Established in 1964, the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) is a voluntary association of the 16 universities in the Atlantic region and in the West Indies which offer programmes leading to a degree or have degree-granting status.

The AAU represents the interests of universities across the region, ensuring public visibility for the important role they play in preparing future leaders of our communities, in path-breaking research and innovation, and in contributing to the economic prosperity of life in Atlantic Canada. The AAU also provides a forum where university executive heads reflect, consult and collaborate on all aspects of the whole university; define common objectives and positions; develop strategies to promote, collectively and co-operatively, the highest ideals of post-secondary education; and exercise leadership to promote the objectives of the collective. One of the fundamental roles of our association is to create greater awareness and understanding of the important contribution of universities to the social and economic development of the Atlantic Provinces.

The Association’s business is conducted by the AAU Council, which consists of the executive heads of all the member institutions. The AAU currently meets two times a year and is served by a permanent secretariat.

The activities of the Association are funded principally through annual membership fees based on the operating income of the member institutions.

Committees and advisory groups, composed of university presidents and other members of the university community, are appointed from time to time to provide advice on issues of concern in higher education.

The Association also has established formal and informal ties with affiliate groups, some of which were created as sub-committees of the AAU, others being formed as regional groups of national bodies.