The Republic of Korea’s learning cities capture international attention

© Gyeonggi do Lifelong Learning Institution (GILL)

Two recent events on promoting learning cities were held in the Republic of Korea, against the backdrop of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning’s (UIL) initiative to establish an International Platform for Learning Cities (IPLC).

On 3 June 2013, UIL co-hosted the Lifelong Learning Planet Forum in Suwon, Republic of Korea, in collaboration with the National Institute for Lifelong Education (NILE) and the Gyeonggi Do Provincial Institute for Lifelong Learning (GILL). Two-hundred international and domestic participants discussed how to enhance international cooperation to develop sustainable learning cities.

In his opening remarks to the Forum, UIL Director Arne Carlsen highlighted the role of learning cities in tackling urban development challenges, and lauded the Republic of Korea’s achievement in designating 90 Lifelong Learning Cities in recent years.

On 10 June 2013, the Expert Symposium for Sustainable Lifelong Learning Cities in Asia and the Pacific was held in Changwon, organised by the City of Changwon, the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, and UNESCO Bangkok Office. Its theme was ‘Lifelong Learning for Unemployed Youth in Cities’. Experts from international organisations, (including UIL, the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations University), and Member States (including Australia, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea) discussed the key role of lifelong learning in the creation of employment opportunities in cities.

At the Symposium, Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok, introduced the IPLC as a remarkable approach to building sustainable learning cities in the international community. On behalf of the UIL Task Force on Learning Cities, Ms Sunok Jo gave a presentation on the preparation for establishing the IPLC and the draft Key Features of Learning Cities.