UNITWIN is the abbreviation for the University Twinning
and Networking Programme.
This UNESCO programme was established in 1992, in
accordance with a resolution adopted by the General
Conference of UNESCO at its 26th session held in
1991. As of February 2021, there are 44 UNITWIN Networks
from 23 countries over the world.
The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme was conceived as a way to advance research, training and programme development in
all of UNESCO’s fields of competence by building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation through the transfer
of knowledge across borders. Since 1992, the programme has aroused great interest among Member States.
The UNITWIN programme aims to be pertinent, forward-thinking and to positively impact socio-economic development effectively.
So far, UNESCO Chair and UNITWIN Network projects have proven useful in establishing new teaching programmes, generating
new ideas through research and reflection, and facilitating the enrichment of existing university programmes while respecting
Today, 830 UNESCO Chairs and 44 UNITWIN Networks are established within the Programme in over 110 UNESCO Member States
involving more than 812 institutions in 193 UNESCO Member States as of January 2019.
Since the adoption of new strategic orientations for the UNITWIN Programme by the Executive Board at its 176th session in April 2007, emphasis has been placed on :
The dual function of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks as thinktanks and bridge-builders between the academic world, civil society, local communities, research and policy-making.
Realignment with UNESCO’s priorities(Medium Term Strategy for 2008-2013).
Readjustment of geographic imbalance which is now in favor of the North.
Stimulation of triangular North-South-South cooperation.
Creation of regional or sub-regional poles of innovation and excellence.
Closer cooperation with the United Nations University(UNU).