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Cork set to host UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities

Tuesday, 15 August, 2017

Cork has been successful in its bid to host the third UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Conference in September 2017. The two previous conferences were held in Beijing 2013 and Mexico 2015, each attracting over 600 delegates from countries all over the globe.

A first for Ireland and for Europe:

Cork is the only Irish city currently recognized by UNESCO for its excellence in the field of Learning, and was one of just 12 cities globally, and 3 in Europe, presented with inaugural UNESCO Learning City Awards in 2015. A case study of the city was published by UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Unlocking the Potential of Urban Communities, Case Studies of Twelve Learning Cities also in 2015. The other two European cities recognised were Espoo (Finland) and Swansea (Wales).

Cork successfully bid against 3 other European cities to host the conference because of its track record. The international conference presents Ireland with a unique opportunity to further cement the reputation of the country and the city as a centre of excellence in education and learning. The UIL Directorate team visited Cork during the Lifelong Learning Festivals of 2015 and 2016 and selected the city following a strong bid prepared with the assistance of the Cork Convention Bureau who have recognised experience of hosting international conferences of this scale in the city previously.

The conference will be presented by UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning and be held in Cork City Hall, from Sept 18th – 20th 2017. The conference is supported by Cork City Council and Cork ETB hosted with its Learning City Project partners, UCC, CIT, and other agencies in the city. For further information and details on the conference programme please see