Cork, Ireland

A firm commitment to create learning opportunities for allAs the second largest city in Ireland, Cork wishes to boost economic growth and improve the lives of all citizens by reducing social inequalities.Vision and motivationBy joining the GNLC, the city wants to strengthen its commitment to building a learning city and to join a global initiative consistent with its local activities. Education and lifelong learning are regarded by Cork as a key means to reduce inequalities and improve social inclusion.Challenges and goalsLifelong learning can lay the foundation for change. In particular, the city wants to tackle the following challenges:reducing social division and early school leavingextending the use of modern learning technologiesimproving employmentlowering economic emigration and improving the lives of the immigrants who stayed.Plan and implementationTo give citizens access to a broad array of learning opportunities, Cork designed many projects, including:hosting a series of international seminars and a conference on taking an inclusive and holistic approach by working to integrate other sectors with the Learning City concept (EcCoWell Cork)Cork Learning Festival, which celebrates learning as a joyful and collective experience and proposes almost 500 free events every yearCork City Development plan, which encompasses lifelong learning and recognizes Cork as a city of learningGLLiC (Growing Lifelong Learning in Cork), a cross-sectoral working group designed to implement the Declaration on Building Learning Cities in 2014two Learning Neighbourhood pilot programmes in disadvantaged areas, supported as case studies to develop an ongoing approach to the learning city concept.Cork City has long demonstrated tremendous commitment to the learning city approach in general and to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in particular. At the 2nd International Conference on Learning Cities in 2015 in Mexico City, Cork City received the UNESCO Learning City Award in recognition of its achievements. In 2017 Cork City hosted the third International Conference on Learning Cities.
City population
City GDP per capita
More than USD 25,000
Average number of years of schooling
Member since
Forde Ms Deirdre The Lord Mayor of Cork/ Councillor
Focal point
Mr. Denis Barret
Cork’s UNESCO Learning City experience will be built upon to ensure that new avenues for learning and education are being crafted and made available to those who find it hard to access such options. As Lord Mayor I have decided to designate a Learning Cities Day in Cork each September, to call on all our citizens and stakeholders to renew their commitment to take action and to make further progress in developing all forms of learning: in the classroom, in the workplace, in the community and in our homes.