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FOREWORD

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has made continual efforts in promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. Recent progress it has made across the different areas of its work is presented in this issue of NEXUS, the first of 2017. The UIL Governing Board has acted as jury to select 16 cities to receive the UNESCO Learning City Award 2017. The award acknowledges and encourages exemplary practices of cities around the world in providing inclusive local access to education and lifelong learning. Additionally, the institute has expanded its Global Observatory of Recognition, Validation and Accreditation (RVA) of non-formal and informal learning. UIL seeks to inspire more recognition of non-formal and informal learning, so as to motivate individuals’ engagement in lifelong learning. As such, at multiple levels and in various ways, UIL, through the pursuit of lifelong learning for all, is fulfilling its unique role as an international research and educational centre to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

As my term as director of this excellent education and lifelong learning research institute draws to a close, I would like to thank you all for your sustained support over the past six years, and since the inception of the institute. Grounded in a fundamental commitment to education as a human right, and in the vision elaborated in UNESCO’s overarching principle, ‘to create peace in the minds of men and women,’ UIL strives in a fast-changing world to help make education and lifelong learning in UNESCO Member States a reality. I am proud and humbled to have played a part in this great and ongoing journey.

I wish you enjoyable reading, and farvel!
 

Arne Carlsen
Director
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

 
Promote lifelong learning for all
on multiple layers
Sixteen cities receive the UNESCO Learning City Award
Sixteen member cities have been selected by an international jury to receive a UNESCO Learning City Award 2017 in recognition of their outstanding progress in promoting education and lifelong learning within their communities.

The 2017 awardees are:

  • Bristol (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
  • Câmara de Lobos (Portugal)
  • Contagem (Brazil)
  • Gelsenkirchen (Germany)
  • Giza (Egypt)
  • Hangzhou (China)
  • Larissa (Greece)
  • Limerick (Ireland)
  • Mayo-Baléo (Cameroon)
  • N’Zérékoré (Guinea)
  • Okayama (Japan)
  • Pécs (Hungary)
  • Surabaya (Indonesia)
  • Suwon (Republic of Korea)
  • Tunis (Tunisia)
  • Villa María (Argentina)
The award is integral to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities project, a flagship initiative led by UIL to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Lifelong learning has a key role in forging inclusive, sustainable, social, economic and environmental development. By recognizing cities’ effort in providing lifelong learning opportunities and education access for their citizens, the award aims to promote good practice in making local progress towards global goals, and to motivate cities all over the world to advance inclusive lifelong learning for all.

The award ceremony will take place during the third International Conference on Learning Cities in Cork, Ireland on 18–20 September 2017.

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Building bridges between education and sustainability

Cities have an important role to play in advancing sustainable solutions at local level through education. As key partner of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, with its Secretariat at UIL, organized the regional meeting of GAP for Europe and North America. Experts and city representatives gathered to share good practice and discuss the challenges encountered in promoting ESD through encouraging lifelong learning at local level. The workshop promoted networking, sharing of good practices, and thus paved the way for ESD to be integrated into urban development agendas on a larger scale.

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UIL's Global RVA Observatory enriched

UIL's Global Observatory of Recognition, Validation and Accreditation (RVA) of non-formal and informal learning has been developed further. The platform now has 50 case studies from 26 countries, as well as 28 country profiles. These good practices from around the world are expected to inspire employers and leaders of education institutions to more strategically recognize skills and knowledge obtained through non-formal and informal learning, which in return will motivate individuals to undertake lifelong learning.

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Unveil progress and potential of adult learning for tailored actions

GRALE III reaches out to a wider world

Another round of regional launches of the third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III) has been organized. This time, progress and challenges in inter-sectoral relationships between Adult Learning and Education and health and well-being; employment and the labour market; and social, civic and community life, were reviewed and discussed in the following three regions:

These launches also welcomed the addition of Arabic and Portuguese translations of the report, which expects to allow its findings to benefit a wider audience.

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Improve literacy and basic skills by strengthening capacities
RAMAA II supports literacy researchers in Africa

Three master’s students from Niger were able to deepen research projects closely linked with RAMAA (Recherche-action sur la mesure des apprentissages des bénéficiaires des programmes d’alphabétisation), with expertise and resources offered by UIL. The literacy research scholarship that the students received is the first step in UIL's investment to stimulate related research in the ongoing second phase of RAMAA, so as to ensure the sustainability of the project. Following this, UIL will collaborate with 12 national universities in Africa to establish a doctoral school network, in support of the countries’ efforts to advance literacy through effective measurement of literacy programme participants’ outcomes.

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Tackling education challenges with distance learning

To explore innovative solutions to the education and development challenges currently faced in sub-Saharan Africa, representatives from the Association of African Distance Learning Centers (AADLCs) and international experts in non-formal adult education gathered at UIL for a workshop: Responding to the Challenges and Emerging Demands for Continuing Education Through Customized Distance Learning. Participants discussed and affirmed the potential impacts of emerging technologies in distance learning. As an outcome, further partnerships between African Distance Learning Centers and UIL will be developed, which expects to introduce a lifelong learning perspective on customized distance learning so as to ensure sustainability.

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Empowering women with access to lifelong learning

Gender equality can only be fully achieved with empowered women. A core stepping stone to reach this goal is to broaden the access of girls and women to learning opportunities. Bearing this in mind, UIL has been working with the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) since March 2016 on the project: Youth-led Action-oriented Research on Basic Skills Education for Young Women’s Empowerment. So far, training workshops have taken place in India, Indonesia and the Philippines, inspiring the selected young female participants to overcome disadvantage and realize the value of education in providing solutions. Participants’ research outcomes have led to new design and piloting of community-based learning programmes, to be implemented in various Community Learning Centres. Meanwhile, case studies based on the project are to be published by UIL, with the expectation that they will inspire better policies and practices for women’s empowerment.

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Upcoming events

10-11 April 2017

Sub-regional doctoral
school on literacy
evaluation: First meeting
with national universities to take place

Venue:
Hamburg, Germany

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26-28 April 2017

Regional Meeting: Learning to Live Sustainably in Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean

Venue:
Villa María, Argentina

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15 May 2017

International Seminar: The Impact of ALE on Health and Well-Being – and What It Means for the SDGs

Venue:
Hamburg, Germany

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18-20 September 2017

Third International
Conference on Learning
Cities

Venue:
Cork, Ireland

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25-27 October 2017

CONFINTEA VI Mid-Term Review 2017: Living and Learning for a Viable Future: Vision 2030

Venue:
Suwon/Osan, Republic of Korea

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Publications

Now in French:
Harnessing the Potential of ICTs: Literacy and Numeracy Programmes Using Radio, TV, Mobile Phones, Tablets and Computers

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Now in French:
Literacy in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts: Effective Approaches to Adult Learning and Education

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Policy Brief 6: Using Libraries to Support National Literacy Efforts

This policy brief provides insight on how libraries nurture both early literacy skills as well as advanced levels of proficiency, and discusses the need for libraries to be involved in policy dialogue related to literacy.

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Policy Brief 7: Achieving Literacy and Numeracy from a Lifelong Learning Perspective

This policy brief argues that a lifelong learning perspective is essential to the achievement of literacy, and numeracy, as well as in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. It also provides a set of recommendations for policymakers to incorporate a lifelong learning approach in addressing youth and adult literacy.

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In recognizing the wider benefits of community-based learning, this policy brief puts forward six principles
of action to unfold the potentials of community learning centres (CLCs). It further presents four recommendations for governments to support CLCs in order to achieve education for sustainable development for all.

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The Third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III) is now available in Arabic and Portuguese
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