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					Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

                                                   LEARNING CITIES

               Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

                          A report on the Travelling Scholarship
         awarded by the Department of Employment, Training and Tertiary Education
                               of the Victorian Government

                                               Shanti Wong
                                   SmartGeelong – The Learning City
                             Geelong Adult Training and Education (GATE) Inc

                                                            April 2002

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                      1
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Report prepared by
Shanti Wong

Project Manager
SmartGeelong – The Learning City
Geelong Adult Training and Education (GATE) Inc

on the Travelling Scholarship awarded by the Department of Employment, Training and Tertiary Education of
the Victorian Government.

April 2002

SmartGeelong – The Learning City
PO Box 673
Ph: +61 03 5223 3614
E-mail: info@geelonglearningcity.vic.edu.au


Travelling Scholarship awarded by the Department of Employment, Training and Tertiary Education of the
Victorian Government, July 2001.

Study tour supported by Geelong Adult Training and Education (GATE) Inc.

Preliminary research on the Victorian Learning Towns supported by the Adult, Community and Further
Education (ACFE) Division.

Itineraries in the Learning Cities arranged by:

Karen Ringnalda

Lars Franson

Sandra Littlejohn

Dr David McNulty
Blackburn with Darwen

Stephen Dunstan

Rosemary Linley
Great Yarmouth

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                           2
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


Item                                                                            Page

Learning Cities
Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning                     4

Introduction                                                                    4

The Victorian Learning Towns                                                    4

Definitions                                                                      5

Why is learning important?                                                       5

The Study Tour                                                                   6

The Learning Cities

Rotterdam                                                                        7

Gothenburg                                                                      10

Glasgow                                                                         15

Blackburn with Darwen                                                           20

Norwich                                                                         24

Great Yarmouth                                                                  27

Key Characteristics of Learning Cities

What difference does it make to be a Learning City?                             29

What are the value added outcomes?                                              30

What are the indicators of success?                                             32

Conclusion                                                                      34

Contact information and publications                                            35

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                         3
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

                                                       LEARNING CITIES

                            Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

      'Lifelong learning will be essential for everyone as we move into the 21 st century and has to be made
                                                  accessible for all.'
                                                                                                     OECD, 1996, p21

    If Australia is remain prosperous and competitive, it must develop a culture that values ongoing learning in
            which 'everyone should be able, motivated and actively encouraged to learn throughout life.'
                                                                                                     OECD, 1996, p21

A commitment by a community to improve access to lifelong learning opportunities as a Learning City
   enhances the quality of life of its citizens and improves its economic conditions through a more
                                creative, stable and adaptable workforce.



The Learning City concept is not new but has received new impetus as a result of the Victorian Government’s
current pilot program in nine rural and regional Victorian towns and cities. Launched in May 2000, the
'Learning Towns' program aims to develop collaborative learning partnerships between education providers,
business, local government and community activity and to integrate economic and social development.

SmartGeelong – The Learning City

Geelong is one of the Victorian Government’s 'Learning Towns'. Its project, ‘SmartGeelong – The Learning
City’, is managed by the SmartGeelong Network through its lead agency, Geelong Adult Training and
Education (GATE) Inc.

The cities and towns in the Victorian pilot program are the first in Australia to receive funding to support lifelong
learning as an approach towards achieving sustainable economic development and social inclusiveness. As a
pilot program funded for up to three years, it is important to evaluate the economic and social development
of a community that has declared itself a Learning City.

    What difference does it make to be a Learning City?
    What are the value added outcomes?
    What are the indicators of success?

The Victorian ‘Learning Towns’ program is modeled very closely on the UK experience that has been broadly
accepted as being useful and successful in addressing complex issues around the integration of economic
development with social inclusion. However, there are significant cultural differences between the UK model
and that being piloted here in Victoria. For instance, the British national government provides funds for local
government to employ staff to develop and maintain activity that creates Learning Cities and Towns.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                   4
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

In Victoria, the project is being implemented through Adult and Community Education (ACE) providers. This is
based on the rationale that the ACE sector plays a lead role in turning everyday lifelong learning into beneficial
social and economic outcomes. The Victorian and Australian experience will need to determine key
characteristics for a Learning City that have not yet been identified and tested here. There are useful insights
in determining these from the European and UK experience.



Learning is critical in the process of education but it is not the same. It is broader than judging achievement on
the basis of quantitative measurement.

‘The traditional meaning of the word learning is much deeper than just taking information in. It is about
changing individuals so that they produce results they care about, accomplish things that are important to
them’ (Senge, 2001, p 610).

The following definition of lifelong learning has been adopted by 'SmartGeelong - The Learning City':

Lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is a continuously supportive process which stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire
all the knowledge, values, skills and understanding they will require throughout their lifetimes and to apply
them with confidence, creativity and enjoyment in all roles, circumstances and environments (World Initiative
on Lifelong Learning, 1994, p5).

Learning City

Cities are not simply places where people live and work: they are also places where people experience leisure,
culture, enterprise and education…A Learning City unites all the diverse providers of learning to meet the
needs and aspirations of its citizens. Through the range of local resources they bring together, Learning Cities
can provide local solutions to local challenges (Kearns, 1999, p6).


 'A true learning city is one that strives to learn how to renew itself in a period of extraordinary global
        change. In periods of such transition, learning becomes central to our future wellbeing'
                                                                                                        DfEE, 1998

In a Learning City there is unity of action and purpose, built among the elements that contribute to community
knowledge and understanding - schools, higher education institutions, vocational colleges, libraries, local
media and community organisations. A supportive City Council is critical and the scale and sense of regional
identity of Victoria’s Learning Towns suit the concept.

'Not what you might expect from a clever country' (Spierings, April 2001)

There is an emerging body of evidence that indicates that current educational policy is failing the people who
are already marginalised from mainstream learning. In commenting on the failure of the federal government to
pay attention to the Eldridge report on revamping youth employment and education opportunities, Spierings
expresses concern about declining school retention rates in Australia in the last decade.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                 5
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

He says that more than 33% of early school leavers are unemployed, a figure which is supported by Kearns
who says that around 30% of people in any community worldwide are disengaged from lifelong learning
(Kearns, First Australian Learning City Conference, 2000).

Speirings goes on to say that substantial numbers of young people are 'profoundly disengaged from the
institutions of civil society, with a quarter of 19 year olds…not in full time work or…education.' Other indicators
of distrust include low levels of voting enrolment, high levels of mental illness, substance abuse and

These characteristics of a strong correlation between education levels, employment and health are found in
the general population in Victorian research conducted by Tony Vinson whose report shows that health
problems and premature death are linked to lower educational levels and low socio economic status (Vinson,
1999). The report also suggests that people who are better educated have a better developed sense of
personal control and associated problem solving abilities that contribute to more effective social and workplace

How a Learning City contributes to community development

Adult education is demonstrated as an effective way of developing social capital resources such as networks,
trust, confidence and social cohesion through ten Victorian case studies (Falk, Golding & Balatti, 2000).
Participation in ongoing learning is a strategy for addressing continuing changes in communities and the
workplace. Individuals need to have self confidence and a capacity to meet change and retain a sense of
security in uncertain times. Workers need to be able to acquire new skills and adapt to changing jobs more
frequently as casual employment in Australia increases to one of the highest rates among OECD countries
(ACFEB, Planning for Further Education in Victoria, 2000).

‘When firms, educationalists and households interact at the local or regional level and engage in the process
of collective learning, they create one of the critical preconditions for competitiveness – and that is the
transformation of local tacit and externally derived knowledge into new products and services’ (National
Economics, 1999, p16).

What are we trying to achieve? What outcomes do we expect?

‘The simple answer is that we want to change our neighbourhoods. We want to build communities where
residents feel in control of their lives and that they have a role in making decisions that affect them. We want to
see communities where barriers to participation are removed and where local residents feel a sense of
community ownership. We want to see learning communities where every person feels that learning is
important to them and relevant to their lives’ (Sivers, C, 2002).


This scholarship studied four Learning Cities in the UK and two in Northern Europe in order to enhance the
development of ‘SmartGeelong - The Learning City’ and provide useful insights that are highly transferable to
other Victorian Learning Towns and Cities. The cities visited over three and a half weeks in January 2002 were
Rotterdam, Gothenburg, Glasgow, Blackburn with Darwen, Norwich and Great Yarmouth. The study tour also
included visits to the offices of the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) in Leicester and
the Campaign for Learning in London.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                  6
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning



The ‘e program’ – a strategy for developing a knowledge society

The ‘e program’ is a response to rising unemployment during the mid 1990’s and the skills shift in the
operation of its harbour, Rotterdam’s major economic activity. As one of the world’s busiest ports, Rotterdam
has become rapidly dependent on a workforce with well developed Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) skills to operate the increasingly digitalised harbour activities. In addition, ethnic minorities
comprise 28% of its population of 580 000 and are a group that is most frequently marginalised from access to
skill development programs (City of Rotterdam, 2000).

Rotterdam City Council has decided to build on the Large Cities Policy, a national initiative, to develop ICT
skills in business, in local government, in the education sector and in its citizens. By setting up 60 ‘e centres’
over three years throughout the city, Rotterdam’s ‘e program’ is providing accessible ICT facilities and training.
The centres are being located in neighbourhoods and locations that are accessible and familiar to the 25 % of
people who face barriers in accessing mainstream education.

Commenced in November 2000, the ‘e program’ has three components:
 60 ‘e centres’ established over three years
 Computers at Home – focussed on disadvantaged groups, this program will develop computer training in
   the home.
 Stimulating people to use technology to enrich their lives.

The first successes have been in developing the ‘e centres’. AUD$13m was allocated for the first two years
and 24 ‘e centres’ have been funded in the first round. ‘e centres’ are small computer facilities – often between
four and six computers – that are available for open access by the general community. Proposals must show
in kind and voluntary support in developing the centres. Guidance must be made available as part of the
service and people can access a range of self paced learning programs including the European Computer
Driving Licence (ECDL).

SNAPSHOTS of Effective Practice

The ‘e centres’ - extending participation in learning

‘e centres’ have been established in schools, aged care homes, a centre for the homeless, mosques and
community centres. The centres are very attractive and are demonstrating high levels of success in engaging
a diverse client group. The City Council engaged external researchers to evaluate the success of the first
round in November 2001 and their conclusions indicated that the project is meeting required expectations but
that it will take at least two years to demonstrate tangible outcomes.

The ‘e centres’ are also proving a successful strategy for integration. A specialist facility has been established
in a disability support service. AUD$400 000 was allocated to establish the ‘e centre’ that comprises four
computers equipped with a range of assistive technology such as braille keyboards and voice activated
software. The centre is highly accessible in the central business district and use by the general public is
encouraged. Similarly, plans to establish ‘e centres’ in the foyers of aged care homes aim to encourage the
interaction between the general public and residents of the homes. Portable ‘e centres’ are also available and
are being used in a range of settings.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                  7
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

The ‘e centres’ in the schools are not as successful in engaging participation beyond the school community as
the facilities tend to be sidelined for additional school use. This issue is being negotiated with schools and
there may be a greater emphasis on non school facilities in the next round.

The ‘e centres’ are breaking down the barriers to accessing education and demonstrate the City Council’s
commitment to encouraging people who are disadvantaged to access learning beyond formal programs. The
incremental, student centred approach is well supported and the strategic location of the ‘e centres’ is creating
new participation in learning.

Learning Savings Plan

The City Council is also piloting the concept of individual learning accounts. Low waged employees are eligible
for a A$1000 training voucher to improve their position in the workforce. This 2002 project of 100 participants
is part of a national program to research the impact of different approaches to addressing disadvantage. In the
light of previous evidence that difficulties arise when employers dictate the training programs of their
employees, this pilot is focussed on the needs expressed by the employees and has a special emphasis on
ethnic workers.

The aim is to develop new ways of thinking about developing productivity by encouraging people who have
been forgotten in developing learning skills. It is working on overcoming barriers in defining learning and has
an ultimate aim of encouraging participation in learning that has no vocational emphasis at all.

The Albeda College in the Baljuwstraat

Albeda College is a vocational education and training facility that runs programs for a non traditional client
group that comprises 30 - 40 000 participants annually. Young people who are at risk of not completing
mainstream education participate in vocational education programs here and are well linked to employment
prospects as part of their program. Childcare is available on site and while demand exceeds provision, it is an
important strategy for overcoming barriers to participation.

The ‘e platform’

The College was renovated during 2000 to accommodate the demands that ‘new learning’ puts on an
educational facility. In response to national and local policies, ICT training is a prominent feature of Albeda
programs to ‘prevent a further growth of the digital dichotomy in our society’ (Albeda College, p1).

The ‘e platform’ is Albeda’s ‘e centre’ and new users can come in and use the internet as well as perform a
range of other ICT functions with scanners, printers, web cameras and CD burners. The ECDL is widely
promoted as a desired standard and people can enrol in this and a range of other entry level programs.

Re engaging young people

Alternative programs for particularly disengaged students have had considerable success. 40% of young
people leave school early in Rotterdam, although this is much higher than the national average. Higher than
average levels of unemployment and a large migrant population contribute to this. 50% of these young people
attend Albeda where they are directly linked with work experience agencies. 60% of the participants have a job
in two years. The others are starting to reappear in the college’s programs after leaving earlier. Motivators
include the threat of losing income support but peer encouragement is also having an impact. Unfortunately,
some are reappearing through the prison system but they are once again engaging with the college’s

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                    8
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Walk your Talk

Albeda has developed a multimedia program for young people in the Juvenile Justice system. This program is
an assessment tool to establish education and training needs. It has been developed to overcome barriers that
can block the meaningful assessment of these needs by using game strategies to engage the participants.
The prototype is available but the final product is not ready.

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

Innovative programs are conducted with people from multicultural backgrounds:

Old Comers

This program is for long established migrants who have never integrated well into Dutch society. With an
emphasis on an informal, non threatening environment, participants are introduced to Dutch language
provision and literacy support in their own language.

Asylum Seekers

A pilot program is being conducted with 90 refugees who are waiting for the results of their applications for
asylum. A 300 hour vocational program incorporates ICT training, job seeking skills and assimilation into Dutch
society. Hospitality training is also available as an option in a growth industry. Language tuition is available in
whatever key language is most appropriate – not necessarily Dutch.

The rationale for this program is that the participants will contribute usefully to either the Dutch community or
their own if they are returned. It is also proving an effective strategy for overcoming the despair and hostility
that can develop among long term detainees. The heavy demand for ICT training by program participants has
resulted in the development of a multimedia program that overcomes the barriers presented by language. This
will be a product of this pilot by November 2002.

Adult Literacy

A new campaign is about to be launched to encourage older Dutch people to participate in literacy training.
Despite a generally held view that the Netherlands has almost no illiteracy, apparently there are hidden groups
of older people who are not functionally literate. As part of the national approach to social inclusion and
encouragement of active citizenship, this group is being actively targeted.


The local, national and European commitment to supporting lifelong learning is evident through initiatives and
resources. Partnerships are well developed and encouraged. The approach to social equity is strong and
tends to indicate a collective responsibility for addressing the problems created by disadvantage:

                                               ‘Where have we gone wrong?’
                                                        rather than
                                            ‘Where has that person gone wrong?’
                                                                       Fred Bastemeijer, International Projects, Albeda College, 2002

There is an interesting move away from encouraging people to become more like the Dutch to encouraging
them to become contributors, creators and thinkers – productive in a global sense.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                                   9
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


A city of 470 000 people, Gothenburg is in the process of transforming itself from a dependence on shipyards
and manufacturing to developing new electronic industries. The sudden closure of four shipyards in the 1970’s
and early 1980’s meant the loss of 12 000 jobs and devastation of the existing industrial, economic and social
infrastructure. Research has been conducted throughout the last decade into appropriate high tech industries
and has spawned a new wave of learning in local government and in the community. A significant
achievement has been the establishment of an Ericsson plant on the waterfront that is building strong
relationships with schools and the surrounding residential community.

Planning for learning

Sweden’s Adult Education Initiative is a combined effort by national and local governments to generate a
comprehensive, nation wide build up of knowledge. This government policy has been implemented in
Gothenburg to transform resources that were previously made available for ‘passive’ unemployment training
programs into workplace education (Franson, 2000, p 3). If companies guarantee to retain their employees,
government funds will be made available to support their ongoing development in the workplace. In addition to
improving employment rates, retention rates and productivity, this has developed skills in the delivery of non
formal adult education. Effective learning partnerships have developed between national and local government
and between educational providers, businesses and participants.

Sweden has a very strong cultural focus on the well being of the individual rather than developing large and
complex systems. A focus on building up from the bottom is retained in managing the macro issues.

              ‘Employers walk arm in arm with their employees in retaining them in their enterprises.’
                                                                         Lars Franson, Director, Lifelong Learning, Gothenburg, 2002

The national Adult Education Initiative has bipartisan support in aiming to reduce unemployment and secure
those who are underemployed. This focus on social inclusion has had some ramifications in the recent Ford
takeover of Volvo where a conflict of culture has had to be resolved between the collaborative Swedish
approach and the more aggressively competitive approach of the American parent firm.

Participation in learning

The general public of Gothenburg would not necessarily know that it is a Learning City – although in fact it was
probably the first to declare itself a Learning City after the First Global Conference on Lifelong Learning of
1994. But they do understand the importance of lifelong learning. Many organisations deliver formal and
informal learning opportunities and up to 1 million Swedes (12%) participate in low cost or no cost adult
education annually. The country is wealthy and has high levels of literacy and employment and this is now
reflected in Gothenburg’s participation rates and employment rates as well.

1 in 10 people in Gothenburg are enrolled in formal post secondary education. Many more participate in
informal adult education programs. It is widely accepted that learning is valuable and there is no requirement
for formal outcomes or completion rates in order to acquit government funding for adult education.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                                  10
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Building a learning culture in business

Immigrants comprise 20% of Gothenburg’s population with up to 75% in some localities. Since 1997, 100 000
places per year of government funded vocational training have been made available nationally for unemployed
people and those at risk of becoming unemployed. AUD$600m is allocated annually to this national program.
A strategy for attracting people who were unemployed or underemployed into the available training was to use
Trade Union outreach workers and health care workers who, together with the existing career guidance
schemes, contacted people in their neighbourhoods and encouraged them to participate. By using peers who
have been specially trained in conducting these negotiations, this program has been very successful.

Sweden is also very willing to validate overseas skills and qualifications and does not insist of high levels of
competence in Swedish but rather a useful working knowledge of the language.

Through these strategies, the target in Gothenburg was to reduce the mid 1990’s unemployment rate of 9% by
50% and it is now 4%. The planned three year program of vocational training combined with attracting new
industries has been so successful that it has been extended for a further two years.

Stakeholders in the major industries in Gothenburg are also committed to retaining people in their companies.
There is evidence that they are now prepared to pay for the ongoing education and training of their employees.
Participation in learning programs is supported by making the time available during paid work time for learning
programs or by paying for replacement staff while people are engaged in learning activity. It is recognised and
demonstrated that by continually improving the capacity of individuals to cope with higher demands on quality
in production, company performance also improves.

International participation

Gothenburg has developed strong links between national initiatives and local solutions. There are also strong
partnerships with European projects rather than regional ones. It is ironic that Gothenburg has difficulty within
Sweden in promoting itself as a Learning City. 25 other cities are registered as Learning Cities in the country
but only Gothenburg has really capitalised on the opportunities this has presented and it has become involved
in European and international projects rather than national ones.

One of Gothenburg’s current projects is to develop a network between all of the people in the city who are
involved in coordinating European Union projects and is developing an educational program for others who
may want to get involved in later projects.

Swedish participation in the European Union is recent (since 1995) but it sees it as a powerful force for peace,
not just for its economic and political advantages. Brought up sharply by the violence in Gothenburg during the
World Economic Forum in 2001, Sweden also recognises that its comfortable lifestyle and highly educated
population is at risk of being left behind through complacency and sees the partnership opportunities offered
through EU membership as an important current step in its national development.

      ‘The negative spiral of violence in society must be confronted by further efforts related to the issue of
                                                fundamental values.’
                                                                                City of Gothenburg Year Book 2002, p 30

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                     11
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

SNAPSHOTS of Effective Practice

The Lindholmen Project

The Lindholmen Project has seen the transformation of a defunct shipyard into a Knowledge Centre that is a
showpiece of the city’s urban regeneration. In this precinct, education, business, residents and local
government are working together to create a new living environment where all of these enterprises coexist.

By sharing essential resources such as premises, equipment and people, the partners in the Knowledge
Centre can offer enhanced education and training opportunities. Local government has adopted the role of
‘coaching’ this development and then withdraws as the other sectors develop skills and confidence to manage
their own lifestyle development.

In the Lindholmen precinct there are five secondary schools and one adult education centre with annual
enrolments of 6 000. In addition to general curriculum, there are specialised education programs in industrial
design, virtual technology and vocational education. University provision in Lindholmen specialises in
engineering for 2 000 students on site. Industrial programs in engineering and environmental ICT have 1 000
people enrolled.

In 2002, Ericsson Mobile Data Design has opened in the precinct employing 800 people. The company chose
this location because of its strong provision of locally accessible and diverse learning programs. Chalmers
Lindholmen has also been located there – a ship’s officer and works engineer training college.

Volvo and The GTG – an exemplary partnership between business and learning

Established in 1916, the Volvo car factory is also located near the waterfront and has developed into one of
Gothenburg’s success stories, surviving the crisis in the shipyards. During the time of that crisis (1967 – 1997),
Volvo’s sales increased from AUD$600m to AUD$3660m. The number of employees grew from 24 000 to 73
000 (City of Gothenburg, 2001, p 33).

Committed to a learning culture, the factory supports a diverse, multi skilled workforce. Ergonomic equipment
means that there are no physical prerequisites for employees who are on the assembly lines and women
comprise 25% of the factory floor employees. Multiskilling provides enjoyable work variety for employees and
protects the factory against skill shortages. The diversity ensures a dynamic, loyal workforce with excellent
work ethics.


In a joint enterprise with the City Council and the local Education Authority, Volvo supported the establishment
of the Gothenburg Technical High School (Goteborgsregionens Tekniska Gymnasium GTG) in 1998. The GTG
is located in the Volvo factory precinct and provides a unique opportunity for its students to develop globally
competitive vocational skills in a challenging and stimulating learning environment. An innovative partnership
between business and learning, the school is funded as a mainstream school by the Education Authority and
Volvo contributes 25% of the cost of each student. The GTG meets all accredited curriculum requirements
while providing a flexible and broad education for students with multiple pathway options.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                12
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

The school provides for the final three years of education and currently has its maximum enrolment of 450
students. With 3 applicants for every place it is the most popular school in Gothenburg and consequently a
highly motivated student body is selected. All students and teachers work to timetable that reflects the factory
hours (7.30am - 4pm with four weeks annual leave). Teachers are marginally compensated for this work
schedule but there were still 150 applicants for the initial 5 positions and strong stability in the current staff of

Students get paid work experience in the Volvo factory and develop vocational skills on equipment supplied by
the factory. International exchanges are readily available. The learning environment is well supplied with
modern ICT facilities that students can access at any time. They have self paced learning periods as well as
timetabled programs. Personal discipline is high and there is no graffiti or vandalism in the school.

 ‘Of the first group to graduate in 2001, 50% have gone on to further education, 25% have been employed at
                       Volvo and the rest are completing their compulsory military service.’

                                                                                        Svien Holm, Principal, GTG, 2002
Young people at risk

In the Gothenburg school system generally, individual programs are developed for young people who are not
suited to mainstream educational approaches. There is a strong cultural belief in the right of young people to
have a choice of programs that suit them. The intention is that after a year of alternative program provision,
young participants will return to mainstream programs but this is not proving highly successful. Consequently,
individual programs are continuing to be developed as this cohort continues in 3 or 4 years of senior school

Nationally, Sweden aims for 12 years of education as a minimum standard and there is a 98% retention rate.
Of these, 12 – 15% of students participate in individual programs and there is an observation that those
students who don’t succeed in any of this provision tend to have marginal disabilities but don’t qualify for full
scale disability support.

The individualised program is not chosen by students but the resources are implemented when students are
deemed to be at risk of not succeeding. The program includes a strong focus on work experience and the
predominant client groups are boys and migrant girls. A current educational debate centres on the provision of
a bridging year between the first 9 years and the final 3 years.

There is little risk of young people dropping out of the various social systems altogether. Swedish
municipalities are required to track young people until they are 20, including and especially after they have left
school. Career guidance authorities, health and social services all keep records of individuals and what they
are involved in. Culturally accepted, it is a very effective system for minimising people dropping out of support
systems and into cycles of disadvantage.


Sweden has a culture of being highly socially inclusive, to a degree where its lack of skill in a competitive
approach can be seen to be a potential weakness. However, national support of lifelong learning and
innovative strategies to engage and reengage individuals in learning has contributed to the multi faceted
renewal of Gothenburg.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                      13
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

As a Learning City, Gothenburg encourages and welcomes debate on many issues and acknowledges that
many solutions need to be tried and tested as well as renewed and reinvented. This approach is underpinned
by committed politicians, employers, local government and individuals. Gothenburg has a complex and
detailed vision of its future directions and is actively engaged in partnerships across many sectors, nationally
and internationally, to achieve the aspirations of its citizens and its role in the European community in

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                14
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


Faced with rising unemployment and some of the highest areas of deprivation in Scotland, Glasgow is
transforming itself from its industrial past to a city that competes strongly in the knowledge based economy of
the 21st Century. Glasgow is well resourced with learning opportunities and the challenge is to reach the high
proportion of its population who are marginalised by rapid change and the disappearance of low skilled work.

In Glasgow, although the unemployment rate is 4%:
 33% of young people leave school without qualifications.
 60% of Glasgow’s population of 600 000 are regarded as non learners.
 Between 5 and 15% of its population (depending on locality) participate in Higher Education cf 45% in
    Scotland as a whole.
 Half the children in the city live in poverty.
 35 000 families live in poverty.

Educational disadvantage is higher where there are multiple factors of deprivation in areas such as North
Glasgow that include lower skilled employment, high rates of public housing tenancy, higher rates of illness
and death, poorer nutrition and higher levels of drug use and crime (Glasgow the Learning City, Barriers to
Access to Learning, Glasgow Learning Alliance, 2000).

The Learning City solution

Alternatives to traditional ways of doing things take time to implement and Glasgow chose to become a
Learning City as a strategy to fast track initiatives that might address its serious problems. Glasgow is not a
member of the Learning City Network, choosing to focus on local issues and building relationships locally.
Glasgow has now been a Learning City long enough to have recruited and developed key people in its
alliances. These people are characterised not by being figureheads but by being active people who can
influence change.

Now several years into its Learning City initiatives, Glasgow is starting to collect data that will measure new
participation in learning that is defined more broadly than just formal qualifications. Early research by the
Learning City found that an emphasis on qualifications as motivation to learn is doomed to fail. The current
work on data collection focuses on tracking people on their learning journeys and is finding that there is a
reduction in the measure of the college dropout rate because people are making better choices about their
learning programs. This data tracking is being given a five year outlook to demonstrate outcomes.

As a Learning City, Glasgow is finding that it is in a position to capitalise on unexpected initiatives such as the
establishment of the first Scottish Parliament in 1999. The Parliament has engendered a renewed interest in
Scottish culture and is developing a new learning focus for the community.

SNAPSHOTS of effective practice


The major strategy of the Learning City for widening participation has been Real. The Real partnership was
established in 1999 among representatives from Further and Higher Education, the City Council and Scottish
Enterprise Glasgow.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                    15
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

The Real aim:

‘To provide Glasgow’s citizens with the highest quality learning possible at all levels and in accessible ways’
(Clark, p13).

The emphasis on the branding of Real has been a considered strategy for developing awareness of learning
opportunities and ensuring access by the people who are most difficult to reach. Currently focused as an ICT
based learning strategy, Real is now available to the general public in schools and libraries throughout

The Real product

Real provides access to online and virtual learning through the provision of a Real Toolbox to member
enterprises that includes computer hardware and software, internet access and training. In each enterprise,
Learning Champions are recruited to provide ongoing support and momentum for the learning process. These
champions are trained in basic ICT tuition and mentoring and an induction package has been developed that
is now available to others.

Membership based, Real now has 10 000 individual and business members. Business membership is growing
at 100% per quarter. There are 32 Real Learning Centres in libraries, 98 in small businesses and 2 in
universities. An interesting example of the influence of the Real initiative is Glasgow Caledonian University.
This university has not applied for a startup kit but chose to develop its own online learning facility based on
the Real model. A large ICT access centre with 150 computer stations has been established that is presently
available for staff and students but will be accessible by the community once security arrangements have been
made. The centre incorporates a coffee shop and encourages people to have their coffee while they use the
computers. Their reasoning is that people should feel relaxed while they are using the centre and that
keyboards are cheap to replace if there are any spills. Several stations also have groups of chairs around a
computer so that people can learn together.

As part of the current measurement strategy, learner numbers (not including casual users of the internet) are
tracked by library information management systems. Voluntary Learning Plans are developed for individuals
and these will be built on to provide information for the measurement strategy.

Real Achievements

‘Real in a Box’ - Engaging Business

Parallel provision of the online learning facility in libraries is also available to businesses to enable open
access to ICT learning by all employees in each enterprise that joins. It is a requirement of the contract that
employees can engage in learning programs during their paid work time. ‘Real in a Box’ has been attractive
and unifying and businesses that have joined have indicated that they like to be part of a community wide
initiative. The Workers Education Association (WEA) has been contracted by the Learning City to implement
this initiative and has been instrumental in developing the relationships with businesses. Real has many
members who represent the small business sector but also four major corporations that have joined.

The Marriott Hotel is one of these and it has provided additional computers to those that came with the Real
startup kit. The learning facility is set up in a small room in the hotel and is available to all staff at any time – 24
hours a day. Participants are using the facility for a full range of learning activity from formal, graduate level
programs to browsing on the internet. Through its designated Learning Champion, the Marriott Hotel is willing
to promote the Real program to other enterprises and is a valuable partner in the program for the Learning
Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                      16
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

‘Real in a Box’ requires a financial contribution by business members of AUD$1200. However, payment of the
fee is problematic and a payment up front strategy is proposed for new members.

Specific online business training is available at extra cost to Real business members and this can include
online tuition as well as face to face training. The ongoing internet costs are met by the company. The bulk
purchase of multiple software licenses that can then be passed on at discount prices is also being investigated
by the Learning City team.

Real in the Swimming Centre

A highly innovative partnership model is a Real Learning Centre co located with the library and the local indoor
swimming centre. Overlooking the pool, the computer training rooms enable families to participate in enjoyable
learning activities together. The Swimming Pool has recorded a 40% increase in membership since the
establishment of Real and is providing emerging evidence of the correlation between learning and improved
community health.

‘Local Investigations’

This is a community project that includes an online component and arose out of the expressed interests of
community users of Real facilities. ‘Local Investigations’ is now accredited and includes programs such as
Family History, History of Football Teams and Local History and continues to be developed as people use
Real for personal investigative work.

Future directions

Maintaining the Real momentum

Now well established in a range of enterprises, Real requires ongoing development to maintain the
momentum. Learning City staff are currently investigating new learning programs and are involved in the
development of online materials that particularly meet the expressed needs of businesses. The WEA has
again been contracted to develop ‘Learning Bites’ - modular online content that can be used across a range of

A new Learning Network of Real business members is planned to generate ongoing interest and provide input
for new learning requirements. Another network of Learning Champions is also being formed to develop new
skills in addressing issues that arise for them in the implementation of Real, such as reluctance to release
employees during paid work time.

Marketing of ‘Real in a Box’ is entirely built on word of mouth and relationships. There is no advertising or
media exposure and business membership is progressing on target to 120 by March 2002. This includes 820
learners who will have signed up to the Voluntary Learning Plan. This approach ensures the maintenance of
quality as well as management of the demand.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                               17
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Focus for 2002

Enabling Framework

This project aims to produce a matrix of requirements for a community to operate as a Learning City.
Examples of these are expected to include ICT infrastructure, curriculum, pedagogy and partnerships. The
intention is that the matrix can then be used to benchmark Learning Cities and chart their progress. It could
prove a useful tool for determining the difference between cities that have declared a commitment to lifelong
learning as Learning Cities and those that have not.


20% of Glasgow is functionally illiterate. This is a consequence of the lack of national and local literacy
initiatives over many years. There has been no funded adult literacy provision in Scotland since 1975. A
renewed national focus on adult literacy has been initiated but Glasgow has determined that it cannot wait for
these to become effective and has begun work on self managed community activist projects. A serious issue
that Glasgow is attempting to address through its literacy development is the lack of qualified and experienced
literacy teachers for adults.

       ‘You can count the number of qualified adult literacy tutors in Scotland on the fingers of one hand.’
                                                 Stephanie Young, Senior Director, Employability, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, 2002

Experience Economy

Glasgow is planning to investigate how the emerging ideas of the ‘Experience Economy’ shape the
development of tourism, museums and visitor attractions. The ‘Hard Fun’ that so engages young people in
internet games, pinball machines and interactive video games is being researched to identify how these media
develop learning. This project will look at how more of these ideas can be incorporated in further learning
program development.

Strategies for engaging new learners

Attractive marketing products are a feature of Glasgow as a Learning City. In addition to the branding of the
Real Learning Centres, booklets and promotional material for new audiences have been widely disseminated:

School to work transition

As a strategy for changing pessimism to optimism and to catch young people before they drop out of school,
the Learning City has developed two publications to be used as a basis for preparing for the transition from
school to work. ‘The Worx’ is used in Year 9 in all Glasgow schools with 6000 young people annually. Lesson
plans are available for teachers and evaluation of the program indicates positive outcomes.

‘The Low Down’ is a newer publication for 18-35 year olds and 4000 copies are distributed annually through
the 130 members of the Adult Guidance Network.

These publications are funded in partnership with the City Council, the Adult Guidance Network and ethnic
support groups.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                                 18
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Creative Industries Workshops

One or two week workshops in the Creative Industries are available to young people in their own time. In these
workshops, the participants explore multimedia, film making, performance, music and design integrated with
programs to build interpersonal skills and self esteem. Outcomes include a renewed interest in learning that is
demonstrated in school as well as pathways into further education and careers in the creative industries.

This program largely attracts young people who are not achieving as well as might be expected and is
recommended to them by teachers as a strategy for stimulating learning skills. The outcomes are indicating
that it is possible to generate these skills by short term alternative programs that result in longer term positive
changes back in mainstream education.

Digital Inclusion

The Learning City’s research indicates that women take up opportunities for lifelong learning much more
quickly than men. A strategy to engage older men who are unemployed or underemployed, the Digital
Inclusion project is experimenting with alternative ways for men to participate in learning programs.

Only one third of Scottish households have access to a computer and the situation is more acute in Glasgow.
As a result, people are not aware of the impact of ICT on their lives, have less access and lower ICT skill
levels. (Digital Glasgow, Donald MacPhee, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, 2002).This initiative will concentrate
on the individual and is developing relevant online content that will support participation in learning. Learning
Champions are being recruited and the project aims through footwork and word of mouth combined with the
mobile provision of laptop computers to get to people who are hidden beyond the aspirational groups.

Challenges for the Learning City

All of this work is done with existing resources, directly from the Scottish government. Glasgow has chosen to
use its resources this way but is not compelled to. Through Scottish Enterprise, local government has directed
funds into lifelong learning rather than vocational education as a strategy for long term cultural change.

The employment patterns are complicated. Although the unemployment rate in Glasgow has dropped from
12% in 1994 to 4% in 2002 the economic activity rate is very poor and 85 000 people collect invalid benefits.
This excludes them from the unemployment statistics and means that poverty and health remain significant

The majority of employed people commute into Glasgow to work and consequently take their wealth out of the
city itself to the increasingly prosperous regional areas in which they live. While unemployment rates have
dropped significantly, the population has also halved over the last 50 years. One third of the city’s workforce
has no qualifications and many Glaswegians do not have the skills to compete effectively for jobs in the city –
even unskilled jobs (Clark, p9-11).

However, ‘there is a strong sense that Glasgow has turned the corner’ (Clark, p 9). It is the largest retail centre
in the UK outside London and has an international reputation for arts and culture. The city has also enjoyed
the highest economic growth in employment in the UK outside London. As a Learning City, Glasgow is
committed to the development of a culture of lifelong learning so that it will thrive in the complex global
environment of the 21st Century.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                   19
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


Located in the industrial heartland of Lancaster, Blackburn with Darwen has a population of
135 000 with a significant ethnic minority that comprises about 20% of the population. Ethnic backgrounds are
varied but there is a large South Asian population that has been the focus of Blackburn with Darwen’s Asian
Heritage project. In some localities, people of Asian heritage comprise 50% of the population.

Unemployment levels have dropped in line with the rest of the country from 10.3% at the start of the 1990’s to
5.5% in 1999, although this is higher than the national rate of 4.4%. The long term unemployment rate of 14%
has reduced to below the national average but the youth unemployment rate remains higher at 30%
(council.blackburnworld.com, 2002).

Blackburn with Darwen Learning City has had extraordinary success in widening participation in learning in the
community. From 2000 enrolments in adult education programs four years ago, there are now 13 000.
Participation in informal learning is also high and increasing rapidly. One of the problems confronting the
Lifelong Learning team is the lack of sufficient pathways for people who had previously been non learners. The
extension of lifelong learning provision has moved at a much more rapid rate than the formal education
provision in the local colleges and universities and there is a bottleneck of learners who want to enrol in
mainstream educational provision.

ICT learning

ICT provision is integrated throughout the learning programs available in Blackburn with Darwen. Open access
to technology facilities is available in all of the Community Learning Centres and new centres are being
established in cafes and other community facilities. A specific focus is on the provision of mobile laptop access
and training in pubs and clubs in order to include those men who are largely reluctant to engage in learning. 90
laptops are available for mobile training in this program and in many others. The Lifelong Learning team has
been successful in establishing computer facilities in 15 local schools and 1000 houses have also been
networked to ensure digital inclusion in disadvantaged areas.

BBC Radio has piloted its Learning Zone in Blackburn. This is located in a new AUD$9m facility that also
houses many Learning City staff. The radio station broadcasts locally from the centre and incorporates a
computer access centre that is open and free to the public. The initiative is now being rolled out around the
country in partnership with lifelong learning facilities.

SNAPSHOTS of Effective Practice

Learning through Football

For 10 years ‘Learning Through Football’, a short term literacy and numeracy program developed around
football content and aimed at primary school age children, has been entirely funded by the Blackburn Rovers
Football Club. A former player had become a benefactor of the club in recent years in order to achieve the twin
aims of revitalising its performance in the Football League and contributing to the community that supported it.

Consequently, Blackburn Rovers were ready to capitalise on the Blair Government’s emphasis on non
traditional learning and its initiative, ‘Playing For Success’. Introduced in 1998, Blackburn was the seventh
football club to sign up for the program that is a strategy for engaging reluctant learners in the areas in which
they live. Football Clubs are traditionally located in disadvantaged areas and the appeal of learning programs
in partnership with the Club is proving highly successful ‘Playing for Success’ is jointly funded by the Club and
the government.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                  20
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

‘Playing For Success’ is directed at 10 – 14 year olds and is available after school. This is a 9 week program
with content that is determined by national policy and focuses on ICT, numeracy and literacy skill
development. Blackburn Rovers conducts 2 hour sessions each evening for 28 primary school students and
then 28 secondary school students. Students do not want to go home and in some cases, students who are
truant from school still attend this program.

The program is aligned to national curriculum but is flexible to meet the needs of individuals and their schools.
The approach is to support the existing work in school. The football theme is strategically used throughout the
program. Session leaders are dressed in the football club track suits. The computer rooms are decorated with
football memorabilia. Content has a football theme. For example, students use the football ground for
estimating – if some of the turf needed replacing, how would they go about working out how much area is
involved? They join the media box on match days and work with journalists on developing interview skills.
They then publish their stories using a range of ICT software and techniques. They also visit the police cells!

Footballers drop in on programs when they are in the rooms and they take young participants in the programs
with them when they run on the ground for each match.

8 of the 9 local secondary schools recommend students for programs. The ninth is keen to join but the
program does not have the capacity to include it at this stage. 25 primary schools also participate in ‘Learning
through Football’. Demand exceeds supply for places and the only marketing is by word of mouth. Selection is
based on guidelines and focuses on students who are performing just below national standards. There is,
however, some flexibility in including students who do not meet the guidelines but who would benefit from the

Participants are equally male and female and evaluations indicate very positive outcomes. In fact, the results
were so good they were checked several times to verify them. The national findings indicate that the primary
school participants demonstrated a 21 month improvement after participation in the program and secondary
school students demonstrated an 8 month improvement. There is anecdotal evidence that the program makes
an impact on retention rates in Blackburn with Darwen schools but there is no firm evidence yet.

The success of the initiative has seen expansion of the program by the government to other football clubs and
also to other sports.

Widening participation

Many other learning programs are offered at the Club in partnership with national initiatives in skill
development, ICT training and literacy. The school students bring their parents along to adult programs and
this is an effective strategy for overcoming barriers to learning. The familiarity of the venue and the skills they
have developed in ICT ensure that the children are effective in developing a enthusiasm for learning in their

Since ‘Playing for Success’ started 9 months ago, Blackburn Rovers football learning programs have had 6000
learners in their programs, aged from preschool to adult. This is well beyond the annual target set.

And finally, The Blackburn Rovers have also improved their fortunes on the field, being reinstated to the
Premier League.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                   21
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Family Learning

In partnership with schools, the Family Learning project builds on the relationship with young people that is
already established in mainstream education. Family Learning events that involve parents as well as students
are held in partnership with school clusters of usually several primary schools and one secondary school.
These clusters have developed Family Learning Plans that are incorporated into the school charters and
become part of the business of the school.

Several models for Family Learning events are being tried such as a celebration during Adult Learners’ Week
and rotation of events around different neighbourhoods to spread the awareness and maintain the momentum.

Asian Heritage Project

With a large population of people with an Asian heritage, Blackburn with Darwen Learning City runs a program
specifically focussed on the learning needs and styles of this group. While it has been operating for some time,
a decision 8 months ago to appoint a project manager of Asian heritage has had outstanding success in
extending participation.

Projects have to recognise a range of cultural issues. There are women who are very traditional and will attend
gender specific events. Others are more modern and will come to some mixed events, while yet others will be
quite integrated with no specific requirements.

For some, religion will be part of the persuasion and there has been good participation in Islam and West
events with speakers from both groups. Koran classes and Islam classes are also well supported and 100
women are attending adult education programs in the Muslim Youth Centre.

The Hajj

A recent information session on preparing for the Hajj expected 600 people and attracted 3000 on the day!
This represents over 15% of the Muslim male population and a separate event will be held for women.

The program included practical as well as spiritual advice such as obtaining visas and vaccinations, getting
healthy and coping with the heat. Issues are arising from heavily escalating demand. All 22 mosques that
supported the session on The Hajj now want to run their own adult education programs.

‘Fare to Learning’

600 of the 700 taxi drivers in Blackburn with Darwen are of Asian heritage. They are poorly educated, have no
English and have low levels of literacy, numeracy and basic skills in their own language. There had been
several failed learning initiatives that did not address the learning needs of this group including their shift work

‘Fare to Learning’ was developed after a consultation at a ‘Taxi Drivers’ Learning Dinner’! This exercise
recommended the use of Asian tutors and materials. Security was raised as a primary issue rather than ICT
skills and English as had been expected. 300 taxi drivers attended the dinner including some of the English
speaking drivers.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                   22
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

In response to this consultation, self defence classes were conducted at the workplace and once the security
issues had been addressed in this way, the drivers started to identify the more expected needs of English
language and ICT training. The mobile laptops and local community centres are used for ICT training. Other
learning programs are conducted in 10 of the 22 depots at all times of the day and night. The program is now
cross cultural and responds to the needs of all of the drivers. The next step is to develop the taxi depots as
neighbourhood learning centres in response to demand by local residents.

‘Barriers to participation anticipated were reluctance to learn through techno phobia, economic deprivation and
linguistic difficulties. These barriers were accurately reflected and removed through the provision of bilingual
support tutors and literature, familiar surroundings and the organisation of …event(s) to motivate learners.’
(Blackburn with Darwen, Award application, 2002).

The Department of Environment and Health that handles the drivers’ licensing now participates in programs
and has overcome the previously hostile relationship it had with the drivers. ‘Fare to Learning’ has now
appointed a project officer and in February 2002 won a regional award for its work with non learners.

The program has led to new work with garages in the district. The Ministry of Transport now requires all annual
car roadworthy inspections to be reported electronically. Training in ICT is being implemented for this largely
Asian workforce.

The Asian Heritage approach is to keep Asian spokespeople and agencies at the forefront of the learning
activity, enabled and supported by other Learning City staff. Blackburn with Darwen also recruits Learning
Champions from particular communities and is developing its own training package for them.

The Asian Heritage Project has been so successful that it is now being integrated into mainstream Learning
City activity. This process will be closely monitored to ensure that issues do not arise that create new barriers
to participation.

Focus for 2002

Neighbourhood Learning Plans

Initial work is being done on scoping Neighbourhood Learning Plans as a strategy in neighbourhood renewal.
Consultation is commencing with learners in pilot program neighbourhoods that will identify what people want
to learn and how, where and when they are going to learn. At the same time, current provision and existing
skills are being mapped to identify current and future resources.

The aim is to develop local community capacity by capitalising on the experience and resources of established
organisations. This support will be delivered in a mentoring capacity so that neighbourhoods are successful in
developing meaningful and relevant plans and in attracting resources to implement them.


Blackburn with Darwen is an exemplary Learning City in its capacity to reach those people who are widely
regarded as reluctant learners. It is developing a learning culture in multicultural communities, in groups of
people who are unemployed and underemployed, with men aged 45 and over and people who are regarded
as non aspirational. Its work in these communities is reflected in Blackburn with Darwen winning three regional
awards for its work with non learners in February 2002.

The development of a learning culture in business is not a particular focus of Blackburn with Darwen but it
attracts business support for its initiatives and the BBC Learning Zone gives lifelong learning and ICT skill
Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                  23
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

development a high profile in this community. Blackburn with Darwen is regularly invited to pilot initiatives such
as the Learning Zone and demonstrates flair and innovation in achieving successful learning outcomes that
are highly transferable to other Learning Cities.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                 24
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


Norwich has a population of 120 000. Widely regarded as a ‘liveable’ city, nevertheless 20 000 dwellings are
on Council estates and this means that a significant proportion of the community lives in deprived
circumstances. A deeper analysis of the economic indicators such as unemployment rates (at 4%) shows that
there is deprivation despite superficial improvement. 50 000 people who work in Norwich live outside the city,
so the wealth goes outside the city as it does in Glasgow.

Why Norwich is a Learning City

Norwich was one of the first cities to declare itself a Learning City in the UK and has always been strongly
linked with the economic development unit of the City Council. Norwich has been conducting regeneration
projects for seven years and while there has been substantial progress, the issues of poverty and deprivation
remain significant.

The key driver for the Norwich Learning City Initiative is the low level of the educational and skills base of
Norwich residents and the impact this has on their earning potential and the competitiveness of Norwich
businesses. Many Norwich people are not currently benefiting from the City’s economic successes and a
significant proportion are economically excluded, while the competitiveness of the Norwich business base is
restricted by the skills and aspirations of the work force and potential work force (Popplewell, 2002).

However, in collaboration with other initiatives, the Learning City partnerships have led to tangible outcomes
including reduced unemployment and considerable new community infrastructure such as a new shopping
mall, a state of the art library and learning shop precinct (The Forum), regeneration of the Riverside precinct
and refurbishment of Norwich Castle.

Current issues for the Learning City are around setting new targets in the wake of such impressive
achievements and one of the new areas of focus is to enter into a European competition to be a City of Culture
in 2008. New government funding is also creating ‘initiative overload’ and Norwich, like the other Learning
Cities visited, is putting resources into developing effective networks and avoiding overlap so that the focus on
the participant is not lost in the effort to manage the projects.

Norwich Learning City is surrounded by several smaller towns and cities that have also declared themselves
Learning Communities. One of the largest, Great Yarmouth, finds that in common with the other UK Learning
Cities in this visit, one of its greatest challenges is the lack of aspiration on behalf of many adults to improve
their situation. The low skills base of many jobs and the high employment rate means that many people can
survive in deprived circumstances and get used to those circumstances. A ‘two speed’ economy is the result
with prominent, cutting edge employment opportunities masking too many people trapped in low paid work.
Consequently, the deprivation level is still too high and lifelong learning is recognised as a key strategy for
changing that situation.

Current Focus of the Learning City

Norwich Learning City has determined that the early years target groups (16 – 19 year olds) are being catered
for by the new Learning Skills Commission (LSC). Norfolk County is allocated $150m annually for the delivery
of all local 16 plus education. There is particular effort in increasing participation in structured learning and the
target is to have 70 000 learners out of the County population of 750 000 by 2004.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                    25
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

The LSC also aims to have 50% of adults with a Level 3 accreditation by 2004 – an increase of 23 000
learners – and 11 000 adults with Level 1 through the new Basic Skills initiatives. The current gap in provision
is identified as the 45% of local people who do not engage in learning and the Learning City is working with
groups of these people to get them to develop their own programs (Interview with Norfolk LSC Director,
January 2002).

SNAPSHOTS of Effective Practice

Strategies for engaging non learners

Community Action Plans

Learning Champions who represent non learners are now being recruited to the Norwich Learning City
Advisory Group. A project group is developing Community Action Plans along the lines of Blackburn with
Darwen’s Neighbourhood Learning Plans and is currently in its initial research phase. This includes mapping
the current skill levels and current provision. Interviews are also being conducted to determine learning needs
and barriers to learning.

This information will be used to develop Learning Interventions that will be locally owned and developed. The
community will identify funding sources and apply for it while being supported by organisations that have
expertise in this area. Current funding sources have to be provider led because of the complexity of managing
the funding process. To assist with this skill development, the Learning City also makes small grants available
to community groups so that they have minimal paperwork and simple accountability requirements.

As community capacity is developed, Community Action Plans will build in progression routes for participants
and is using the Learning Champions to activate the plans.

Norwich Learning Festival

Probably the benchmark for Learning Festivals, Norwich has well developed promotional material and multiple
partners in this annual event. With a major information display and demonstrations from a wide range of
learning providers held in the shopping mall, the Festival also has a mobile exhibition that is set up in
supermarkets including those in the more deprived areas.

The size of the Festival now means it takes nine months to organise and follow up and the organisers are
experimenting with changing its format to spread its effect throughout the year. It will do this by focusing on
national events and holding local events to coincide with Adult Learners’ Week, the Sign Up Now Campaign
and Family Learning Week. In 2002, a Learning Festival event will also be held in conjunction with the official
opening of The Forum by the Queen.

Evaluations of the Learning Festival indicate that new people participate in formal and informal learning as a
result of information they gathered during the Festival.

The Forum

The Forum is a Millenium project that has just been completed. An attractive, modern, accessible facility, it
includes a library, a tourist information centre, the Learning Shop, a computer training room for adult education
programs and a coffee shop. The new Norwich BBC broadcast station will also be located in the vicinity.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                26
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

The Library

The library has a number of interesting strategies that represent a paradigm shift in the way libraries operate.
Rebuilt after the former library was burnt down, the library in The Forum has become a learning centre that is
attractive and accessible for a wide range of users beyond its traditional client group.

With 100 computers that are linked to printers and the internet located throughout the library, the public has
free and unlimited access to ICT. Currently, there are no time limits on use of the internet although the heavy
use of this facility may see these introduced. There is no censure on young people playing computer games
and there is a demonstrated an increased number of young people using other library facilities as well as the

Relaxed regulations around noise and returning books are seeing more people using the library and borrowing
books including people with disabilities and older people. The library is also involved in the provision of training
in Reminiscence techniques for personal carers in the aged care industry.

Refugees are an increasing client group that finds the library approachable and safe. Through the internet,
they are able to access information from their homelands. Translation services and local information are
available for them and they are now being referred to the library by social welfare workers.

The Forum library has an ‘Express’ section at the entrance of the library that is changed frequently – books for
quick browsing and borrowing for people in a hurry or those who do not want to go further into the library.
Many new users are registered through use of this section.

A separate section has been set aside specifically for local family history research and the amount of learning
that occurs in this busy precinct is formidable. Local resources are discovered and new material is developed
by local people who can work individually or in groups in a warm and friendly environment.

The library also has a War Memorial room that has material that is of particular interest to older men who may
not use the library otherwise. Draped with flags and military memorabilia, this room is also a repository for
private collections of books and material that may not be well used in other environments.

The Learning Shop

Also located in The Forum, the busy Learning Shop provides advice and assistance for people in accessing
all the learning opportunities that are available locally. The operation of the shop is funded by major
educational providers. The manager of the shop is seconded part time from the City College and many other
providers also provide staff for sessional attendance. University students volunteer to work in the shop as well.

An evaluation of the Learning Shop in May 2000 indicates the positive impact on extending participation in

                            ‘It can give people ideas they may not have thought of.
                         Opens your eyes to the amount of different courses available.
                                   I didn’t realise there was so much on offer.
                    Was made aware of many opportunities of learning that the city has to offer.’

                                                              Survey conducted by Pam Breckenridge, ‘Shopping for Learning’, 2000

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                               27
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


One of the five most deprived cities in the UK, Great Yarmouth experienced a sudden downturn in its economy
when its principal industry as a tourist resort was demolished by the rise in cheap holidays to the
Mediterranean. While it is still struggling to find a significant industry replacement to regenerate its economy,
Great Yarmouth has many innovative projects that are effective in reaching non learners.

The Learning City has engaged a range of partners and while business and the local Economic Forum are
active in the partnership, the business takeup of learning is low and this is a next phase of effort for the
Learning City. There is a high proportion of small businesses here as elsewhere. Barriers to participation in
learning by small business are widely identified as perceiving learning as a cost rather than an investment,
access to learning at times and places that suit and people moving on once training has been completed.

SNAPSHOTS of Effective Practice

Strategies for Engaging Non Learners

Sure Start

Funded with a 10 year outlook, this project for young parents has high initial funding that will taper off as
resources are developed. The funding includes the provision of capital works programs as well as training and
aims to improve the learning capacity of the next generation by training young parents to mentor others in
developing a positive attitude to learning in the home.

Young parents who have undertaken the training in the ‘Certificate in Community Parenting’ in Great Yarmouth
have had their program accredited. The first young fathers are about to join the group of trained parents and
several of the trained parents are now employed by the project to train others. Community Parents work with
young parents before and after they have their baby and support them in reading to their children and in
preparing for further study.

The trained Community Parents in Great Yarmouth’s Sure Start had to overcome multiple barriers to learning
as well – several had their first child by the age of 15, some were single parents, all are living in disadvantaged
circumstances. However, in addition to supporting the development of positive attitudes to learning in others,
the learning outcomes for the Community Parents themselves are stunning. All of the seven young mothers in
the group visited were now engaged in formal learning programs from school certificates to University degrees.
They were able to overcome their barriers to learning by the provision of unlimited, free childcare while they
are engaged in study, mentoring by the midwives who visited them when they were at home with their young
children and the peer support they give each other.

In the two years that this project has been going, a new building for this program and others is just being
opened (Peggotty Road Community Centre and Nursery) and another is planned. The group has formed itself
into a Trust so that is can plan for the sustainability of the initiative. A complementary initiative, Book Start has
started whereby Safeway sponsors the provision of a book to each new baby born in Great Yarmouth.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                    28
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Women’s Resource Centre

This centre also works with young women at risk and provides prenatal and post natal support in social
services, health and education. Adult education programs are run in the same building that the Resource
Centre operates from so that participants are in a safe and familiar environment. Again, there is unlimited
access to childcare on the premises while the participants are in learning programs and the outcomes with a
particularly difficult target group are considerable. Some clients do revert to old behaviours but many return
and are more successful in subsequent programs.

Community Building

This project refurbishing derelict housing is attractive to young men in particular who are recruited through
support agencies and employment services. In partnership with the City College, the participants refurbish
houses with materials that are supplied by the Council. In some cases, participants have actually then moved
in as tenants of the houses they have renovated. Others are sold by the Council for public or private housing.

The building industry is a growth industry and has a lack of young, qualified people entering it. There is
particular opportunity for skill development in the Heritage Trades and Great Yarmouth has expert training
available in this area that will potentially develop into a specialty industry for this community.


Norwich and Great Yarmouth are the facilitators of many proposals for innovative approaches to
neighbourhood regeneration. The strong support of the Economic Development forums in each city ensure
that there is a strong link between learning and improved economic indicators but again, the striking success
to date is in improved social inclusion.

Both cities recognise that building a culture of lifelong learning takes many years and that the journey needs to
be constantly reshaped to meet changing circumstances. As Learning Cities they have both been in a position
to readily capitalise on initiatives. While they experience frustration with the shifts in emphasis that occur with
new proposals they seem to be enthusiastic adaptors and are highly focussed on ensuring that resources are
well used for those who are most isolated socially and economically.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                  29
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


1. What difference does it make to be a Learning City?

     Lifelong Learning and the Learning City concept

    In the Learning Cities visited, there seems to be a widespread acceptance and understanding of the
            concept of lifelong learning and its value to individuals, communities and countries.

This understanding spreads well beyond the core group of people involved in the instigation of the Learning
Cities. People involved in a wide range of community education projects refer confidently to lifelong learning
and the strategies they are using to widen participation.

There is little concern about definitions and there is a widely disseminated common understanding of who the
target groups and the participants are and the kinds of activities that will extend the reach of learning
opportunities into communities that do not normally have that access. There is general agreement that
individuals in each city would not know or recognise it as a Learning City but the aim is to ensure that in time,
everyone is an active learner.

     Partnerships

Whether a Learning City is driven by local government or by adult and community education (ACE) providers
(as in Victoria) did not seem to make a critical difference, although the ability of local government to access
government funds is considerable. The critical success factor seems to be the partnerships that are developed
and these take over from the initiating organisation. The Learning City itself broke down barriers to
partnerships in the same way that it has done in Victoria.

The formal declaration of a city as a Learning City also did not seem so important in the cities visited. This may
be one instance where there is a difference in the development of Learning Cities by ACE organisations. The
declaration of a Learning City here is significant recognition by local government as a key partner.

     Local solutions

There is a very strong emphasis on a local outlook and approach, a critical success factor in determining the
appropriate learning needs of any given community. A sense of local identity as well as the practical aspects of
access to learning provision has seen a geographically localised approach to the development of the Learning
Cities. Some highly localised initiatives such as Family History and Local History programs have particular
resonance with new participants in learning.

From the places visited it appears though that the Learning City Network may not be as effective as it has
been and this may lead to a lack of information about other initiatives their outcomes. While there are
extremely innovative solutions to local issues being developed by each of the cities, there are also common
responses to government initiatives and there did not seem to be a great deal of awareness of what other
cities are currently doing.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                   30
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

For example, some cities are developing Neighbourhood Learning Plans and Community Action Plans. There
are toolkits being developed through this work that could be usefully shared by other communities. Several
cities are developing open access ICT learning centres – there are variations and nuances in approach and
emphasis that could prove useful in perhaps determining location of these centres, services available through
them and strategies for promoting them. A range of research projects are also being conducted to investigate
successful approaches in promoting lifelong learning and in overcoming barriers to learning. Gothenburg,
Rotterdam and the Campaign for Learning are all conducting major, multi country research in this area.
Glasgow, Blackburn and Norwich are conducting small scale, locally focussed research. All of this information
will be useful when it is completed but there may be some productive exchange of information as the research
is conducted as well.

The Victorian Learning Towns Network and the newly formed Australian Learning Communities Network have
an important role to play in disseminating examples of good practice to the emerging Learning City movement
in Australia and internationally.

2. What are the value added outcomes of a Learning City?

    Learning from challenges

The Learning Cities are continually grappling with new challenges and see those challenges as opportunities
to develop new strategies that their communities will learn from.

A common theme was ‘initiative overload’ – a problem we would love to have! The sheer number of initiatives
available (increasingly so since the recent UK election) and the accountabilities are starting to have
consequences. As here, it can be difficult to continually engage partners for proposals that may not eventuate.
Some places reported a bottleneck of new participants in learning where further pathways into more
mainstream programs could not cope with the number of applicants.

However, many projects also have a long term outlook (some reported 10 years) and include capital funds to
build facilities and provide infrastructure for ICT access. One strategy to cope with the ‘overload’ adopted by all
of the cities is to act as a coordinating body for the initiatives underway in their communities, or to research the
initiatives that are being undertaken and set up networks to ensure that there is no unnecessary duplication
and to share experience.

New areas of emphasis (in the UK especially) include alternative provision within the school system of
vocational programs as well as the more traditional offerings. Basic Skills for adults was also being reinstated
as a priority after years of neglect apparently and raised the issue of the lack of appropriately qualified and
experienced teachers in this field. Even in the Netherlands, which is widely regarded as having almost no level
of illiteracy, a new campaign is about to be launched aimed at older Dutch speaking people who are hidden in
the literacy statistics and have quite high levels of need in this area. Vocational Education in schools and Adult
Basic Education is well developed and supported in Victoria in particular and there may be some useful
insights available for the UK Learning Cities from the Kirby Review of Post Compulsory Education and Training
in Victoria and from the ACFE (www.acfe.vic.gov.au), ALA (www.ala.asn.au) and ANTA websites (www.anta.gov.au).

All the cities were conducting creative work with refugees and asylum seekers, another emerging target group.
In the Netherlands and Sweden, asylum seekers were participating in learning programs on the grounds that if
their applications are successful, they would be better placed to integrate well into their new community and if
they were returned home, they would also make improved contributions to their homelands. This is also a
strategy for overcoming the despair and hostility that can develop in asylum centres and we must investigate
this more urgently in Australia.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                  31
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

      Digital inclusion

Significant funds are available for the provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
infrastructure. All of the cities had many computer and internet access facilities and some had large banks of
laptops for mobile provision of learning programs. These facilities are largely available free of charge, and
encourage casual access. They are not tied up with formal learning programs and they are strategically placed
in communities and neighbourhoods to reach marginalised groups. Supervision and guidance is available and
this is proving a popular strategy for developing ICT literacy.

The ready access to ICT infrastructure has meant that there can be a rapid response to sudden demand for
ICT skills in the workforce that can emerge unexpectedly as enterprises become ICT dependent. Examples
include the Ministry of Transport Roadworthy Certificates that created ICT training programs for Asian
employees in garages in Blackburn and the waterfront employment base in Rotterdam when the harbour
became digitalised.

All of the ICT learning centres that have been set up in libraries and neighbourhoods are attracting large
numbers of participants including migrants and young people. A complementary outcome has been the
revitalisation of libraries as a result of the ICT provision and the re engagement of people with books and other
library facilities and events.

      Overcoming barriers

There is evidence that barriers to learning that have been seen as significant can be relatively easily overcome
with appropriate funding support. In Great Yarmouth, young single parents were making rapid progress in their
formal education through the provision of unlimited free childcare while the parents are engaged in learning
programs. Peer support and mentoring are added and people make amazing strides and catch up very

A widely used effective strategy is the development of Learning Champions, committed participants in
communities, businesses and projects, who promote and encourage their cohort to become lifelong learners.
In some cities, Learning Champions are inducted and trained and there are toolkits being developed to do this.
These toolkits will become available but Victorian providers have the expertise to develop their own programs
for this strategy.

      Alignment with other initiatives

There is an emerging link between Healthy Cities and Learning Cities in the UK and some research has been
conducted on the improvement in community health that is observed when people become active learners. It
will be important for the Learning Cities to build relationships with the initiatives that seem to be coming from
the health departments in government as there is strong alignment in their principles and aims.

All of the Learning Cities are well linked with other community building initiatives. Career and Guidance
Centres are active and accessible and often work in partnership with Learning City projects. Some early work
has commenced in establishing a Career and Guidance Centre based on the UK model in Mt Evelyn1 and this
is a possible strategy for statewide development in Victoria that would add strength to programs that engage
new learners.

    For further information on Mt Evelyn’s Career and Guidance Centre contact Barb Lorey, Community Link, 03 9737 0759

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                           32
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

‘Investors in People’ is also widely used and recognised in organisational development and while there is
some provision in Australia, this may be worth further investigation for a statewide effort ( www.ncsi.com.au).

3. What are the indicators of success?

    Demonstrated improvement in economic indicators

There is little concern about measurement although all the Learning Cities visited had demonstrated significant
improvement in the macro indicators of social inclusion and economic development – employment rates,
school retention rates, participation in formal and informal education, improvements in employment status for
learners, community health and housing, engagement of new target groups such as refugees and asylum
seekers, reduced vandalism and new industries.

All of the cities had particularly difficult social and economic conditions to tackle in the first instance and the
work is only just starting to reap results. While all the cities reported good employment rates, several indicated
that on its own, this indicator masked high levels of unemployment in particular areas as well as poor
contribution to the economy from underemployment and seasonal employment.

Some of the Learning Cities acknowledged that there was a need for improved measures of performance for
their own interest as well as developing a more widespread awareness of the benefits of their approach and
some are working on this activity. All of the Learning Cities were involved in ongoing evaluation of specific
projects and in national evaluations conducted by organisations such as the National Institute for Adult
Continuing Education (NIACE).

The Victorian projects have a particular focus on measuring their impact at the moment. It may be that the
Learning Cities visited are now in a mature phase and have proved their value, but it may be more widely
accepted that participation in lifelong learning is valuable and productive.

       All of the Learning Cities are operating within a national policy framework that supports and
    encourages lifelong learning and the value of initiatives that extend participation has already been
                           researched and confirmed in these national policies.

The recent decision by the Victorian ACFE Board (February 2002) to form a committee to work with the
Learning Towns in continuing to develop strategic direction and new ways of measuring extended participation
in learning may prove to be a critical success factor in ensuring the stability and sustainability of the pilot

    Developing a learning culture in hard to reach groups

Several of the Learning Cities visited have very high rates of non participation (up to 60%) which is much
higher than the generally accepted average rate of about 33% (Kearns, 2000). All of the Learning Cities are
very successful in engaging non learners – especially women, young people, migrants and some
underemployed and unemployed groups.

The big hurdles are still the engagement of small business and reaching unemployed or underemployed men
in the 35 – 60 year age group and some migrant groups. The Learning Cities have up to 80% of their
businesses defined as small businesses and the level of their involvement is low. Several cities have this as a
focus for their next phases but their effort until now has been concentrated on engaging non learners in the

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                    33
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

The focus of Australia’s Adult Learners’ Week in September 2002 - men aged 45 and over who are not
active learners - is timely and Australian initiatives must take the opportunity to be publicised through
                                               this campaign.

    Innovation

Creative new ways of thinking include:

The learning programs for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands no longer insist on Dutch
language programs and integration programs that encourage people to become more like the Dutch. Instead,
the education programs focus on whatever key language the participant has and developing fluency and
literacy in that language. The issue, of course, is the availability of suitably experienced teachers to conduct
these programs.

In Gothenburg, government funds to support learning programs have been channeled to employers who make
a commitment to employing, retaining and developing employees rather than used for training programs for the
unemployed. Employment rates are high and this has proved an effective strategy for developing a learning
culture in business.

The ICT Learning Centre concept in Glasgow has been adopted at its own expense by Glasgow Caledonian
University. A large ICT access centre has been established that is presently available for staff and students,
but will be accessible by the community once security arrangements have been made. The centre incorporates
a coffee shop and encourages people to have their coffee while they use the computers. Their reasoning is
that people should feel relaxed while they are using the centre and that keyboards are cheap to replace if
there are any spills. Several stations also have groups of chairs around a computer so that people can learn

Blackburn with Darwen has an Asian Heritage program that has taken off with the employment of project
workers with an Asian background. A recent information session on preparing for the Hajj expected 600 people
and attracted 3000 on the day! The Asian Heritage program is now so well established that it is being
incorporated in the general Learning City program rather than being a separate entity.

Norwich makes some of its Learning City funding available as small grants to community groups. This is done
with a minimum of paperwork so that groups that do not have the skills and infrastructure to apply for more
formal grants are able to access funds for community learning activities that reach people that the mainstream
programs do not.

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                              34
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning


The Learning Cities are thriving and successful contributors to the regeneration of particularly disadvantaged
communities. They are extraordinarily successful in attracting major funds for extensive projects. They are
meeting and exceeding all of the performance requirements of particular projects. They are frequently used for
piloting initiatives and conducting research. They are given considerable licence to try risky approaches and
they seem to generate positive outcomes all the time. There are still groups that are proving difficult to engage
but they are not ignored. The concept of a Learning City is no longer fragile or vulnerable in each of the
communities visited and they are displaying the characteristics of significant partnerships, widening
participation and developing learning pathways that distinguish them from other cities.

      The … Learning Cities … know that learning can transform people’s lives. The Learning City
initiative(s) are dedicated to making Lifelong Learning a dimension of the everyday experience of all …
      citizens. The creation of a culture of Lifelong Learning positively impacts on many social and
      economic policy areas including economic, community and cultural development, health and
          community safety. Most importantly it opens doors for personal growth and fulfilment.
                                               (Popplewell, p 5).

Shanti Wong
April 2002

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                35
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning



Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn Learning Through Football
Department for Education and Skills – Lifelong Learning
Glasgow, ‘Real’
Great Yarmouth
Learning City Network UK
Learning and Skills Council
National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE)
Norwich – The Forum
Norwich - The Learning Shop

Adult Learning Australia
Australian National Training Authority
Adult, Community and Further Education Board
Investors in People, Australasia
SmartGeelong – The Learning City
Victorian Learning Towns Network

Australian Learning Cities

Victorian Learning Towns Network
Contact: Shanti Wong
Ph: +61 03 5223 3614
E-mail: info@geelonglearningcity.vic.edu.au

Australian Learning Communities Network
Contact: Jim Saleeba
Ph: +61 02 6055 9218
Email: jim_saleeba@cow.mav.asn.au

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                  36
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

Second Australian Learning Cities Conference, 27-29 September 2002
Ballarat, Victoria.
Ph: +61 03 5331 1744

Interviews conducted in January 2002 with:

Karen Ringnalda

Lars Franson
Director, Project Learning City

Stephanie Young
Senior Director, Employability,
Scottish Enterprise Glasgow

Dr David McNulty
Assistant Director of Lifelong Learning
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Chris Popplewell
Economic Development Officer
Norwich City Council

Stephen Dunstan
Norwich City Council

Rosemary Linley
Director, Learning City
Great Yarmouth

and their colleagues.


ACFEB (Adult, Community and Further Education Board), 2000, Learning Towns Overview and Policy
Context, Melbourne

ACFEB, June 2000, Planning for further education in Victoria

Albeda College more than an educational institution, Rotterdam

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, 2002, Award application

Breckenridge, P, 2000, Shopping for Learning, Norwich Learning Shop

City of Gothenburg, 2001, Norra Alvstraden – The Process, City Planning Authority

City of Gothenburg Year Book 2002, Lifelong Learning

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                   37
Learning Cities - Building 21st Century communities through lifelong learning

City of Rotterdam Information Services, October 2000, Bestuur Rotterdam

Clark, J, March 2001, Glasgow the Learning City: Lifelong Learning and Regeneration, Scottish Enterprise

DfEE (Department for Further Education and Employment), 1998, Practice, Progress and Value: Assessing
the Value of Learning Communities, NIACE (National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education), UK

Department for Education and Employment, 2001, Skills for Social Inclusion and the Knowledge Economy:
Towards a Shared Vision, UK

Falk, I, Golding, B, and Balatti, J, 2000, Building Communities. ACE, Lifelong Learning and Social Capital,
ACFEB, Melbourne

Franson, L, Director Lifelong Learning, Gothenburg, 2000, Focus on Social inclusion in the Learning City,
Paper presented at First European Festival of the Learning City, Sheffield, UK

Geelong Adult Training and Education (GATE) Inc, 2002, 'SmartGeelong - The Learning City' Business Plan

Kearns, P, Key Strategies and Activities for Building a Learning Community, 1998, Global Learning Services,

Kearns, P, McDonald, R, Candy, P, Knights, S, Papadopoulos, G, 1999, Lifelong Learning, VET in the learning
age: The challenge of lifelong learning for all, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, NCVER, ANTA, South Australia

Kearns, P, First Australian Learning City Conference, October 2000, Albury-Wodonga

Kirby, P, 2000, Review of Post Compulsory Education and Training in Victoria, Office of PETE, Melbourne

National Economics, 1999, State of the Regions

OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Lifelong Learning for All, Report of the
meeting of the Education Committee, January 1996, Paris

Popplewell C, 2002, Developing a Community Led Learning Community, Norwich City Council,

Senge P, 2001, The Fifth Discipline (1990), Handbook of Management, Financial Times

Sivers, C, 2002, Neighbourhood Learning Planning, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Spierings, J, Sydney Morning Herald, April 2001

World Initiative on Lifelong Learning 1994, An action agenda for lifelong learning for the 21st century, Report
from the First Global Conference on Lifelong Learning, Rome, 1994, Brussels

Vinson, T, 1999, Unequal in Life: the distribution of social disadvantage in Victoria and NSW, Jesuit Social

Yarnit, M, 2000, Towns, cities and regions in the learning age: a survey of learning communities, DfEE, UK

Shanti Wong/ETTE Travelling Scholarship Report                                                                 38

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