DMU joins huge UN network of universities around the world

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been made a member of the United Nations’ Academic Impact (UNAI) programme – one of the world’s largest higher education networks.

The UNAI - which has more than 1,000 members - aligns higher education institutions with the goals and mandates pursued by the UN.


These include promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution. 

The move follows a recent summit held at the UN headquarters in New York, where DMU launched a new chapter in the UN’s Together campaign in support of refugees.

DMU has been asked by the UN to take the lead in engaging the higher education sector worldwide to be part of the campaign.


At the January event – which formed the climax to a large-scale #DMUglobal trip taking hundreds of students out to the US for dozens of unique, once-in-a-lifetime academic experiences – DMU was joined by nine other universities from countries including Germany, China, USA and Cyprus to debate the current challenges faced by refugees in local communities.

Partners signed an action charter which sets out what will be done by universities on their own campuses and beyond to support refugees, encourage greater tolerance and inclusiveness and argue for the positive benefits of migration.

This event will be followed by a second event at the UN in New York, this time at the NGO Relations office. Here, on February 27, Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, will lead a live chat session, feeding back to the Department of Public Information on the January event and outlining how the campaign will develop over the coming weeks and months.

As a member of the UNAI, DMU is poised to begin a new campaign of work, in tandem with partner universities to foster support for refuges in communities across the globe.

See the full experience of our recent #DMUglobal trip to New York
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Professor Shellard said: “The UNAI aligns with many of our current activities and indeed our own mission as a 21st century university.

“Having joined this programme, we will be furthering the work set out in the UNAI’s ten guiding principles both here in Leicester and around the world, working collectively with our partner universities in the Together campaign.”


Membership of the UNAI network relies on only one condition – that each of the members actively demonstrates support of at least one of UNAI’s ten guiding principles each year.

These include addressing poverty, education for all, global citizenship and human rights, among others.

Posted on Wednesday 24th January 2018

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