IEASA President representing the Association in global international education networks in 2020

Lest we forget the days of face to face engagement, several IEASA members physically attended the AIEA conference “Rethinking Comprehensive internationalisation for a Global World”, February 15-19 2020, (, at which the President presented in one and facilitated two other separate sessions.

After the conference, the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, held a conference and reception for all participants from the African continent, who were in attendance at the AIEA conference, at the U.S. State Department. The President had an impromptu discussion with Dr  Whitfield Green, Chief Director of Teaching and Learning Development, DHET, South Africa.  

A follow-on International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP), organised and funded by the US Embassy, invited a delegation of South African university administrative leaders. Among the participants were the following active IEASA members: Dr Segun Obadire, Dr Hulani Mabasa, Ms Refilwe Moleyane and Ms Orla Quinlan. The IVLP delegation met with the South African Ambassador at the SA Embassy in Washington. Copies of Study SA were shared with the Embassy staff and a wide of range of people, whom the IVLP delegation met in Washington and in Atlanta, Georgia, where they had the privilege of visiting Martin Luther King’s childhood home, Ebenezer church and visitor centre


As COVID-related lock-downs and restrictions became more widespread, the 2020 face to face conferences were cancelled one by one and the opportunities for representing and promoting IEASA moved online.

The President was active in the Network of International Education Association NIEA, attending four online meetings throughout the year. A position paper on social justice, co-authored with Dr Samia Chasi, was submitted for the Third Global Dialogue, which was due to be held on April 23rd and 24th  2020 in Bariloche, Argentina. The President was due to facilitate this Third Global Dialogue and Dr Samuels was a member of the organising committee, but this event was also postponed, due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

During the week of April 27th to 29th 2020, FAUBAI, the Brazilian Association for International Education, launched an initiative called “Tomorrow: Global perspectives for Higher Education Internationalisation”. The President and Dr Lavern Samuels represented IEASA and were among 30 international thinkers invited to predict the potential impact of COVID on international higher education (

On June 15th 2020, FAUBAI hosted a dialogue about “The role of southern institutions in the post-COVID-19 future”. Leaders from three major international education associations participated in the discussion: Hilligje Van’t Land, Secretary-General of the International Association of Universities (IAU); Adel El Zaim, President of the Association of International Education Administrators (IAEA); and Orla Quinlan, President of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) (

The President was the final editor of the NIEA statement  on the importance of international education and research, published on July 24th 2020,  which has been shared with NIEA networks globally:

Between August 13th and September 4th 2020, the 10th Latin American and Caribbean Conference for the Internationalization of Higher Education “Rewiring International Education” was organized by the Colombian Network for the Internationalization of Higher Education – Colombian Association of Universities (RCI-ASCUN). The NIEA statement, referred to above, was launched at the opening plenary and the IEASA President presented the “Call to higher education aspects”, as part of the panel of NIEA representatives


On August 26 2020, The President was invited to participate in a Round Table “Human Development after Pandemic COVID-19. The Role of Education and Science” as part of the work on BRICS Working Group “Education and Science” Recommendations for the BRICS Civil Forum. organized by the Eastern Federal University, where Dr Judy Peter was one of the presenters (

On October 1st and 2nd2020, IEASA and ANIE held a joint virtual conference entitled Innovation and Resilience in higher education, in an era of COVID 19 and beyond. The President made opening remarks on behalf of IEASA and also brought the NIEA statement to the attention of this African continental gathering.

Between October 14th and 16th 2020, the President attended the EAIE Community Exchange event and engaged with the EAIE leadership. Following the joint IEASA-ANIE Conference on October 1st and 2nd, the Chair of ANIE, Prof Goski Alabi, and the IEASA President were interviewed by Dr Laura Rumbley in the EAIE podcast series. The podcast was released on November 25th:

On October 27th 2020, the President attended an online Project Atlas meeting , with participants from 16 countries to assess IEASA’s continuing participation in this project and to report back to the IEASA Council on October 28th. The Project Atlas team were referred to the statistics section of the most recent Study SA. An overview of the impact of COVID 19 on the situation facing international students in South Africa was shared. The Council has decided to continue with IEASA’s participation in this project.

On November 3rd 2020, the President joined the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Summit entitled Leaders of Change; building a sustainable future for universities. The keynote speaker was Cheryl de la Rey, currently the Vice Chancellor at the University of Canterbury, formerly the VC at the University of Pretoria, who also delivered a keynote at the 2018 IEASA conference. Some of the sustainability questions for universities were as applicable and transferable to the sustainability of IEASA and the President followed up with participating Finance Directors to discuss their thinking with regards to investments and managing bad debt in the current climate. This was then shared and discussed by the IEASA Council.

“On November 12th 2020, the President was honoured to continue an established tradition of speaking on the topic of the internationalisation of curriculum, at Durban University of Technology. This time, the audience included international partners, involved in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) who were attending the Igniting COIL@DUT launch. The address explored the extent to which the NIEA’s statement pertaining to the “ Call to Higher education institutions”  was already being modelled by DUT. The address referred to the recently released DHET policy framework on internationalisation of higher education, which spoke to both internationalisation of the curriculum and collaborative online learning”.

On November 12th 2020, the International Association of Universities (IAU)  hosted a webinar on “The future of international collaboration and academic partnerships” co-organised with the Center for International Higher Education of Boston College. The Panelists were as follows: Kalyani Unkule, Associate Professor, JGLS and Director & Head of the Office of Alumni Relations, O.P Jindal Global University; Orla Quinlan, President, International Education Association of South Africa; Susan Buck Sutton, former President of Association of International Education Administrators; Senior Advisor for Internationalization, American Council on Education:

On December 9th 2020, the President, whose home institution Rhodes University is an IAU member, sent a congratulatory greeting to IAU In celebration of their 70th anniversary, from both Rhodes University and IEASA. The “IAU turns 70” celebratory page contains over 40 videos, a collection reflecting the diverse voices and international spirit that makes IAU so unique. The videos may be found here:

While the list above is not exhustive, it includes and concludes the main International engagements by the President on behalf of IEASA for 2020.

Orla Quinlan,

President 2019-2020