University for Peace

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The University for Peace (UPEACE) was established in Costa Rica in 1980[1] "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence."[2]

At present, the UPEACE Costa Rica campus has 192 students from 55 countries, making it one of the most diverse universities in the world for its size. UPEACE is the only institution in the UN family authorized to grant degrees at both the Master's and Doctoral levels. In 2009, UNU in Tokyo, an affiliate institution of the UN family, also began offering Master's degrees. The language of instruction is English.



To ensure academic freedom, the university was established under its own Charter, approved by the United Nations General Assembly. UPEACE is not subject to UN regulations and is directed by its own Council of renowned personalities with expertise in peace and security matters. This has allowed the university to move rapidly and to innovate, focusing its new, rigorous academic programme on the fundamental causes of conflict through a multidisciplinary, multicultural-oriented approach. The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon is the honorary president of the university.

The wider mission of the university should be seen in the context of the worldwide peace and security objectives of the United Nations. The central importance of education, training and research in all their aspects to build the foundations of peace and progress and to reduce the prejudice and hatred on which violence, conflict and terrorism are based is increasingly recognized. The Charter of the university calls for UPEACE "to contribute to the great universal task of educating for peace by engaging in teaching, research, post-graduate training and dissemination of knowledge fundamental to the full development of the human person and societies through the interdisciplinary study of all matters related to peace".

Funding of UPEACE programs comes from donor governments, foundations and institutions who believe in the mission of the university. Fundraising for an endowment fund is in progress.

The vision of UPEACE is to become a network of collaborating UPEACE centres and activities in different regions, guided from its headquarters in Costa Rica and cooperating with a large number of universities, NGOs and other partners on education and research for peace. UPEACE is in the process of seeking accreditation through the Costa Rican official body SINAES.

In 2006, UPEACE launched its UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, offering short courses to non registered students, on subjects that include Nonprofit Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility, Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector, and Educating in the 21st Century.

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