The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the realization of United Nations goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution. 

Since 2010, UNAI has created a vibrant and diverse network of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, and institutions of higher education and continuing education as well as educational associations.  There are over 1200 member institutions in more than 120 countries that reach millions of people in the education and research sectors around the world.  Since its inception, some thirty international networks of universities and other institutes of higher education and research have endorsed UNAI and encouraged their members to join, representing a global diversity of regions and a thematic wealth of disciplines.  

The work of these institutions is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, since they serve as incubators of new ideas, inventions and solutions to the many global challenges we face.  UNAI provides the integral link to these stakeholders to ensure that the international community harnesses the energy and innovation of young people and the research community in service to humanity.

Every subject and discipline can have a United Nations imprint.  We want relevant institutions to recognize this link and, often without additional effort or expense, undertake activities that can directly support United Nations mandates and objectives.

UNAI assists stakeholders in this regard by disseminating information on United Nations initiatives and activities, providing ideas on how these activities can be applied at the local level on college campuses, in classrooms and in communities, and by providing a platform where university students, academics and researchers can connect and share ideas, research and resources to further the Sustainable Development Goals and other United Nations mandates. 

More details, including the ten underlying principles of UNAI, the list of current members and how to join can be found online at  There is no cost or fee for joining UNAI.  The sole responsibility is for each member institution to demonstrate support of at least one of these principles each year.  It is our hope that this support can find reflection in United Nations policies and programmes, allowing for a sharing of experiences and effective practices as well as the infusion of scholarship to the realization of social, economic and political objectives.

Follow UNAI on Twitter (@ImpactUN) and Facebook ( 

In 2018, the United Nations Academic Impact and MCN have partnered to take the Millennium Fellowship to the next level, convening, challenging, and celebrating undergraduate leadership for the Sustainable Development Goals and UNAI principles.  Please read more on this innovative partnership here