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R3L: Lithuania

Several stages of the development may be described:

  1. Initiating in 2000- 2001. The initiator was the Institute of Educational Studies at KTU (Head prof. Palmira Juceviciene).
  2. Creating of the general network  in the  Learning City (the main agents: Institute of Educational Studies, Institute of  Business Strategy, KTU,  and the Municipality of Kaunas). The result – the General network and the Learning City Council was established in 2004.
  3. The Strategy of the Learning City was developed and adopted by the Learning City Council; it was approved by the Municipality of Kaunas as part of the city development strategy in 2002.
  4. Different networks of the Learning City - of local communities, schools, colleges, universities, business organizations, theatres, museums, other organizations, associations, municipality and its organizations – are have been in the process of continuing development for reaching different objectives identified in the Strategy of the Learning City  since 2004.

 

The initiators of the network that form the backbone of the Kaunas – Learning city project can be considered the Institute of Educational Studies of Kaunas university of Technology (KTU). The idea of developing Kaunas into the learning city emerged in this scholars group. It relied to a large extent on the ideas of Norman Longworth described in his book ‘Making lifelong learning work: learning cities for a learning century’ (2000) and the experience accumulated by KTU researchers. The researchers have involved the Department of Education of Kaunas Municipality, which provided its enthusiastic support to the proposal. Later, the Municipality of Kaunas city was also made familiar with the idea, and it agreed the plan to develop Kaunas into a learning city.

In 2000, based on the analysis and assessment of European, Japanese and American experience, a full strategy for Learning city development and the methodology of its implementation was drafted. After the municipality had officially confirmed the aim of creating Kaunas as a learning city, it became a member of the European Lifelong Learning Initiative (ELLI). The first stage of drafting a complex programme ‘Kaunas – the Learning City’ was launched.

In 2001, at the city conference ‘The Learning city – a vision of Kaunas’s future’ the conceptual guidelines of the Learning city were adopted.

In the period from 2002 to 2007 the city made many efforts to develop the services of formal and non-formal education. The Learning City Council was founded and started its activities. Many special events – forums, conferences, and seminars – took place in the city that contributed to the dissemination of information about the learning city and its development, promoting particularly the participation of citizens. The city was included in European Commission Learning City projects and other international activities (in particular, the SOCRATES project PASCAL European Network of Learning Regions - PEN3RL).