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Learning Regions A quality framework for cooperation
Learning Regions and Cities have become a widely adopted concept in European education policies. Due to the different departures and pathways each of them has developed domain specific knowledge, in the area of social capital building, regarding good governance and institution building, stakeholder collaboration, public-private partnerships and transversal cooperations. R3L+ capitalizes on this diversity by bringing together actors from the respective countries in order to learn from each other and jointly elaborate a common quality framework for collaborative action.
Adult education in the light of the European quality strategy
The project promotes quality in adult education by reflecting good practice to be found in Learning regions in the light of the European quality strategy on training and education. More specifically the project will capitalize on good practice found in the Learning regions, and further develop a common set of quality methods and instruments to ensure the development, assurance and improvement of quality learning networks.

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Dear visitor,

R3L+  has moved to DISCUSS, the European Platform for Communities of Practice on Lifelong Learning. If you are interested in the topic of Learning Regions and Cities and want to engage with us, we invite you to join our community of researchers and practitioners on the DISCUSS platform.

R3L+ Event

murten1

The R3L+ project took part in the EUROLOCAL conference, taking place at Centre Loewenberg, Murten, Switzerland 27-29 October 2011. The Conference brought together academics and practitioners in practical sessions to explore all aspects of Learning Cities and Regions. At the same time delegates were given the opportunity to describe their own experiences and knowledge on this most important topic, followed by a series of excellent presentations and workshop events for some 50+ participants from15 countries in Europe.

The R3L+ Learning Regions: discussing their characteristics, aims, strategy and learning approach.

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Ensuring Quality in Learning Regions: key issues of a common framework for quality assurance.

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Ensuring quality in Learning Regions: elaborating quality criteria, indicators and methods to measure quality.

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European strategy on quality education and training: exchanging ideas, collecting materials and links.

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R3L+ Learning Regions

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In Germany for the national network "Learning Regions" was evoked from the idea to make education more flexible in the regions in a bottom-up way. The Learning Region around the Lake of Constance Region is a striking example. The formal network was based on institutions that already existed. The goal was to spread their activities in the field of education, training, guidance and counseling. The intention was to build up all the key elements from the national side. Multiple educational paths were created where the inhabitants could participate in the educational processes. These were well used over the eight years.

Background report

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The Learning City of Dundee adopted a policy of inclusive Lifelong Learning, which provides more opportunities for participation. It makes opportunities available to those who live in the most deprived areas. It brings together excellence in science and culture and disseminates this all Dundee's citizens in new ways. It promotes the wider benefits of existing Arts, Culture, Sport and Health initiatives to ensure that they become meaningful for all.

Background report

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The strategic goal of developing Kaunas into a Learning city was formulated as to enable the individual and collective learning of citizens at all times and in all places, as well as fostering the organizational learning of the city and its organizations and communities in a way that would solve problems of importance to the city, its inhabitants, communities and organizations and develop in a sustainable way those aspects.

Background report

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In Limerick a City of Learning Steering Group was established in 2003. The main aim of the local group is to support the design and implementation of a city-wide learning strategy that will enable Limerick to grow as a ‘vibrant successful city, which recognises and strives to meet the learning needs of all its citizens’. The basic hypothesis was that if citywide interaction and partnership among all involved in the provision of education and learning is improved and enhanced, then positive outcomes can be achieved in relation to expansion of the City’s ‘social capital’ by recognising the value of personal and social development in learning.

Background report

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The activities promoting Bucharest-Ilfov as a learning region are of a relative recent date. Since the early years of the 21st century I-VET and C-VET started to be taken into account, as well as the general orientation towards the development of human resources when the first Human Resources Development Program was launched. Also some other initiatives showed relevant, especially the updating of the Regional Development Plan, the Twinning Light Programs and the TVET multi-annual programs, developing the initial technical and vocational education and training in Romania.

Background report

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The Pécs Learning City-Region Forum was initiated in the Fall of 2009 by the Faculty of Adult Education and HRD of the University of Pécs. The goal was to put quality learning of individuals and groups either in formal, non-formal or in informal environment on the agenda and to support organisational learning. Networking should be promoted amongst learning providers and stakeholders, and, joint activities should be created as well as innovative practices in the field.

Background report

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Lundaland is formally a non-governmental organization set up to initiate, manage and finance a Leader project within a specific territory in the southern part of Sweden where a number of grass-root driven micro-projects are being launched to create wealth in the rural areas of the territory. Projects are bottom-up defined and the learning processes follow the pedagogical frameworks for learning-by-doing, learning-by creating and learning-by-experimentation, rather than learning-by-being-educated.

Background report

Welcome to the project

Partner meeting in Pecs, Hungary

The 3rd transnational workshop took place in Pecs, Hungary from 11.-12 October 2010. The workshop was attended by partner organisations and experts in education & training from Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden and Hungary.

Previous to the workshop in the partner countries a series of stakeholder consulations were conducted, in order to identify quality issues in education and training and answers provided by learning regions and cities. From the findings a draft quality framework was derived, indicating criteria and indicators towards the building of quality learning regions and cities throughout Europe.

On the occasion of the workshop the draft framework was discussed in detail in the light of the European strategy on quality in education and training. Through the next months the framework will be finetuned and tested in selected European learning regions and cities.

The draft quality framework can be found on our collaborative workspace WIKI. Thanks to Dr. Balaz Nemeth and Dr. Teresz Kleis, University of Pecs for hosting the workshop.

Kaunas workshop

The 2nd transnational workshop took place in Kaunas, Lithuania from 6th to 9th May 2010. On the occasion of the event the results of the first project phase were discussed, with particular regard to elaborating a common strategy at the development of quality assurance in learning regions / cities.

On Friday morning the results from field studies were presented by the research teams, followed by a lively feedback from the European partners. In the afternoon the role and importance of CQAF and EQARF were discussed  with a view to the different dimensions of the learning region / city, and the learning types associated. Based on the results the partners on the 2nd workshop day elaborated:

  • an analytical framework, describing fields and areas for the adoption of quality assurance mechanisms along with the characteristics of each learning region / city,
  • a common framework for quality assurance in learning regions and cities, starting from a triple-p bottomline (partnerships, participation, progress) and which will allow for the adoption of various quality models according to the different implementations of the learning regions / cities concept,
  • a first set of quality criteria, which during the next phase will be reviewed and further elaborated by the learning regions / cities linked to the project.

We would like to thank the University of Kaunas, Institute of Educational Studies for hosting the workshop and hospitality granted.

The issue of city regions

citytrafficNational planners are anticipating the growth of connected networks of metropolitan areas or ‘megaregions’ in America 2050 (DEWAR and EPSTEIN, 2007) and in Europe the reach of urban areas is conceived as spreading from city centres to the remote countryside across ‘city-region’ territories (RAVETZ, 2000). Urbanization,in this sense, is both an empirical and an imagined/discursive question. The focus of a recent article, published by Neuman / Hull is whether and how the ‘city region’ constitutes a new departure in urbanization, and if so what are the key elements of that difference.

The article gives a brief overview of the spatial definitions of city regions and empirically based theories of spatial form. Then the discussion marks out how the city region has been imagined in the recent past in the form of linkages, gradients, and cartographic and geographic representations. The third and fourth sections pose the question of whether the new constructs of mega-regions and city regions will help to establish new institutional structures at these scales.The possibilities and challenges and the consequences for institutional design are looked at before, finally, setting out an agenda for future research.

 Download The Futures of the City Region
File Author: Michael Neuman, Angela Hull
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Munich kickoff meeting

munichgroupThe kickoff meeting of the R3L+ project took place in Munich, 10-12 December 2009. On the occasion of the event the partners presented their learning networks. Furthermore a set of core criteria for the analyis of learning regions and cities was discussed, and an agenda for field research has been set up accordingly.

During Saturday the partners analyzed the current debate on quality assurance in VET, with a view to valuing CQAF and EQARF in adult education and possible implementations in the course of local learning networks, such as learning regions and cities.

The results later on were discussed with experts from the Eurolocal project, which is promoted by the University of Glasgow and currently is developing a pan-European inventory of tools, materials and learning opportunities on learning regions under the transversal strand of the European Lifelong Learning Programme.

The event was hosted by the University of Munich, Dept. of Empirical Pedagogy Research. We would like to thank Prof. Thomas Eckert and his team for organizing the workshop and hospitality granted.

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Disclaimer

This project is funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project No: 504475-LLP- 1-2009-1-DE-GRUNDTVIG-GMP
Agreement: 2009 - 3413 / 001 – 001

Research Article

11159

Randolph Preisinger-Kleine

An Analytical Quality Framework for Learning Cities and Regions 


 UNESCO - Springer Verlag
DOI
10.1007/s11159-013-9364-2

Juli 2013

R3L+ Handbook

Quality in Developing
Learning Cities and Regions
A Guide for Practitioners and Stakeholders

Munich 2012
ISBN 978-3-00-037333-6

R3L+ Flyer

Comparisons

R3L+ Learning Regions

Find a comparison of their key features at our collaborative workspace learningregion.pbworks.com

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Weblinks

xploit

USING EUROPEAN LEARNING RESOURCES TO BUILD LEARNING COMMUNITIES: Xploit aims to develop role-model learning communities systematically interacting with innovative European learning resources. Xploit is focused on the development of new forms of cooperation in the communities between policy-makers and education, between authorities and groups of active citizens.

The Xploit project will contribute to the development of learning communities through practical cooperation between the stakeholders on the learning scene, developing their ability to capture and implement European learning resources, based on the identification of community needs. The Xploit Model, the role-model learning communities, will emerge from this practical work.

EduPlan is a support system in the transition from school and vocational training to profession as interface for the emergence of cooperation in networks, a subject that increasingly takes a center stage of the educational policy in many European states.

vetworks

The main aim of this project is to implement the SPEAK system in six chosen European countries (Austria, Germany, Greece, Poland, Spain and Hungary.) SPEAK is an innovative tool for strategic planning, evaluation and knowledge management of multi-stakeholder cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (VET).

BEQUAL is a European portal dedicated to quality procedures in Vocational Education and Training (VET) as well as to benchmarking between peers.

Eurolocal is a partner project of R3L+. 

EUROlocal reinforces the EC policy on lifelong learning regions by collecting the tools, strategies, learning materials, reports and everything concerned with their development. The project represents an easily accessible resource for local initiatives to the collective experience and knowledge resulting from these pan-European efforts.

Social Web

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Facebook Fansite: VETWORKS

Facebook group: BEQUAL - Benchmarking quality in vocational education and training

Facebook group: Learning Cities