5th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education
Higher Education's Commitment to Sustainability: from Understanding to Action
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)
23 - 25 November 2010


The Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI) is a global network made up of 180 members from the five continents. These members include the UNESCO Chairs in higher education, higher education institutions, research centers and networks related to higher education. GUNI was set up in 1999 by UNESCO, the United Nations University (UNU) and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), which hosts its secretariat, to follow up the agreements taken at the World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE) held in Paris in 1998.

The mission of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI) is to contribute to the strengthening of higher education's role in society through the renewal and innovation of higher education main issues across the world under a vision of public service, relevance and social responsability. 

Main objectives
  • Help bridge the gap between developed and developing countries in the field of higher education.
  • Foster networking among higher education institutions and cooperation between them and society.
  • Promote the exchange of resources, innovative ideas and experiences to facilitate higher education's role for social transformation through institutional processes of change.
Lines of Action

Higher Education in the World Report

The Report is a collective work published as part of the GUNI series on the social commitment of universities. It is the result of a global and regional analysis of higher education in the world. With a specific subject chosen for each edition, the Report reflects on the key issues and challenges facing higher education and its institutions in the 21st century. It is currently published in English, Spanish and Chinese.


Universities and Social Commitment Observatory

The Observatory is a point of reference and a place for dialogue and exchange for those interested in the social responsibility of universities. It identifies, disseminates and facilitates the transfer of good practices and innovative experiences, which enrich the process transforming higher education institutions. The Observatory also acts as a resource centre, using the common goal of social responsibility as its underlying premise.

International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education

The GUNI Conference is an international forum for debate on the challenges facing higher education. Each edition of the Conference deals with the subject chosen for that year's Report. Held in Barcelona and attended by renowned experts, university leaders, academics, policymakers and practitioners from all over the world, the Conference addresses innovative proposals and ideas, as well as the results of the latest research on each subject.


GUNI reinforces and expands its network beyond its member institutions by encouraging the dynamic involvement of a wide range of actors in higher education in its activities. It fosters cooperation between them and promotes debate and the creation and exchange of knowledge on higher education worldwide by means of both on-site and on-line activities. The website and the monthly newsletter are cornerstones of the accomplishment of this objective.

Research projects

GUNI undertakes research projects on higher education for public and private not-for-profit institutions.

For more information about GUNI, go tho the following web page www.guninetwork.org

GUNI's founding members: Sponsored by:
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Unesco United Nations University
Supported by:
Ministerio de Educación Generalitat de Catalunya Ajuntament de Barcelona