What is a Learning City?

UNESCO define a Learning City as a city which effectively mobilizes its resources across all sectors to maximise the opportunities for lifelong learning for all its citizens.

A learning city has developed the following elements:

  • Inclusive learning from basic to higher education
  • learning in families and communities
  • learning for and in the workplace
  • modern learning technologies
  • quality and excellence in learning
  • a culture of learning throughout life

Cork City has a vibrant, inclusive, quality infrastructure of education from basic to higher education and is home to enthusiastic, involved and committed learning communities.  Through the adoption by Cork City Council in 2014 of the Beijing Declaration on Learning Cities the city has committed itself developing best practice as a learning city.

UNESCO Learning City Award

Cork is one of only 12 cities worldwide have achieved this Award to date, one of just three in Europe and the only Irish city. The Award was presented at the Second International Conference on Learning Cities in Mexico in 2015.

Our Philosophy

Learning for All

We believe that, in order to empower citizens – all citizens – we must strive to give them access to, and support them to take up a broad array of learning opportunities throughout their lives. We recognise that learning communities, learning regions and the learning city are pillars of inclusive and sustainable development that will have benefits for all.

Learning for Life

Learning improves quality of life, equips citizens to anticipate and tackle new challenges, and helps build better and more sustainable societies. We know that learning can play a significant role in promoting social inclusion, a healthy society, economic growth, public safety and environmental protection.

Learning for Sustainable Development

We recognise that we live in a complex, fast-changing world where social, economic and political norms are constantly redefined. We envision that through learning our city will facilitate individual empowerment, build social cohesion, nurture active citizenship, promote economic and cultural prosperity, and lay the foundation for sustainable development.

Our Projects

Lifelong Learning Festival

Cork’s Lifelong Learning Festival promotes and celebrates learning of all kinds across all age groups, abilities and interests, from preschool to post retirement.

UNESCO Conference 2017

Cork is the selected host city for the third UNESCO International Learning Cities Conference in September 2017. Following the previous conferences in Beijing 2013 and Mexico 2015, this significant event will bring over 600 delegates, representing over 100 learning cities, members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, to Cork City Hall from 18th to 20th September.

Learning Neighbourhoods

Cork has been developing learning neighbourhoods since 2015, bringing people from city communities together with a range of partners to strengthen the learning opportunities in their area and to recognise the good work in learning and community engagement that is already happening.

Investigate – Participate – Celebrate!

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