Dublin Learning City to promote accessible and life-long learning

An initiative to establish Dublin as a Learning City, as defined by UNESCO, was launched this week by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring during 1916 Leader and Learners bursaries in the Mansion House.

Supported by the Office of the Lord Mayor and Dublin City Council, the project is spearheaded by five universities and colleges across Dublin under the aegis of the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH), which is funded by Ireland’s Higher Education Authority (HEA). Dublin Learning City is led by Denise McMorrow, Student Experience Manager (IADT) and Trevor Purtill, Research & Development Programme Manager (MIE).

In addition to announcing Dublin’s ambition to become a UNESCO Learning City, this event will also see 40 ‘1916 Leaders and Learners’ bursaries awarded to students from the cluster institutions. Supporting students for the full duration of their undergraduate programmes, these bursaries were made possible by funding from the HEA’s PATH programme.

Led by the Leinster Pillar 1 cluster, this comprises University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Marino Institute of Education (MIE) and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

In collaboration with Dublin City Council and other education and community stakeholders, Dublin Learning City will deliver and co-ordinate the programmes concept across Dublin city. This will include a week-long Learning Festival. The overarching aims of this initiative are to establish sustainable intergenerational learning communities in the city and to work towards developing a strategy to attain the award of UNESCO Learning City for Dublin.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, said of the initiative, “We are committed to establishing Dublin as a Learning City and to creating inclusive lifelong learning opportunities for individuals to participate in learning socially, culturally and economically to build a more equal society and celebrate learning for all our citizens.”

Dr Anna Kelly, Chair at PATH Leinster Pillar 1 Consortium said, “Dublin has enormous potential to stimulate and support learning among its citizens in ways that can help tackle existing issues, strengthen social cohesion and solidarity, and transform the prospects of communities for the better.”

Dublin Learning City’s partners will amplify existing community education initiatives by using their city wide network and retaining an inclusive and inter-generational focus as a core operational tenet. The aim of the Dublin Learning City initiative is to ensure that education and learning is accessible for all inhabitants, regardless of age, and in traditional and non-traditional settings.

Dublin Learning City: Enabling, Fostering, Exploring and Celebrating Everyday Conversations about Learning and Opportunities for Dublin’s Citizens.

“By striving to establish Dublin as a learning city, I believe that as citizens we will benefit from enhanced individual empowerment and employability, social inclusion, social mobility, economic development, cultural prosperity, and sustainable development. Creating a culture of collaboration, leadership and promoting the principle that learning is fun will enable this project to succeed. #Live2Learn.” Denise McMorrow, Student Experience Manager, IADT. Joint Lead on Dublin Learning City.