The mission of the Association for the Global Advancement of Universities and Colleges (AGAUC) is to strengthen national higher education systems by promoting national policy environment and institutional management that advance institutional excellence, access, globalization, and enable institutions, irrespective of sector, to thrive and flourish in the 21st Century.  Especially in countries new to the private higher education sector, AGAUC will strive to advance the private higher education sector  


Association for the Global Advancement of Universities and Colleges (AGAUC) envisions continuing transformation of national higher education systems and policies that promote institutional advancement and enable individual institutions to thrive irrespective of their private or public sector classifications.


After the collapse of Soviet Union, member nations of the former Soviet Union assumed responsibility for planning, organizing, and managing their national educational systems.  Many of these nations look toward the west, especially the United States, for new ideas, resources, and experts to help with their new challenges. 

In 2002, the Minister of Education of Moldova reached out to Dr. Steve O. Michael, a professor of higher education at Kent State University to deliver a keynote address at their first International Conference on Higher Education Reform.  The conference was followed by deliberations to broaden discourse on higher education reform by including countries around the Black Sea. 

This vision led to the establishment of the Association of Black Sea Higher Education Leaders (ABSHEL) that later morphed into the Global Advancement of Private Universities and Colleges (GAPUC).  GAPUC held several international conferences which attracted interest from public institutions.  Given this interest, GAPUC morphed into the Association for the Global Advancement of Universities and Colleges (AGAUC).  Kent State University (represented by Dr. Michael, vice provost) and Voronezh State University (public university in Russia) under the leadership of Dr. Sergey Zaprygaev, the then Vice Rector of the University led the initial effort to organize conferences in countries of the Black Sea region. 

Later, AGAUC expanded its vision to include countries relatively new to private higher education sector.  As such China was added to the list.  Professor Du, former President of Xian International University, joined the leadership team and Dr. Andy Pusca, Rector of Danubius University, also joined the leadership team.  The Association has had many successful international conferences, including several in Russia, China, Turkey, Romania, China, and Tunisia in Africa.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 Pandemic halted AGAUC conference activities and the war between Russia and Ukraine has not been particularly helpful to conferencing in the region.  

As nations continue to struggle to put the COVID-19 behind, it is becoming apparent that the residual impact of the pandemic lingers on at many institutions.  Some institutions, especially in the private sector, were particularly hit hard by enrollment and consequently financial challenges.  While many government leaders are making efforts to support their national higher education systems, the needs of the private higher education sector continue to grow, requiring a more concerted effort on the part of national policy makers.  For this reason, there is a renewed determination on the part of AGAUC to resume activities, especially given the progressive relaxation of the pandemic related restrictions.

Association Board

AGAUC is an association of institutional members across the globe.  The Association Board organizes election of the association leaders, develops and approves association’s constitutions, and provides oversight over the affairs of the association. 



Dr. Steve O. Michael

First Vice President

Dr. Andy Pusca

Second Vice President

Dr. Sergey Zapragaev