AIEA Reaching out to International Education Community

Part 2 of Q&A with Dr. Darla Deardorff, AIEA Executive Director, originally published via LinkedIn on 22 December 2015

Helen: How is AIEA interacting or partnering with other regional and international higher education institutions?

Darla: AIEA is actively working with other international education associations such as CBIE, EAIE, APAIE, etc. In the early 2000s, AIEA helped form the Network of International Education Associations (NIEA), an informal network of international education leaders. More recently, AIEA was involved in the development of The Global Dialogue on the Future of Higher Education Internationalization. The International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) hosted the first Dialogue in January 2014, which concluded with the Nelson Mandela Bay Declaration, which is available on the AIEA website (

Helen: Could you name 2-3 AIEA initiatives that have markedly influenced global debates and/or policies in higher education?

Darla: In 1992, the AIEA published Bridges to the Future, which was a ground breaking publication in the field of international education.  This publication provided the groundwork for what became the SAGE Handbook of International Higher Educationpublished in 2012. This publication gathered leading experts from around the world to explore the increasing importance of internationalization.

The aforementioned Nelson Mandela Bay Declaration, of which AIEA is one of the signatories, is a global commitment made by international higher education associations “to promote international higher education and research that recognises the richness and diversity offered by all regions for a global higher education agenda which is equitable, ethical, socially responsible, accessible and accountable.”

Helen: This year, 2015 saw the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, 2015-2030), replacing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, 2000-2015). How do you see higher education institutions contributing to SDG4 Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all?

Darla: AIEA welcomes the new SDGs and its emphasis on inclusivity and lifelong learning. Universities and higher education institutions could help by continuing the efforts to internationalize teacher training, which one study a while back showed was one of the least internationalized curricula.   There’s a real connection between internationalization and teacher education, which has enormous impact in society.  Higher education institutions should examine how they are addressing the SDGs throughout their institutions and SIOs can play a key leadership role in keeping this bigger picture as part of internationalization efforts.

Q&A to be continued…

You are encouraged to register for the 2016 AIEA Annual Conference in Montreal, Canada from February 21-24, 2016! Please join senior international education leaders from around the world for a provocative, relevant, and rewarding program on the theme “Building a Better World: The Academy as Leader.” Registration deadline: January 21, 2016. For more information, visit

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