UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in Hamburg celebrates 70th anniversary


© UNESCO / Thorsten Jander
26 October 2022

High-level guests and partners from around the world celebrated the 70th anniversary of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) today in Hamburg’s Theater im Zimmer, as well as online. Based in Hamburg, the Institute is the only United Nations working unit with an explicit mandate for lifelong learning.

Partners from around the world ejoined Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, and Anna Bartels, Commissioner for Foreign Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, to pay tribute to the work of UIL over the past 70 years.

On the occasion of the anniversary, Dr Tschentscher, emphasized: "The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning is an important international organization in Hamburg. It contributes to opening up better educational opportunities for people all over the world. Lifelong learning and training is becoming increasingly important in a time of rapid technological progress and social change. On behalf of the Senate, I would like to thank the staff of the Institute for their work and wish them continued success for the future."

Founded in 1952 to promote pan-European East-West dialogue through education programmes, the Hamburg-based institute has expanded its mandate in subsequent decades, opening up learning opportunities for millions of people around the world through literacy programmes in developing countries, the expansion of adult education worldwide, and the implementation of lifelong learning in nearly 300 cities around the globe. UIL is one of eight UNESCO education institutes worldwide. It is financially supported by the German Bundestag, the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

David Atchoarena, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, said: “Lifelong learning is key to sustainable development. In order to tackle global challenges such as climate change and to actively shape the digital transformation, young and old must have relevant skills and knowledge. The ultimate skill of the twenty-first century is the ability to learn. With the work of our institute, we are laying the foundations so that people all over the world can learn!”

As part of the anniversary event, the exhibition ‘The power of lifelong learning’ presents a retrospective of the ‘Institute’s work over the past decades. This exhibition is also accessible virtually.

Further information

Website UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

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