About GUNi

  • One of the world leading think tanks on higher education policy and management.
  • An international network that currently gathers 293 members from 88 countries, including higher education institutions, UNESCO Chairs and research centres.
  • A reference institution in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in higher education.                                                                                                                                                                                

GUNi was created in 1999 after the first UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education held by UNESCO to follow up and facilitate the implementation of its main decisions. It is supported by UNESCO and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), which hosts its secretariat and presidency since 2014.


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.

GUNi Mission

GUNi's mission is to foster the role of higher education in society by supporting the renewal of its visions and policies around the world in terms of public service, relevance, social responsibility and innovation.

GUNi promotes the exchange of resources, innovative ideas and experiences. GUNi allows for collective reflection and co-production of knowledge on higher education emerging issues.


  1. Defense and promotion of education, culture and science as decisive tools for human and social progress
  2. Sustainable development
  3. International cooperation, multilateralism and democratization of education and science
  4. University autonomy and academic freedom
  5. Responsibility and social commitment of higher education institutions
  6. Promotion of the diversity of higher education institutions
  7. Equity, equal opportunities and the defense of human rights
  8. Multidisciplinarity


  1. Promote the knowledge society by strengthening higher education systems and institutions for the sake of progress, culture and well-being
  2. Support institutions and governments around the world for the advancement of higher education, scientific research and innovation
  3. Promote the development of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals within higher education systems and institutions around the world
  4. Encourage academic and scientific diplomacy to promote multilateralism and international cooperation


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

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government