What is a chair, at UNESCO and ICDE?

UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded on November 16th 1945, as a specialized agency of the United Nations. UNESCO promotes international cooperation through education, science and culture among its 196 Member States and nine Associate Members.

UNITWIN stands for University Twinning and Networking Scheme. The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme was established in 1992 to contribute to research, training and programme development in higher education. To this extent, strong university networks are established, encouraging inter-university cooperation in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence. The programme actively promotes North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation to develop higher education and research institutions.

Today, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme involves over 854 institutions in 134 countries.

Further information can be found on the UNESCO and UNITWIN websites.


ICDE Chairs in OER (Open Educational Resources) hold the position of chair at an ICDE member institution, and are experts in OER. They are appointed by the ICDE Executive Committee for a period of four years, and this appointment can be renewed once.

The ICDE Chair label is not a funded position, but awarding it provides extra profile to the Chair holder. ICDE Chair holders are bound to establish a network in which they and their teams collaborate. ICDE Chair holders are not only expected to do research and to report and publish on the work done, but also to contribute through reports and presentations to the utilization/ valorization of the outcomes of their work for the further innovation of ODL and Lifelong Learning in general. ICDE Chair holders are further expected to play a role at ICDE events.

More information at: http://icde.org/