Learning Limerick hosts International Seminar on ‘Equitable and Inclusive Learning Regions’

  • Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival 2018

An international seminar on lifelong learning in Limerick has heard that a partnership approach is key to developing the area which can lead to significant benefits for all sectors of society.

Day one of a unique two-day event hosted by Learning Limerick in partnership with Cork Learning City is taking place today [Wednesday 21 March 2018] in ENGINE Limerick.

This dual-location seminar on Equitable and Inclusive Learning Regions is featuring international speakers as part of this year’s Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival.

Representatives from Limerick’s partner learning cities of Cork, Bristol and Belfast were invited for a morning of information sharing, learning city updates and examples of good practice on promoting equitable and inclusive learning.

Day two of the seminar will be held in Cork on Thursday 22 March 2018 with Cork Learning City, Learning Limerick, Belfast and Bristol sharing their experience on Global Goals and Local Actions.

Speaking at the start of the two-day seminar in ENGINE in Limerick, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Stephen Keary said: “The Learning Limerick Steering Group has always been a partnership approach. It believes that there must be a co-ordinated effort to promote learning in all its forms. The Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival has shown that there are so many different facets to learning, and so many ways that people can get involved with learning other than being in the classroom.”

“It is important that seminars like the one in Limerick and Cork learns new ways of developing lifelong learning, so that more and more people can be enticed to return to or continue learning, as it will of benefit to all in society.”

The seminar offers a wonderful opportunity to explore partnership initiatives, with Limerick and other learning cities continuing their work as part of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. In 2017, Limerick was selected as one of only 16 cities from around the globe to receive the UNESCO Learning City Award. Cork achieved this award in 2015.

Chair of Learning Limerick, Eimear Brophy said: “Learning Limerick and the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival are now on an international platform since receiving the UNESCO Learning City Award and we welcome the dialogue with Cork and Bristol and Belfast in developing new strategic partnerships. The festival is a tribute to the many people who organize the multiplicity of events, performances and seminars throughout the week".

At a round table discussion, visiting presenters along with speakers from West Limerick Resources, Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN), Ballyhoura Development and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board shared examples on how community development organisations can help overcome challenges for individuals from urban or rural backgrounds in accessing education and training.

These challenges are a focus for action, allowing the development of all of Limerick as a learning region. Mary Hamilton, an independent adult education specialist, outlined research on learning and the power of connections in developing opportunities for education and training and personal growth through a learning region for Limerick.

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