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World Forum of UNESCO Chairs



  How to establish a UNESCO Chair? How to establish a Network?  
unitwin.jpgA Chair can be established as a new teaching and research unit at a university or other institution of higher education and/or research for an initial period of three years. Such a unit should include:

  • (i) a Chair holder as its academic head;
  • ii) a number of lecturers and researchers from the host institution and from other institutions, both in the country concerned and from abroad (particularly developing countries and those in transition) who are associated with the activities of the Chair;
  • (iii) a number of students and researchers pursuing postgraduate studies or high-level training and research under the Chair.

    A Chair may be developed within a university department by reinforcing an existing teaching/research programme in a particular field and giving it international dimension.

    Since the UNESCO Chairsare joint undertakings in which UNESCO joins forces with interested institutions, associations and organizations as well as with potential donors, the Chairs could have a joint designation: UNESCO/IGO Chairs; UNESCO/NGO Chairs;UNESCO/Foundations, Banks, Agencies Chairs: UNESCO/consortium of universities Chair(s); UNESCO/Industry Chairs, etc.

    UNESCO Chairs and Networks are not usually named after individuals, except when they are intended to commemorate an outstanding and universally acknowledged contribution made to the field of study concerned by a person (e.g. Cousteau Ecotechnie Network, Oliver Tambo Chair in Human Rights)

    Establishing a UNESCO Network?

    A group of universities in different countries (north-south; south-south) may decide to join forces in addressing an area of need in the development context and so doing establish a Network. Within this Network, each participating institution may or may not have an individual Chair. However in practice,institutions in the network progress towards establishing individual Chairs.

    The partnership is formal and is established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a duration of five years among the participating institutions, that sets out the purpose of the Network, its expected outputs, how it will function and how it will be sustained.

    Existing inter-university networks may express an interest in becoming UNESCO network by gearing their activities towards the needs of higher education institutions in the developing countries.

    Universities and other higher education institutions hosting UNESCO Chairs may come together to form a UNESCO network. In this case, the network is formalized by an exchange of letters between UNESCO and the hosting institution.

    Universities, already twinned with other universities by virtue of bilateral agreements, may decide to expand these bilateral agreements into a multilateral one and apply for a UNESCO Network.

    Inter-university cooperation programmes (training and research) in a particular field may be turned into a more stable linking arrangement by the participating institutions agreeing to associate their activities with the goals and objectives of the UNITWIN Programme.

    To download a copy in PDF format of the Guidelines and Procedures for UNESCO UNITWIN Programme click here

    Guidelines and procedures for the UNESCO UNITWIN Programme, February 2006

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