About Dublin Learning City


Dublin Learning City is a member of the Unesco Global Network of Learning Cities

Dublin joined the Unesco Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) in order to promote Dublin City as Learning City. UNESCO GNLC is an international policy-orientated network for inspiration, know-how and best practice. UNESCO GNLC believe every city is unique, yet it comes to learning and that cities share certain characteristics. Learning cities at all stages of development can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with other cities, as solutions for issues that arise as one learning city develops may already exist. UNESCO GNLC aids to make this connection between cities happen so they can learn and benefit from each other.

UNESCO GNLC support and improve the practice of lifelong learning in the world’s cities and recognise progress made in building learning cities.

Why a learning city?

We live in a world that is constantly changing and citizens need to learn how to adapt to these changes. Cities have a relatively complex nature, high population density that is rapidly growing and a tight network of learning facilities at their disposal. Cities throughout the world have tremendous potential to motivate and support citizens to proactively learn. Learning cities strive to ensure inclusive and equitable, basic to higher education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Dublin Learning City believe lifelong learning is crucial to the quality of an individual’s life. It will revitalise learning within families, communities, enable effective learning for the workplace, create a vibrant culture of learning and most importantly enhance the quality and excellence in learning. We are encouraging all aspects of education to aid our project to promote Dublin as a Learning City.

Who is involved?

Dublin Learning City is an exciting collaborative project between, comprising of University College Dublin(UCD), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology(IADT), Marino Institute of Education (MIE), National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). This is a HEA-funded initiative to collaboratively promote and advance equality of access to higher education for under-represented groups. We are also working in partnership with City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) and Dublin Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB). 

Dublin is the newest member of the Irish Learning City Network which endeavours to create a borderless country of learning, ensuring opportunities for accessible, life-long learning throughout Ireland.

We believe lifelong learning is key in creating Dublin as a sustainable city and society. Lifelong learning and education in an ever changing economic landscape, therefore, becomes a main driver in developing the resources necessary for people to achieve sustainable environmental and social and economic advancement. Dublin has enormous potential to stimulate and support learning among its citizens in ways that can help tackle existing issues, strengthen social cohesion, solidarity and transform the prospects of communities for the better.

Our Festival

Dublin joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in 2019 and we are working towards becoming a UNESCO Learning City. The first Dublin Learning Festival was in 2019 with over 100 events across the city promoting learning for all. Unfortunately, the festival had to be postponed in 2020 due to the arrival of COVID-19 in Ireland; however, this year’s festival is set to take place virtually from 22nd to 24th March, to safely share learning with all through a diverse programme that includes a range of subjects and learning methods.

In collaboration with Dublin City Council and other educational and community stakeholders, Dublin Learning City aims to deliver and co-ordinate the programmes concept across Dublin city. This will include a three-day virtual Learning Festival promoting accessible learning for all. Events are free to attend and it will be a fun-filled festival with plenty of learning activities to choose from.

We are delighted to confirm over 200 events for 2021.

Our aim

The aim of the Dublin Learning City initiative is to ensure that education and learning is accessible and free for all inhabitants, regardless of age, in traditional and non-traditional settings. We hosted our first festival in 2019 and we are pleased to return this year with a virtual event for anybody who wants to learn! 

We are working hard to establish sustainable inter-generational learning communities in the city and to work towards developing a strategy to attain the award of UNESCO Learning City for Dublin. Similar festivals also take place in Cork and Limerick each year.

Why Dublin?

Dublin is committed to creating inclusive lifelong learning opportunities for individuals to participate in learning socially, culturally and economically to create a more equal society and celebrate learning for its citizens. Ireland’s capital with a population of about 1.2 million, Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and it has lifelong learning in its blood.

We are striving for Dublin Learning City’s partners to amplify existing community education initiatives by using their city wide network and retaining an inclusive and inter-generational focus as a core operational tenet. In doing so, Dublin’s citizens will benefit from enhanced individual empowerment, employability, social inclusion economic development cultural prosperity, and sustainable development.