500 Students – US$3,000

Associate members – US$2,000

In special circumstances, additional contributions and subscriptions may be recommended by the Governing Board.


Membership Benefits

  1. Invitation to host AAU Events / speak at AAU Conferences
  2. Listing in AAU directory of higher education institutions;
  3. Right to vote / stand for election as President & as Governing Board Member
  4. Use of AAU logo to indicate affiliation to the Association
  5. Being associated to the principles and values AAU upholds
  6. Eligibility to apply for grants and the academic staff exchange program
  7. Subscription to the AAU Weekly News and AAU Quarterly
  8. Access to AAU Publications shared as Open Educational Resources
  9. Invitation to advertise your academic jobs / institutional news on the AAU Weekly & Website
  10. Serve as short-term consultant and resource person in our areas of work
  11. Invitation to participate in the Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors & Presidents
  12. Opportunity to participate in discounted fee-based training programmes:
    • Management and Development Training
    • Leadership Development Training
    • University Industry Linkages Training
    • University Governance & Advancement Training
  13. Eligibility to participate in AAU funded training programs – e.g. the ICT Managers Training
  14. Profiling of members’ academic outputs on the Database of African Theses & Dissertations (DATAD) Training


Services to Members

Academic Staff Exchange Programme

The Academic Staff Exchange Programme is designed to foster inter-university cooperation through exchange of external examiners, staff exchange for teaching, participation in seminars, workshops and conferences and research cooperation.  Universities may use the service to support invitations to staff from other universities for intensive teaching missions, usually lasting between one to three months.

The service may also be used to enable staff to participate in seminars, conferences and workshops in another African university outside their country or to facilitate research cooperation between African universities in different countries.


Fellowships and Scholarships

As part of the effort to enhance student mobility in Africa, the AAU makes available fellowships and scholarships on a competitive basis to support students from AAU member universities wishing to study in an African university outside their country of citizenship or normal residence.


On and off campus Special Issues Workshops

Over the years, the AAU has carried out a number of studies and conducted workshops and seminars on critical issues of higher education in Africa. In the process, considerable expertise on these issues has been accumulated both within the AAU Secretariat as well as among AAU resources persons in member universities.

On the invitation of a member university in good financial standing with respect to payment of membership subscriptions, the AAU will arrange to send to the university campus, at the AAU’s expense, one of its resource persons or Secretariat staff to conduct a seminar or workshop on an issue relevant to AAU programmes and expertise for the benefit of the members to that university’s community.


Information Exchange

The AAU has a Newsletter: is published three times each academic year in English and French. The Newsletter carries news about African universities and features articles on higher education in Africa. It is circulated widely to universities and university libraries throughout Africa. Member universities are encouraged to send news about their activities for inclusion in the Newsletter.

The AAU News: The AAU News is a weekly service to the Higher Education community by filling the gap in regular updates on upcoming higher education events such as conferences, fellowships, job vacancies as well as promotional information on AAU products and services.


Online Publications

The AAU engages in Online Publications of reports of workshops organised by its various Units. Research reports and reports of seminars conducted by the Association are also published. Please click here to visit the AAU E-library


Guide to Higher Education

The Guide to Higher Education in Africa is published every two years and contains:

  1. A listing of member universities;
  2. Information about their principal officers; and the programmes offered in the universities.

AAU is currently reviewing how this guide – with a view to putting it online and putting in measures for sustainably updating it.

Short-term consultants and resource persons

In the course of the implementation of its programmes, the AAU uses many experts as short term consultants and resource persons to carry out studies and prepare papers for the Association, and as facilitators for workshops and seminars. Member Universities are given the opportunity in the first instance to propose members of their staff for consideration for those assignments as and when the need arises.


Professional Staff of the Secretariat

The AAU has a Secretariat with a small international professional staff of highly qualified people from different African countries. Most have come from senior academic positions in member universities with some on leave of absence from their institutions. The international professional appointments are for limited terms, and member universities are given opportunities in the first instance to nominate candidates for consideration to fill vacant positions as they occur.