Yunnan University is an important bridge and window for China's opening up to the Southwest regions in technology, education and culture. It serves as the Study Abroad Training Base of the Ministry of Education, the Educational Aid Center for Africa and Asia of the MOE, the International Training Base for Software Talents of China and the Yunnan Province Training Base for International Talents. Yunnan University is entitled to accept Chinese government scholarship students, and independently recruits such students from ASEAN countries. Approved by the MOE, it is the Chinese secretariat for the China-ASEAN University Rector's Forum. It is also one of the five Chinese universities working to establish an ASEAN-China-Japan-ROK University Union, to consist of 30 universities from ASEAN countries, China, Japan and Republic of Korea.
Yunnan University has carried out comprehensive cooperation and exchanges in various fields with many institutions, and has signed agreements with high-level universities from the United States, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as others from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Many excellent scholars from various parts of the world come to Yunnan University to teach, lecture, meet fellow academics, or deliver speeches every year.
The 16th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences was hosted by Yunnan University in 2009. The University also hosted the "East Asia 10+6 Higher Education Cooperation Forum" in 2010, the first education forum within the frame of the East Asia Summit. In addition, the University has hosted many other high-level international conferences and forums which have contributed to the increased sophistication of its teachers and students and increased its level of internationalization.
The university sends teachers and students for academic exchange to foreign universities and research institutes every year. More than 1,800 teachers and students have recently studied at or visited foreign universities. The number of international students at Yunnan University is steadily increasing.
Yunnan University, blessed with its pooled talents, wide range of disciplines, and considerable academic influence, as well as the geographical advantage of neighboring Southeast and South Asian countries, aims to speed up its internationalization and provide human resources and talents for the development of Yunnan province. Its broader vision is to become a higher education bridgehead for China's opening up to the Southwest regions, and an important talent training base oriented towards Southeast Asia, South Asia and the neighboring area of the Indian Ocean.