About Learning Cities

What is a Learning City?

Defined by UNESCO as 'a city which effectively mobilises its resources across all sectors to maximise the opportunities for lifelong learning for all its citizens'.

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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

Put simply, we believe that 

A Learning City IS what a Learning City DOES. 

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 Corks Lifelong Learning Festival, our Learning Neighborhoods and other Learning Events we are committed to developing Cork as a Learning City for all its citizens - all ways and for all. Cork’s Annual Lifelong Learning Festival is a celebration of a learning city in action. A week of free events throughout the city and county promoting learning of all kinds across all age groups, abilities and interests, from preschool to post-retirement.

Learning For All

To empower citizens we believe in giving access to and supporting all of our citizens to take up any learning opportunities, at any stage, throughout their lives. We believe that a Learning City supports inclusivity and sustainable development that will benefit all. Cork Learning City plays host to six active learning neighbourhoods - all coming together to celebrate and encourage learning experiences within their communities. 

Learning For Life

Learning improves the quality of an individual’s life by equipping citizens to anticipate and tackle new challenges and thus helps build better more sustainable societies. Learning plays a significant role in promoting social inclusion, a healthy society, economic growth, public safety and environmental protection.

Learning For Sustainable Development

Supporting a culture of lifelong learning in our city will facilitate individual empowerment, build social cohesion, nurture active citizenship and lay the foundation for sustainable development by promoting economic and cultural prosperity.

UNESCO Learning City Award

The UNESCO Learning City Award has been established to recognise and showcase good practices in promoting quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all at the local level. This biennial award is presented to cities in each of the five UNESCO regions that have demonstrated significant progress in learning city development by implementing the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities guiding documents.

Cities are awarded for their efforts to develop into a leaning city, but receipt of the award does not mean that UNESCO has designated them ‘learning cities’. Only member cities of the UNESCO GNLC are eligible to apply for the UNESCO Learning City Award, which is valid for one award cycle.

The Award was presented to Cork City at the Second International Conference on Learning Cities in Mexico in 2015. Cork was proud to host the third UNESCO International Learning Cities Conference in 2017. This significant and successful event brought over 600 delegates to Cork City; including global representatives from over 100 learning cities and members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. 

The fourth International Conference on Learning Cities is due to take place 1 - 3 October 2019 in Medellín, Colombia - Learning Cities 2019 theme is 'Inclusion - a principle for Lifelong Learning and Sustainable Cities.

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