UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity

The Network

The UNITWIN/UNESCO Network on Teacher Education was established on May, 2018. The purpose of the network is to promote teacher education practices especially in the fields of inclusive education, education for long distances and indigenous education. The Network will develop North-South collaboration and aims to create long-term partnerships.

The network has 18 member universities from 11 countries. It's led by Professor Tuija Turunen, University of Lapland. See full members list in Network members page.

Main Activities

The network aims to facilitate interaction and promote research and joint teaching among the teacher education programmes in the member universities. At the initial stage, the network envisages the following:

  • Shared research and co-authoring research articles
  • Joint conference presentations
  • Student/teacher/researcher mobility, both short-term and full-term visits, including teaching and research

The network has three sub-groups focusing on different themes. The thematic groups are open for all members.

Thematic groups


Inclusive education group focuses fostering and promoting research practices concerning inclusive education. The topic areas of interest for the Inclusion theme group are comprised of the inclusion of children's voices, consequences of COVID-19 in school and education, diverse needs of learners and education, diverse contexts of the indigenous communities in education, teacher students' ability to differentiate teaching in different levels of education institutions, rural schools and education, cultural and linguistic consciousness in education and considering nature and post-humanist questions in education.

Indigenous education

The theme group on Indigenous education aims to Indigenize and decolonize education. We facilitate interaction, promote research, and increase the status and recognition of Indigenous education both within local Indigenous communities and globally across the educational field. The members come from different academic disciplines but share a common interest in Indigenous education. We host joint activities, organize webinars and seminars, conduct research collaboratively, and publish jointly. This group also facilitates student, faculty and researcher exchanges among member. Our goal is to connect with Indigenous communities and promote an Indigenous worldview across all group activities.

Online and rural education

The collective aim of the Online and Rural Education theme group is to foster and promote research and develop practices concerning online education and education in rural, regional and metropolitan contexts in the Global North and South. To achieve this, our objectives are to enhance teachers' competencies in online teaching and learning in the school and Higher Education setting, and to support students for future readiness by ensuring educational equality and social well-being in rural and regional areas. Committed to collaboration, we seek to develop connection, cooperation and interaction with partners from other rural education networks and provide a place for idea exchange and knowledge sharing.

Network membership

We warmly welcome new members to our network! If you are interested in joining the network, please contact the network lead Tuija Turunen (tuija.turunen(at)ulapland.fi).

The possible new member needs to sign the Memorandum of Understanding. The membership needs to be reviewed and accepted in the network administrational meeting (held twice a year). All current members of the network need to accept the membership application.

All network members have 1-3 contact persons, who act as a contact point between the network and their organisation. In addition, there can be more colleagues involved in the network activities. All activities are open, so we warmly welcome all colleagues to join!

The network does not have a membership fee, and it does not provide any direct funding. The network members can and are recommended to apply funding together for joint activities. All members are responsible in covering the working hours used to the activities, as well as organising their own travels to network meetings.