The activities of the UNU system are assisted, in many instances, by a network of designated UNU associated institutions. These are organizations that are implementing large, multi-year joint programmes with UNU. Currently, 6 institutions are designated as UNU associated institutions by the UNU Council.
According to the UNU Statutes, the specific criteria to be observed in designating a UNU associated institution are that the association shall:
- be established on the grounds of academic excellence and be based on the contributions the University and the institution can jointly make in dealing with the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare
- seek to enhance the capabilities of associated institutions and the University, particularly in developing countries
- where mutually appropriate, establish or form part of a network of other institutions and scholars
- not result in an undue financial burden on the University.
The current UNU associated institutions are the following:
- Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand
- Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
- Gansu Natural Energy Research Institute, Gansu, China
- Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology, Gwangju, Republic of Korea
- National Food Research Institute (NFRI), Ibaraki, Japan
- Scottish Association for Marine Science, Glasgow, Scotland