City of Wolverhampton has hit a major milestone in a bid to become an international learning region.

It has been officially accepted into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, which aims to support and accelerate lifelong learning, and makes an important contribution towards achieving sustainable development goals.

The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities consists of around 200 cities in 40 countries which are united in their determination to promote lifelong learning and, through it, sustainable development in their cities.

An application form, signed by Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Phil Page, has now been submitted to UNESCO for City of Wolverhampton to be considered for Learning City Award status.

The University of Wolverhampton and City of Wolverhampton Council last year launched the City of Wolverhampton Learning Region Initiative along with key partners and organisations linked to economic and social development, including City of Wolverhampton College, Local Enterprise Partnerships, employers, schools and colleges.

The partners came together at the university to learn about the concept and determine how it can best work for people in the city and surrounding areas in terms of raising aspirations, developing a skilled workforce and engaging adults in learning to improve health and wellbeing.

One activity in the pipeline is to host a festival of learning during the city's Residents' Programme in March 2019.

Professor Jackie Dunne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Access and Lifelong Learning) at the University, said: "Membership of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities is an important step towards achieving Learning City Award status, which recognises exemplary progress in promoting inclusive education and lifelong learning, in line with the university's ethos.  Our collaborative application for this is now well underway.

"We are very pleased with this latest development and our ongoing work within the City of Wolverhampton Learning Region initiative, working with key partners and stakeholders will build on this further and support our efforts to achieve the award.

"The university is committed to providing access to education and opportunities to people from all backgrounds, raising aspirations and standards, and ensuring that learning is central to social and economic development within the region."

Councillor Lynne Moran, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, added: "It is vital we improve the city's learning, apprenticeship and employment offers to young people and adults in the City of Wolverhampton.

"To be accepted into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities recognises the strong partnership working going on in our city and the determination we are showing to raise aspirations, develop a skilled workforce and engage adults in learning to improve health and wellbeing.

"Plans are in place for a City Learning Quarter that will help allow education and skills providers to flourish and grow together.

"Achieving Learning City Award status will help put our city offer on a global stage and enable us to gain better access to the best-practice knowledge of cities who already hold this title."

  • released: Wednesday 17 October, 2018