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The Ultimate Guide to International Higher Education Conferences in 2019


Higher Education Conferences 2019

“Disruption” has been a central topic for higher education in 2018, as the influence of technology continues to demand innovation across the sector. As we look ahead to the game-changing opportunities that await us in 2019, we have highlighted the EdTech conferences that lead the industry, popular higher education favourites that you don’t want to miss, and the more niche events that we felt deserved a place in the spotlight.

EdTech Conferences

Bett Show

When: 23-26 January | Where: London, UK | Attendance: 35,000

Bett is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together 850 leading companies, 103 exciting new EdTech startups and over 34,700 attendees (131 countries represented) from the global education community, that come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the roles technology and innovation play in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.

SXSW EDU Conference & Festival

When: 4-7 March | Where: Austin, USA | Attendance: 16,000

The SXSW EDU Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a community of optimistic, forward-thinking, purpose-driven stakeholders with a shared goal of impacting the future of teaching and learning.

The ninth annual SXSW EDU will return to Austin, March 4-7, 2019, for four days of compelling sessions, in-depth workshops, engaging learning experiences, mentorship, film screenings, start-up events, policy discussions, competitions, exhibition, networking, and so much more. Through collaboration, creativity, and engagement, SXSW EDU empowers its global community to connect, discover, and impact.

ISTE Conference

When: 23-26 June | Where: Philadelphia, USA | Attendance: 16,000

The ISTE Conference & Expo is recognized globally as the most comprehensive educational technology conference in the world. For more than three decades, educators and education leaders have gathered at the ISTE conference to engage in hands-on learning, exchange ideas and network with like-minded thinkers seeking to transform learning and teaching.

The annual event attracts over 16,000 attendees and industry representatives, including teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, library media specialists, teacher educators and policymakers. Attendees also enjoy world-class keynotes, hundreds of sessions in a variety of formats and a massive expo hall.

Popular Favourites in International Education

APAIE Conference and Exhibition

When: 25-29 March | Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Attendance: 2000

The APAIE Conference and Exhibition brings together international education policy-makers, practitioners and experts from across the globe to the Asia-Pacific region to network, improve professional skills and learn about new developments in international education. The APAIE Conference and Exhibition debuted in 2006 with 400 delegates. It now attracts 2,000 delegates and over 200 exhibitors. The growing attendance each year at the conference reflects the burgeoning interest in the region and recognition of the Asia Pacific’s important role in international education.

UPCEA Annual Conference

When: 27-29 March | Where: Seattle, USA | Attendance: 800

The Annual Conference convenes deans and other senior university leaders, key staff, and teams responsible for the management, administration, and growth of professional, continuing, and online education programs. Attendees have access to targeted sessions spanning the top areas of practice in our field (aligned with UPCEA’s six professional Networks), led by higher education experts and colleagues.

Attendees will also find targeted sessions on the most pressing topics in the field today – including federal policy, finance and operations, marketing and enrolment management, instructional design, non-credit programs, alternative credentialing, and more.


When: 10-13 April | Where: Toronto, Canada | Attendance: 1000

The Annual Conference features dynamic speakers and is designed with numerous educational sessions to meet everyone’s needs – whether they’re new in graduate admissions and graduate enrolment management, a seasoned veteran, or somewhere in between. The educational sessions will provide new approaches and creative strategies across a variety of topics related to our field, including admissions policies and processes, career and staff development, graduate student support and financial aid, legal and ethical issues, marketing and recruitment, student services and others.

Held each year in April, the conference brings over 900 GEM professionals together under one roof to gain insight and knowledge from peers and experts in the field.

AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM)

When: 14-16 April | Where: Edinburgh, Scotland | Attendance: 1500

The changing landscape of today’s digital age, in combination with current social, political, and economic developments, impels business schools to explore new horizons and perspectives in business education. In response to these changes, ICAM 2019 goes beyond traditional borders to challenge core foundations in Edinburgh, Scotland, a city steeped in a long history of innovation, progress, and discovery.

Be inspired at the epicentre of the Scottish enlightenment as we convene with some of the brightest minds in business education and thought leaders from around the world to identify—and look beyond—core foundations. Join us at this transformative event as we strive to: shift our perspectives, challenge existing beliefs, and formulate new ideas. Make ICAM 2019 your opportunity to connect with over 1,500 of your peers, exchange best practices, and take part in discussions that will challenge our core foundations and contribute to the future of business education.

Going Global 2019

When: 13-15 May | Where: Berlin, Germany | Attendance: 1000

Going Global is a conference for leaders in international education to debate the future of further and higher education. If you are a university or college vice-chancellor, president or principal, an adviser, minister or government representative, journalist or policy and strategy maker, or a professional and trade body working in international education, this is most certainly an event you want to attend. In 2019, the conference moves to Berlin and focuses on whether international tertiary education has a role in knowledge diplomacy and the digital world.

NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo

When: 26-31 May | Where: Washington DC, USA | Attendance: 10,000

The NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo promises to be one of the largest international education events ever. With more than 9,000 international educators expected to attend from over 100 countries, the Expo is the best place for organizations like yours to develop sustaining partnerships and new business. The event is the largest of its kind in North America, and its theme for 2019 revolves around “Global leadership, learning and change.” The conference will especially examine how to effectively deal with uncertainty and ambiguity in critical areas such as immigration, health, and safety and consider the differences in perceptions of how countries welcome others.

EFMD Annual Conference

When: 5-7 June | Where: Lisbon, Portugal | Attendance: 550

The EFMD Annual Conference has been designed for all those interested in management education and development. It brings together EFMD members, companies, educational institutions and other associations, offering various perspectives and discussions on the conference theme. Surely an event not to miss for business schools around the world.

EAIE 2019 Conference and Exhibition

When: 24-27 September | Where: Helsinki, Finland | Attendance: 8,000

The 31st Annual EAIE Conference in Helsinki will unite thousands of international higher education professionals, providing a dynamic forum for sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and building new partnerships. The Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition is a forum for networking and exchanging ideas between peers and is the largest event of its kind in Europe. The 2019 conference theme is “encompassing all voices”. This year, the location of the conference is Finland, and the theme is perfectly encapsulated in Finland’s approach to education for all, providing equal access to high-quality learning, and seeking out and incorporating divergent viewpoints into policy and practice. EAIE always puts forward a really interesting programme for everyone interested in higher education, be it connected to internationalization at home, marketing and student recruitment, strategy and management or admission and recognition. There’s something for everyone.

AIEC 2019

When: 15-18 October | Where: Perth, Australia | Attendance: 1200

The Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) is the major opportunity each year for international education practitioners, teaching staff, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders to learn about major industry trends and development and to network with Australian and international colleagues.

On average, 1,200 attendees from over 400 organisations attend the conference each year, including speakers, exhibitors and delegates. Approximately 20% of attendees come from overseas, and about 2/3 of Australian attendees are from New South Wales and Victoria. The conference attracts experts from all education sectors, including English language, schools, higher education and vocational education and training, as well as government representatives, NGO staff and private providers.

CBIE Annual Conference

When: 17-20 November | Where: Winnipeg, Canada | Attendance: 850

The CBIE Annual Conference has been around for over 50 years; creating the space, convening the stakeholders, and leading the conversation of Canadian international education. The conference spans across the education sector – representing, engaging, and bridging the interests of K-12 to postgraduate educators, as well as public and private stakeholders. The annual conference forms the global meeting place of choice for international delegations and government officials seeking to deepen engagement with the Canadian education sector.

Niche Events

NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education

When: 16-18 June | Where: Orlando, USA | Attendance: 8000

The 2019 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education brings together four distinct conferences with intersectional outcomes in a unique opportunity for you to learn, network, and engage. Registered attendees have access to programming for any of the four conferences. With a diverse offering of dynamic keynotes, thought-provoking workshops, and engaging networking opportunities, the 2019 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education is your opportunity to take a cross-functional approach to student success.

Global Internship Conference

When: 2-5 July | Where: Auckland, New Zealand | Attendance: 400

The Global Internship Conference is a forum dedicated to advancing the knowledge of academic work placement and experiential education. This includes, but is not limited to, professionals and researchers who work in the field or seek to learn more about internships, academic work placement, co-operative education, teaching and volunteering. As a platform for dialogue, and a vehicle for action, the GIC brings together colleagues to discuss and advance best practices as well as develop and examine a research agenda for global internships.

This year’s theme, “Integrating Employability Outcome Through Global Internships” reflects Auckland’s spirit of innovation and collaboration.

Global Student Living Conference

When: 21 June | Where: Leicester, UK | Attendance: 200

The Global Student Living Conference 2018, focused on improving student mental health and wellbeing, was the first of its kind. With a fivefold increase in the number of students reporting mental health issues over the last decade, and student suicides making national headlines, it’s never been more important to put the spotlight on their wellbeing. The great turnout – with approximately 170 delegates attending – showed a real determination to turn the tide on one of the biggest issues currently facing higher education. If you are serious about student health and wellbeing, and about being part of a global collaboration to develop solutions, you cannot afford to miss this conference.

AHE Conference

When: 26-27 June | Where: Manchester, UK | Attendance: N/A

This event will be the seventh international Assessment in Higher Education conference. This research and academic development conference are a forum for critical debate of research and innovation focused on assessment and feedback practice and policy. The themes for our 2019 conference will invite a wide range of papers, practice exchanges and posters. Themed poster presentations, accompanied by a short pitch from the authors, have been a strength of the conference and have encouraged networking by delegates.

We hope to see you there!

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