Gunsan, Republic of Korea

  • City population: 
  • City/Urban area: 
  • Population Density: 
    Between 300 and 500 inhabitants per km²
  • GDP – city: 
    More than USD 25,000
  • GDP - country: 
    USD$ 27,221
  • Average number of years of schooling: 

Growing together: an independent Lifelong Learning City

Gunsan has long been a centre for modern history and culture in the Republic of Korea. It is an international and growing trade port that looks to the future: a unique city where present and future co-exist.

Vision and motivation

The city’s impressive growth can be attributed to a number of lifelong learning policies designed to transform it into a ‘Child-friendly City’ and to its vision of growing together as ‘an independent Lifelong Learning City’ dedicated to enhancing its citizens’ skills as lifelong learners. Gunsan also hosts an ‘on-demand’ lifelong learning project. As a result of its endeavours, the city was awarded first place in the 2010 National Education and Science City contest.

Challenges and goals

To expand its on-demand lifelong learning project, Gunsan will increase its tailored learning provisions to ensure that each citizen can participate in at least one lifelong learning programme per year. It will also strengthen its cooperations with other lifelong learning institutions and programmes of learning in the workplace. The city will secure sufficient funding and foster dedicated human resources in each community to ensure that all citizens receive equal learning provisions.

Plan and implementation

To realize its vision, the city has established a municipal Human Resources development plan. It has built basic infrastructures, run educational programmes, operated an information network and promoted exchange programmes at home and abroad.

The city has 61 lifelong learning centres and 90 learning hubs. It has also introduced the on-demand Happy Learning Centre project, whose aim is to increase citizens’ happiness through specialized regional programmes, lecture series and regional provisions for children. In addition, the city is constantly working to implement literacy education as a means of reducing the illiteracy rate. The city also celebrates its lifelong learning efforts through an annual lifelong learning festival. It has created a website to provide information online, and runs a free ‘Lifelong Cyber-learning Centre’.

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