The Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) was created in 1999 by UNESCO, the United Nations University (UNU) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Barcelona TECH after UNESCO's World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE) in 1998, to give continuity to and facilitate the implementation of its main decisions.
At no time in human history was the welfare of nations so closely linked to the quality and outreach of their higher education systems and institutions. (World Conference on Higher Education Partners, June 2003).
As the only United Nations agency with a mandate in higher education, UNESCO facilitates the development of evidence-based policies in response to new trends and developments in this field emphasizing its role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and particularly poverty eradication.
The Organization fosters innovation to meet education and workforce needs and examines ways of increasing higher education opportunities for young people from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
It deals with cross-border higher education and quality assurance, with a special focus on mobility and recognition of qualifications, and provides tools to protect students and other stakeholders from low-quality provision of higher education. UNESCO promotes policy dialogue and contributes to enhancing quality education, strengthening research capacities in higher education institutions, and knowledge sharing across borders.
United Nations University
The United Nations University (UNU) - the academic arm of the United Nations system - implements research and educational programmes in the area of sustainable development, with the particular aim of assisting developing countries.
Established by the UN General Assembly in 1973 as “an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”, UNU operates through a worldwide nexus of institutes and programmes that are coordinated by UNU Centre in Tokyo.
UNU aspires to be a world-class international research, teaching and capacity building institution that provides global leadership on aspects of peace, development and sustainability. UNU serves as a think tank for the United Nations system and provides a bridge between the UN and the international academic and policy-making communities.
With a systems-oriented approach that is necessary for achieving sustainable solutions to the world’s challenges, the University’s activities are clustered into five interlinking thematic areas:
Further, in its role as a capacity builder for developing countries and countries in transition, and to intensify North–South research and teaching interaction, the University has launched an initiative to convert the UNU system into a “twin institutes” structure, wherein each UNU institute will have two (or, in rare cases, more) locations: one in a developed country and one in a developing country.
UNU acts as a conduit for the diversity of the world’s knowledge relating to sustainable development, providing a platform for dialogue and new and creative ideas that are based on rigorous research methodology.
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)
The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC) is a university with a consolidated worldwide reputation and an international vision that generates technological innovation and attracts talent.
The objectives of the UPC are based on internationalization, as it is Spain’s technical university with the highest number of international PhD students and Spain’s university with the highest number of international master’s degree students. The UPC has a vision of innovation and talent in a global and highly competitive world.
The UPC is home to more strategic research projects funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Program than any other Spanish university. Today, the University is characterized by a purposefully open stance towards international students, a wide selection of master’s degree programs in English, participation in the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and various international research programs, and a consolidated line of worldwide cooperation activities that serve as tools for change and social progress.
Our students and faculty maintain links with universities in Europe, Asia and the Americas through both academic exchange and participation in international research projects.
An appealing range of educational programs has positioned the University as a welcoming place for the exchange of knowledge, with more than 2,000 foreign students from all over the world enrolling each year. Science, technical fields, technology and architecture form the core of our personality.