UNESCO Associated Schools promote the ideals and values of UNESCO by reinforcing the humanistic, ethical, cultural and international dimensions of education.
The specificity of ASPnet projects is their focus on values and rights, their desire to develop and use innovative approaches, their international perspective and their collaboration with like-minded schools at the national, regional or international level.
Each of the 10,000 member schools defines and implements annual projects based on the main ASPnet study themes, which in turn relate to UNESCO's mandate and to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. For example, students can: research, learn about and share their findings on climate change by producing radio podcasts or school newspapers; interview their elders about old and new challenges affecting their community; learn how to protect World Heritage sites or biosphere reserves close to their school; exchange ideas with young people from other countries about the impact and effects of HIV and AIDS; participate in art competitions to raise awareness of disability; organize public campaigns on International Human Rights Day; visit gardens and farms to learn about biodiversity. Equally, vocational schools may develop advertising campaigns on energy consumption in the school or collaborate with local authorities to design public information materials, while teacher training institutions may reorient or expand their programmes to include values education, sustainable development, inclusive or participatory pedagogy or prospective studies on global challenges.
In addition to the local school projects, national, regional or international flagship projects, conferences and contests are coordinated and supported by UNESCO and the ASPnet National Coordinators, with a view to fostering collaboration, mutual learning and the exchange of good practices among the participating schools.