UNESCO Chairs chart new paths to an increasing engagement of universities both global and local


Up to 30 participants worldwide hold a richly diversified meeting about the social responsibility of higher education was held on September 29 in Barcelona, providing an important look at the strong bridge between universities and society as well as meaningful contributions for the next GUNI’s World Report

On September 29, was held the UNESCO Chairs Working Group Meeting promoted by GUNi. The event took place at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site where participants had the opportunity to develop a blueprint for the Report Higher Education in the World 6 (HEIW6). During the day, guests discussed about the role that UNESCO Chairs are playing for the local and global impact of Higher Education Institutions and how they can contribute to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) approved by United Nations last week.

The meeting was organized en four main blocks. First, the welcome address, chaired by the GUNI’s president Enric Fossas, had the participation of Megha Amrith Research Fellow from UNU-GCM, Irène Rabenoro, Chief of the UNESCO Higher Education Section and Claudi Alsina, General Secretary of the Interuniversity Council of Catalonia.

During that, Irène Rabenoro highlighted the role played by UNESCO Chairs in order to contribute to the achievements of the SDG’s, to the duality between global and local and how they can be useful at the next GUNi’s Report.

This introduction was followed by a session with Josep Maria Vilalta, Executive Director of GUNi and Executive Secretary of ACUP and Francesc Xavier Grau, Non-Executive Director of GUNi. These sessions brought all participants to the same level of understanding regarding GUNi and its projects, especially regarding the HEIW6 displaying a deeply understanding of the ‘glocal’ concept and both the local and the global impact of higher education.

After that, five participants presented different projects from UNESCO Chairs around the world and discussed their role in Higher Education institutions for the local and global development. During the presentations different approaches were carried out, from a holistic perspective to a more idealistic and local issues. Trends and challenges of Higher Education and its role played in a globalized world were also discussed among participants.

During the afternoon, was performed a working group in which guests discussed about the HEIW6 and how UNESCO Chairs can contribute to the different dimensions of this project. In order to address these issues, and to work towards a more coherent approach, the  Professor Jorge Martinez from the UNESCO Chair in University Policy and Management, highlighted the outcomes from the HEIW6 with the aim to open a discussion and launch the cooperation working plan for the coming 2-3 months.

Keep updated about HEIW6 thought our website or by Twitter on GUNi_net with the hashtag #HEIW6

​Here you can watch the video where participants explained the importance of the "UNESCO Chairs Working Group Meeting” and the main challenges regarding the SDG's.




  • 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