UNESCO Learning City Award

Image features people clapping, focus on hands

How can a learning city apply for the award?

To apply for the award, cities must:

  1. complete the award application form and provide any additional materials (articles, videos, etc.) in support of their application;
  2. ensure the award application form is signed by the city’s mayor;
  3. sign the consent form;
  4. send the application to their country’s National Commission for UNESCO.

Each National Commission for UNESCO can nominate up to two cities for the award. An international jury comprising members of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) Governing Board will then select the cities per region to receive the UNESCO Learning City Award. 

Image features the UNESCO GNLC logo

The UNESCO Learning City Award is open to all UNESCO GNLC member cities in UNESCO Member States across the five UNESCO regions. Only members of the UNESCO GNLC are eligible to apply for the UNESCO Learning City Award. Past awardees will not be eligible for the award for a period of six years following the receipt of a UNESCO Learning City Award.


2021 Awardees

UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia

As the world’s largest petrochemical industrial city, Jubail Industrial City must further promote sustainable industrial production by ensuring that its population is equipped with comprehensive knowledge and skills. 

Image features a small ampitheatre on the coast of Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Wyndham, Australia

Lifelong learning in Wyndham is implemented by a broad network of stakeholders, ranging from the city administration to learning institutions, the private sector and the general public, among others.

Image features the Werribee River in Wyndham, Australia.
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Clermont-Ferrand, France

Lifelong learning informs all of Clermont-Ferrand's public policies.

Image features buildings and streets in France: Clermont-Ferrand.
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Dublin, Ireland

Investing in human capital is crucial to Dublin’s successful development, and lifelong learning is key to this endeavour. 

Image features a busy street in Dublin, UK.
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Huejotzingo, Mexico

By placing lifelong learning at the centre of its development, Huejotzingo has transformed itself from an agricultural community to the industrial heart of the Mexican state of Puebla.

Mexico: Huejotzingo view of city and volcano
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Osan, Republic of Korea

Osan’s objective is to serve as a place ‘where citizens and learning are united’.

Image features the skyline of Osan, Republic of Korea
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Shanghai has always been committed at a high level to the learning city concept.

Image features skyscrapers in Shanghai.
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Al Wakra, Qatar

Al Wakra has evolved into one of the largest cities in Qatar with over 80,000 inhabitants. 

Image features a street in Al Wakra, Qatar.
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Awardee: Damietta, Egypt

Through lifelong learning, Damietta seeks to promote sustainable development, advance basic skills among adults, and improve public health for a population of over 330,000.

Image features a panorama of the harbour and city of Damietta, Egypt.


Snapshots of learning cities’ responses to COVID-19
How cities are utilizing the power of non-formal and informal learning to respond to the COVID-19 crisis
August 2020
Conference report: Inclusion, a principle for lifelong learning and sustainable cities