Academic diplomacy involves a wide range of activities, from exchanging professors and students to cooperation in certification and degree recognition. Academic diplomacy is used as a synonym for education diplomacy. It is also closely related to scientific and cultural diplomacy. Practical activities include joint research projects, conferences, and events that bring together scholars from different countries. Academic diplomacy aims to create a network of academics, students, and universities. Academic diplomacy also involves conferences of rectors and other official exchanges among universities and research centres. The ultimate aim of academic diplomacy is to increase mutual understanding and trust among countries. Academic networks could be particularly useful when political relations between countries are strained.
Academic diplomacy has recently become increasingly geopolitical; for example, academic research on critical issues such as satellite technology or semiconductors could be used for military and security purposes.