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UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks

Launched in 1992, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, which involves over 850 institutions in 117 countries, promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence – i.e. in education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication.

Through this network, higher education and research institutions all over the globe pool their resources, both human and material, to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies. In many instances, the networks and chairs serve as thinktanks and bridgebuilders between academia, civil society, local communities, research and policy-making. They have proven useful in informing policy decisions, establishing new teaching initiatives, generating innovation through research and contributing to the enrichment of existing university programmes while promoting cultural diversity. In areas lacking expertise, chairs and networks have evolved into poles of excellence and innovation at regional or sub-regional levels. They also contribute to strengthening North-South-South cooperation.

Guidelines and procedures for application and renewal

UNESCO is revising UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks programme documents and procedures.

UNESCO accepts submissions of applications to establish new UNESCO Chairs or UNITWIN Networks between 1-30 April each year. Prior to submission, the proposal must have been validated by the relevant National Commission for UNESCO. Submissions are completed through an online platfrom. See the revised programme guidelines and procedures.   Kindly take into account the application form and the criteria for the establishment of new UNESCO Chairs and UNTIWIN Networks.

The 2022 application cycle is closed. You are invited to consult your respective National Commission for UNESCO for the 2023 application cycle as some begin the process of pre-selection months before the submission window in April.

Institutions wishing to renew their Agreements must submit a request to UNESCO for renewal six months before the expiry date of the active Agreement. Submissions are completed through an online platform and must include (1) Progress report for renewal – includes a report on activities and future workplans; and (2) letter of support from the host institution. Please consult the User guide for the renewal of UNESCO Chair or UNITWIN Network agreement for detailed instructions.

UNESCO Chairs in India
UNESCO New Delhi
The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme: guidelines and procedures (revised March 2022)
Humanistic futures of learning: perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks
UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme: brilliant minds for sustainable solutions, 25th anniversary