logo AIU


We are glad you found your way to this portal and hope that you will find it useful. 

This portal is being developed by the International Association of Universities (IAU), an INGO in association with UNESCO based in Paris. It brings together more than 600 universities, institutions and associations from all over the world, because of the belief that together one can achieve a lot more than alone. IAU advocates for higher education at UNESCO, OECD, World Bank to name a few such organisations. It aims to support its Members in any way possible. IAU’s work covers a variety of fields, ranging from internationalisation to sustainable development.


IAU started working on doctoral programmes in Africa in 2009. Developed under the leadership of an international Working Group, IAU conducted surveys about the state of doctoral education in Africa, realised a series of institution-wide studies and organized topical international research seminars. This portal is one of the outcomes of IAU's work on doctoral education in Africa. It focuses on Innovative Approaches for Doctoral Education in Africa (IDEA-PhD). The development of PhD programmes (education and research) at African higher education institutions contributes to creating vibrant, local research climates; it allows to explore the full potential of higher education systems across the continent, and to advance national development in African terms.


This platform herewith offered aims to serve university leaders, administrators, academics, supervisors, students and interested stakeholders to enhance and strengthen doctoral programmes and training in particular at African higher education institutions. The portal offers a variety of tools and documents relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing doctoral studies in Africa and elsewhere and is to connect higher education institutions with relevant organizations, research networks, funding agencies, globally.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The IAU IDEA-PhD portal seeks to:
• Improve research management at African higher education institutions, by increasing knowledge about alternative models and approaches;
• Bring conclusions and recommendations made through the project to the attention of the stakeholders;
• Increase networking between African HEIs on issues relating to doctoral education management for better understanding and synchronization of responses to doctoral education challenges in Africa and beyond;
• Grow and network doctoral education administrators throughout the continent and globally;
• Increase capacity in African countries;
• Increase participation of African HE leaders and researchers in global debates on HE.





This portal is developed thanks to input provided by all IAU Member institutions in Africa (as listed on this portal) and thanks to contributions and comments received from organisations involved in the development and support of doctoral education (listed on the portal as well). To get involved and be listed please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..






Mission and Vision

'Mission and Vision' offers various documents related to the overall objectives and stakes of doctoral education emphasizing innovation and strategic planning for the future. These documents describe the current state of doctoral education and ways of approaching reform. Also available are a set of tools that can assist in the development of national or institutional research strategies.

Capacity Building

'Capacity Building' focuses on assuring quality of doctoral programme design and instruction within the broader framework of building institutional capacity to deliver relevant and world-class PhD degrees. Various doctoral education systems are presented and offer stakeholders a glimpse into the models being adopted or adapted to suit African higher education needs. Explicit tools to implement capacity building measures are also available.


Both projects initially run by IAU and ACUP jointly stressed the importance of quality supervision to ensure successful doctoral education and training. The section 'Supervision' hosts a variety of links to policy documents that highlight the different models in use, along with a set of tools and support mechanisms to improve supervision at both the institutional and faculty-student level.

Doctoral Education by Numbers

Data collection and management is a crucial dimension of building institutional governance capacity. 'Doctoral Education by Numbers' shares documents containing data, figures, and statistics collected on doctoral research, enrolment, and performance across the continent.

Projects and Initiatives

In order to better take stock of current work being done in the realm of doctoral education, 'Projects and Initiatives' presents information about projects being carried out by organizations related to postgraduate training and management. Projects listed here share a common focus, all or in part, on African higher education.

Higher Education Institutions

In an effort to increase collaboration and understanding among leaders in doctoral education on the African continent, this section offers profiles of various higher education institutions in Africa and their doctoral schools and/or programmes, Member of the IAU. It also includes contact information. To get involved and take part in projects developed by the IAU, please join. For assistance, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Funding Opportunities

Consistently highlighted as a principle challenge to delivering quality doctoral education in Africa, information about funding opportunities available to doctoral programme administrators and graduate school managers from various funding agencies and their programmes and projects are provided here.

Additional information to be published on the portal is welcome. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Portal technical development

The IAU IDEA-PhD portal has been developed by the web agency page18interactive on the initiative of IAU.



Special Thanks


The portal was initiated on the basis of joint International Association of Universities (IAU) and Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) initiatives on doctoral education; the first version was developed in collaboration with the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). These initiatives were in part funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain. Today it is managed by IAU. New funding is sought not only to further develop this portal but as well to contribute to the development of IDEA through projects. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

IAU IDEA-PhD - 2022 ©

All rights reserved