Learning Cities 2020


An invitation to Atlantic Arc Cities to be part of a new programme!

A brief by John Tibbitt, from Pascal International Observatory.

The recent publication of the first results from OECD’s survey of adult competences has highlighted again the importance of education and skills for economic development, social inclusion and well-being of nations. It is clear that this is just as true for cities and regions. Cities and regions need to look closely at their education, skills and labour markets if they are to maximize their competitive advantage in the emerging global economy. City leaders will need to know answers to key questions like:

  • How is my city performing? And what are the trends?
  • Are we doing a good job in connecting learning with its application for innovation, and economic and social development?
  • How do we compare with others? What could we do better to improve things?
  • What will be the likely consequences if we continue as we are?
  • How can we get government, business, educators and civic society to work together?

Since the ground-breaking study by OECD, Cities and Regions in the New Learning Economy, published in 2000, much has changed in the context in which cities and regions strive to secure their economic prosperity and social and cultural well-being. Recent months have seen the outcomes from important EU studies of regional performance on lifelong learning as well as the first report of the OECD’s new international survey of adult skills and competences, the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Furthermore the latest sweep of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) will be published in December 2013, and UNESCO announces its international platform for learning cities.
PASCAL International Observatory is now launching a range of opportunities for cities and regions to understand the implications of this emerging data for their own policy development. Through its new programme Learning Cities 2020, PASCAL offers a variety of options to allow cities and regions to explore their own position and prospects for the future.
The options range from policy and information services, to more substantial programmes of research and development including data analysis, performance benchmarking and expert site visits, to the capability to undertake local skills surveys using the PIAAC methodology. The programme is designed on a modular basis to allow participating cities to choose a programme which suits their priorities and budgets. A dedicated website will allow cities to showcase their work and share experience with others. For details of all the options within the programme, visit http://learningcities2020.org .
PASCAL International Observatory is an international NGO, focussed on issues of place, social cohesion and lifelong learning. It has 4 centres around the world, and retains a cadre of experts drawn from senior positions in universities and local and national government. It has successfully completed the international research and development project on university engagement with regions (the PURE study), and other specific assignments for local and national governments.
19 regions on 5 continents took part in the PURE study. We are already negotiating with cities in South Africa and the UK and Europe about participation in the new learning cities work. We would like to invite Atlantic Arc cities to join in the programme. We are sure it will be of real value for future economic and social development. PASCAL looks forward to discussing your requirements with you.
The learning cities 2020 programme is being directed from Glasgow University. . If you would like to express an interest in your city joining the any part of the programme, please contact Professor Mike Osborne, Co-director PASCAL International Observatory, University of Glasgow or John Tibbitt, PASCAL vice-chair for policy engagement. For general enquiries please contact us at info@learningcities2020.org .
You can find more about PASCAL International Observatory at
on twitter @obspascal or
or on facebook at www.facebook.com/pascalobservatory

More information: gla.ac.uk/

John Tibbitt is Vice-Chair of PASCAL International Observatory for policy engagement and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University.  He has worked extensively as a researcher and policy analyst for local and central government, focused mainly on lifelong learning and issues in community development.  He has a particular interest in the engagement of higher education in the development of their local regions.’

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