Learning Cities in Germany

The German initiative “Lernen vor Ort” (LvO) [“learning where you live”] was launched in 2009 by the German Ministry of Education and Research with the support of the European Commission. It consists of representatives from about 30 cities and districts and intends to improve lifelong learning provision and infrastructure, with a focus on building capacities in the administrative structures of cities and districts.

The LvO network has organised a series of workshops for its members. UIL was invited to the most recent one held on 18 and 19 March in Darmstadt, Germany, focusing on concepts and means of knowledge transfer in support of the initiative’s objectives. UIL Senior Programme Specialist Werner Mauch spoke about the objectives of UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) and gave an overview on outcomes of the International Conference on Learning Cities, held in October 2013 in Beijing, China. After the workshop, participants were invited to explore within their fields of responsibility concrete ways their cities might engage with the GNLC. Subsequent discussions with participants were helpful to establish further possible linkages, such as how to use existing international city partnerships to advocate for the GNLC. Negotiations with the German Ministry about further support for GNLC are underway.