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Gwangmyeong, Republic of Korea

  • City population: 
    350,547
  • City/Urban area: 
    38.5
  • Population Density: 
    More than 500 inhabitants per km²
  • GDP – city: 
    Between USD 15,000 and USD 25,000
  • GDP - country: 
    USD$ 27,213
  • Average number of years of schooling: 
    13

Building a ‘happy’ lifelong learning city

Gwangmyeong has long pioneered the values and visions of lifelong learning.

Now, as a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, it hopes to expand and develop its lifelong learning strategies.

Vision and Motivation

Gwangmyeong’s goal is to become ‘a happy lifelong learning city where anyone can learn anything they want, anywhere, anytime’. Each learning stakeholder may have a different vision of how to achieve this; however, together their efforts help the city evolve into a place where lifelong learning is championed.

Challenges and Goals

Gwangmyeong has faced the following challenges in the city.

  • High population density
  • Aging population
  • Disparity between old and new areas of the city
  • Weak economic foundation
  • Traffic congestion and insufficient parking spaces
  • Desire to expand the city’s learning networks

Plan and Implementation

The local government is looking for new ways to develop the city’s lifelong learning strategy to enable all citizens to engage in activities appropriate for the different stages of their life cycles. The detailed implementation includes:

  • Establishing a jointly operated network of educational institutions and organizations that encompasses public and private sectors involved in education.
  • Operating neuseunhan hakgyo – ‘loose schools’ – that provide learning opportunities to suit everyone. These include literacy classes for adults, as well as systems for acquiring higher academic degrees through non-formal education.
  • Implementing official development assistance (ODA) projects for Burkina Faso and Timor-Leste to enable both countries to set up lifelong learning villages.

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