University rectors' response to Johannesburg Summit
UniPID was established in response to the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, where institutional partnerships for development were encouraged. Following this Summit, on December 2, 2002, representatives from eleven Finnish universities assembled at the University of Jyväskylä, expressing their willingness for promoting knowledge-based sustainable development cooperation.
Universities' strategic approach to international development
To guarantee a strategic approach to their institutional cooperation and involvement in development initiatives, the Finnish universities decided to include and promote international development as a part of their international strategies. In this regard, the universities also supported the suggestions for a closer, inter-institutional co-operation in Finland, leading to the establishment of Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID). UniPID was thereafter created to provide the strategic coordination required to build ties and increase co-operation between Finnish universities in the field of sustainable development and international development cooperation.
Funding and coordination
UniPID is currently coordinated by the University of Helsinki. Previously, UniPID was coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä from 2005 until 2020. The network has been offering virtual studies courses for students at UniPID member universities from 2007 with increasing success. The scope, variety and reach of the UniPID activities have been multiplied thereafter. The network received funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture until the change of the Finnish university law in 2010, after which the networks' core funding has been collected in the form of member university fees. UniPID has also been successful in project planning and building international partnerships, receiving continuous external funding from the European Commission since 2009 (FP7 and H2020) and Ministry of Education and Culture since 2013.
Photo credit: Mona Eendra, 2017 on Unsplash.