The Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) is an international network created in 1999 and supported by the UNESCO and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), which hosts its secretariat and presidency.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

GUNi is a network currently composed of 250 members from 80 countries, which includes the UNESCO Chairs in Higher Education, higher education institutions, research centers and networks related to innovation and the social commitment of higher education.

GUNi hearquarters are located in Barcelona. The Secretariat and Presidency of GUNi are hosted by ACUP.​

GUNi has regional offices in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab States and Europe.

GUNi was created within the framework of the UNITWIN / UNESCO Chairs Programme, by UNESCO, UNU and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) after UNESCO's World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE) in 1998 to give continuity to and facilitate the implementation of its main decisions.

GUNi in a nutshell: download the GUNi leaflet.


Higher education institutions, as well as the societies in which they operate, are currently undergoing a global transformation process in all contexts, although with specific characteristics in different parts of the world. The role of higher education institutions in society will influence the place of knowledge in facing the challenges the world faces today; and at the same time, this will influence HE institutions impact and opportunities to contribute to build a better world. Higher education faces the challenge of creating and distributing socially relevant knowledge and of doing it with  anticipation so as to play a proactive and committed role in the transformation and positive change of societies.

Therefore, there is a need to reconsider what the social contribution of higher education should be. GUNi encourages higher education institutions to redefine their role, embrace this process of transformation and strengthen their critical stance within society.


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya