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The History of EAIR


EAIR – The European Higher Education Society, is a unique international association for higher education researchers, practitioners, students, managers and policy-makers.

EAIR has established itself since its inception in 1979 as an association of experts and professionals interested in the relationship between research, policy and practice in higher education. EAIR has developed from its roots as a European version of the US-based Association for Institutional Research (AIR), widening its sphere of interest to policy at all levels, institutional, national and international. In 1989 EAIR became an independent membership organisation.

Although the initials refer to institutional research, EAIR formally added ‘The European Higher Education Society’ to its logo and then appended the strap-line ‘Linking Research, Policy and Practice’. This reflects the direction that EAIR has taken: it crosses boundaries between types of activities and seeks to cater for a mix of researchers, lecturers, students, administrators, managers and policy-makers. Crossing boundaries means sharing best policy and management practices, learning from peers; exchanging and reflecting upon research findings. At the same time, we actively seek partnerships with like-minded organisations and associations.

What we do

Our mission is to support research and development in higher education research, policy and practice, to the general benefit of higher education.

Our aims are

  • To encourage research in higher education.

  • To promote the development of institutional management, planning and policy implementation.

  • To disseminate information that supports policy-making, policy implementation and good practice in higher education.

  • To support the membership by providing opportunities for networking and professional development in the field of higher education


These objectives will be achieved through the following measures:

  • Organising an annual Forum bringing together students, researchers, policymakers, leaders, administrators and practitioners.

  • Publishing the peer-reviewed journal ’Tertiary Education and Management’ which may include high quality papers from the annual Forum and other appropriate contributions. EAIR may support other publications too in addition to TEAM.

  • Organising seminars and networking opportunities of interest to specific groups of the EAIR membership, involving non-members where appropriate. These may involve cooperation with other organisations.

  • Providing a variety of opportunities for networking and professional development of members and other interested parties in the various fields of higher education.

  • Initiating, encouraging and actively supporting comparative research on issues in higher education.

  • Cooperating and exchanging information with relevant organisations.

  • Providing other services to the membership, such as a membership directory; online databases; and electronic copies of Forum presentations.

40 years EAIR

Do you want to read more about EAIR? Have a look in our anniversary book. 

Join us!

There are many reasons to become an EAIR member. You not only get discounts on the forums and the TEAM Journal. You have the opportunity to become part of an international community. Even more benefits are waiting for you.

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