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Learning cities – learning communities

Tamas Kozma
Education or Learning?

One of the unexpected outcomes of the ‘expansion of education’ happened to be an “expansion of learning” as a bottom-up activity as opposed to the top-down activity of schooling, teaching and (formal) education. The related political statements (Freire 1970, Illich 1971) as well as official documents (e.g. Faure 1971, Delors 1996) reflect that this shift of emphasis was not only didactical rather a political development. Community learning in the newer sense means the network of those who started to learn in various ways in a social and territorial unit. The density and intensity of the learning networks may create new ideas and thus would be the nest of social creativity and innovations. Recent research (e.g. the Canadian CLI and the German Atlas of Learning) tried to describe the territorial emergence of ‘learning regions’ and ‘learning cities’. One of them (LeaRn) presents the regional distribution of the statistics of lifelong learning which completes the traditional ‘distribution of knowledge’ in Hungary and may contribute to a more equitable view of the different territories of the country.

Keywords: Lifelong learning, adult education, didactics, regional analysis


Ágnes Engler – Edina Márkus
Territorial dimension of the formal and non-formal adult learning

In the Hungarian literature the formal adult learning is usually defined as adult education in the school system which is completed at the primary, secondary or tertiary level of education. The non-formal learning is less well-defined; in general it means organized training by an organization. Both of the learning manners are characterized by institutional approach.

Our study attempts to approach the adult education from the perspective of the participants. We examine the participation rates and details using national statistical data, comparing the formal and non-formal learning from territorial approach.

Keywords: formal adult learning, non-formal adult learning, regional differences


Magdolna Benke
The learning communities and the vocational education

Within the research field of the learning regions, learning cities and learning communities, we can find a special research topic, the link between the learning communities and vocational education and training (VET). Learning region concepts consider universities as key innovation partners and ignore VET and secondary education in general. Several circumstances reduce the capacity of VET institutions to play a substantial role in the partnership. International research outcomes highlight the contradictions between centralised VET policy and the regional view of local learning communities, and between the short term needs of VET market and the long term needs of trust which serves as a vital force for communities. According to the results of a local expert survey, VET institutions could play a meaningful role in the life of the local communities in addition to education and training. It is assumed that the development of the relationship between VET institutions and local communities could involve a number of reserves.

Keywords: learning regions, learning communities, vet, innovation, partnership


Erika Juhász – József Szabó
Cultural learning: a new dimension in adults’ learning

Cultural learning is a non-formal and informal form of learning, implemented by wide range of institutions and toolkit of culture. Its existence goes back in history to the beginning of mankind, the examination of it as old as culture sociology trends. These examinations primarily analyze only a single subfield of cultural learning (e.g. reading, visiting museums, using the internet etc.), in this presentation we would like to give a theoretical framework to it. We present those institutional scenes and cultural assets by which certain forms of cultural learning appear and become measurable. Based on the cultural learning index – which was made from national statistics – we introduce those connections which explain why the level of development is inversely proportional between the socio-economic index and cultural learning index in some regions, and building on this, how the development of cultural learning conditions may affects on socio-economic development in some regions.

Keywords: adult learning, cultural learning, non-formal learning, informal learning


Katalin R Forray
From Educational Centres to Learning Cities

The concept of ‘educational centres’ was one of the hidden political movements during the late Kadar regime in Hungary. The concept meant bottom-up initiations within the framework of ‘education’ and ‘culture’. The ‘centres of education’--as called by literature and discussions -- meant not only the institutions but also the communities which demanded self governance at least in the realm of education. The idea of self-governed educational communities seems to be revitalised in Hungary by the ‘learning community’ concept. Learning communities--be they towns or villages--meet the local and regional challenges by collecting new information and absorbing them to the life of the given communities. Case studies of the ‘LeaRn Project’ show the process of meeting the local challenges successfully or unsuccessfully. ‘Local heroes’ play central roles in the successful cases.

Keywords: Educational centres, learning communities, lifelong learning


Zoltán Gál
University and the city

The study examines the various roles played by universities in the development of their cities and regions in the context of the third and fourth missions’ literature discussing their economic, innovation and cultural functions. After summarizing the literature on the contribution of universities to urban and regional development, the paper looks through the most important theoretical considerations including the developmental role and the main features of the service university. It presents the main issues in which the mid-range universities in peripheral regions are different from the top universities located mainly in metropolitan areas.  The paper deals with the regional aspects of educational and innovation functions of the Hungarian higher education sector and discusses those policy initiatives that contribute to the development of the local economy and the SME sector through the support of the HEI sector. The paper concludes that there is a need for stronger local and regional engagement of universities by strengthening service functions in order to adjust their training and research profiles to the needs of their local communities.

Keywords: learning cities, higher education, innovation


Balázs Németh
Global of local perspectives of learning cities

This paper provides a shoer analysis of global and local perspectives of learning city-region developments, established in the early 1970s, by focusing on some major approaches having influenced the application of such models into educating cities; smart cities; learning cities; creative cities, etc. so as to raise employability, growth, and collaborations by claiming effective and efficient knowledge transfer and skills development. Therefore, we are going to signal specific theoretical aspect and, accordingly, demonstrating the impact of both global partnership orientations and of knowledge networking in local-regional contexts.

Keywords: learning cities, learning communities, responsible action, creativity, innovation


Károly Teperics – Sándor Márton – Klára Czimre
Social embeddedness of learning cities and regions

Within the framework of our research on learning regions (learning cities), the attitude of the Hungarian settlements towards learning was analysed with the help of the formation of a complex index (LeaRn Index). The learning dimensions developed by Jacques Delors were used in the index-forming process. In the current phase of the work, our complex index (and its components) were compared with a socio-economic indicator (personal income tax per capita) and with complex development indicators (deprivation index, objective well-being index). Strong correlation was found between the economic development level and the formal learning values, as expected, but the absence of a similar correlation is spectacular in the case of social activity/community learning. The comparison with the complex indexes also reveals strong parallelisms, of which the strongest relationship is observed in relation to the objective well-being indicator. In general, it is true that the best LI values are linked to cities and suburban settlements, but they are also better than other socio-economic indicators in the peripheries.

Keywords: learning region, learning city, complex index, regional differences