iau-logoThe outcomes of the IAU pilot project on Access and Success in Higher Education for Students from Under-Represented Groups are now available online. They include a comparative review of access and success programs in several pilot universities and the report of the workshop held at the University of Arizona, USA, in November 2010 in collaboration with the University, the World Bank and Lumina Foundation. Contact: Elodie Boisfer.
Access and Success in Higher Education

In responding to the multiple imperatives that drive our global knowledge-based economy and society, national governments recognize the need for high quality higher education for all.  Preparing its citizens for the 21st century by sustaining or developing a globally competitive research/innovation base and raising employability skills are goals pursued by most, despite different national contexts.  Gaining access to learning, and successful participation in higher education is becoming essential for all. 
As a result, most countries, even if their capacities to fulfil them differ widely, have set goals to increase the share of the population with higher education and/or broaden access to higher education for individuals that are under-represented because of socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, [dis]ability or location.
Against this backdrop, and noting a renewed sense of urgency, IAU adopted Access and Success in Higher Education as one if its priority themes during the 69th IAU Administrative Board Meeting (Alexandria, Egypt, November 12-15, 2005).  It mandated an international Task Force of experts, chaired by Professor Jose Ferreira Gomes, (University of Porto), to further the work on this topic.
This was not the first time that IAU has focused on issues related to the topic of Access to Higher Education.  The Section on IAU Activities retraces some of the past work of the Association.
Among other principles, IAU believes that:
    * Equitable access to quality learning contributes significantly to the development of national human resources, promotes social justice and cohesion, enhances personal development, employability and, in general, facilitates sustainable development; 
    * As a global association of universities and other higher education institutions, it needs to express its commitment to promoting the twin goals of equitable access to, and successful participation in, higher education for all members of society;
    * Broadening access is compatible with academic excellence;
    * Further work calling for equitable access is essential and reinforces the Association’s commitment, adding value to a global dialogue, moving the agenda towards action and building awareness of this important issue in all parts of the world.
Equitable Access and Success in Higher Education, Workshop Co‐organized by IAU, The University of Arizona and The World Bank with funding support from Lumina Foundation
Ten Higher Education Institutions from Asia and the Americas agreed to take part in the IAU pilot project on Equitable Access and Success in Quality Higher Education designed to learn more and share lessons about institutional approaches to improve both entry and progression of students from under‐represented groups. (List of participants is in annex).
In the initial phase of the pilot project, working in collaboration with Members of its international Access Task Force, the IAU designed a Self‐Assessment Instrument to enable institutions to systematically examine their policies and programs for improving access and success for learners from usually marginalized groups. Taking the form of a questionnaire, this instrument is also designed to help universities collect information and analyze their practices in this area. The ten institutions invited to join the pilot project are from ten different countries in the Americas and Asia and are quite diverse in profile. All were asked to administer the self‐assessment questionnaire and report their findings to IAU.
On November 18‐19, the IAU and The University of Arizona (UA) co‐organized, in collaboration with The World Bank, a two‐day workshop in Tucson (Arizona, USA) bringing together representatives of the pilot universities, members of the IAU Task Force and other experts. The goals of the workshop were (i) to analyze the self‐assessment results, (ii) share good institutional practices to improve equity in access and success, (iii) review the Institutional Self‐Assessment Instrument and (iv), to evaluate the potential for generalizing its use in other institutions. It was also expected that the workshop participants would advise IAU on other initiatives the Association could develop to pursue relevant work in the area of equitable access and success in higher education.