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UNITWIN UNESCO Chairs Programme

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The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme advances research, training and programme development in higher education by building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation. Established in 1992, today over 783 UNESCO Chairs and 67 UNITWIN Networks are established within the Programme involving over 854 institutions in 134 countries.

UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Network projects undertake training, research, information sharing and outreach activities in UNESCO major programmes areas (education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information). UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks provide an innovative modality for international academic cooperation (particularly North-South and South-South) and capacity building, acting as think tanks and as bridge builders between research and policy-making, and between academia and civil society.

The majority of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Network projects are interdisciplinary and intersectoral. Under its new strategic orientations for the Programme, UNESCO is creating a new generation of relevant, strategic and dynamic UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks closely aligned with the Organization’s programme objectives and priorities, and with a strong element of North-South and South-South cooperation.

UNESCO Chairs are awarded each year to individual higher education institutions to initiate programmes that further research and training in UNESCO's fields of competence.

Chairs involve academics, scholars and graduate students, as well as key partners from civil society and the economic sector.

UNITWIN Networks Through the University Twinning and Network Scheme (UNITWIN), UNESCO matches colleges, universities and research institutions in industrialised countries with counterparts in developing countries to share information and knowledge in areas of need in the development context. Scholars who participate are often linked through web sites and portals, in addition to loaned faculty positions, training and conferences.

One example is the ORBICOM network, established in 1994 to link UNESCO Chairs and associate members in the field of communication and communications technologies.

Global higher education liaison, vital to the role universities traditionally and continue to play, is greatly enhanced by the UNESCO 'label' to facilitate and enable cross-border relationships."

UNESCO Chair, University of Bath

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There are currently 13 UNESCO Chairs and three UNITWIN Network established in the UK
How to Apply for a UNITWIN Network or UNESCO Chair
How to Apply for a UNITWIN Network or UNESCO Chair

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