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The collection of abstracts

Learning Cities and Culture Working Together

Plenary Session:

Keynotes I.

  • Prof. (Hon) Dr. h.c. mult Arne Carlsen, former Director of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong
    Learning -
    Learning City and City of Culture

This keynote will elaborate upon the issue that citizens learning about culture by being part of a city’s cultural community, strengthens a city’s profile and community. Also, it will reflect to the reality that a city can extend its cultural offers to all of its citizens, and thereby enhance inclusion and wellbeing.


  • Prof. Mike Osborne, University of Glasgow/PASCAL Int. Observatory - Are Smart Cities Learning?

The rhetoric of smart urbanism that is used in many smart city initiatives, while aspiring to problem-solving, devalues certain principles of human agency. Urban change, including the desire of cities to become technologically innovative, might more fully facilitate active citizenship, social inclusion and learning opportunities for all if it were underpinned by the broader conceptions and frameworks of learning cities. In this presentation, the particular case of the city of Glasgow is analysed from this perspective.


  • Prof. Katarina Popovic, University of Belgrade/ICEA - Learning cities between the global goals and community practices

This Keynote will put some upcoming questions into the focus: Where do the learning cities stand in the implementation of the global goals for sustainable development? Are they supporting the implementation or correcting the weaknesses? What role are community and collective learning playing in the global education agenda - is it a catalyst or a Procrustean bed for them and for the learning cities movement?


Keynotes II.

  • Mr. Raul Valdes-Cotera, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning - Equitable and inclusive Learning Cities

This keynote will reflect to some identical issues of learning cities, like recent work of cultural centres to serve as learning sites, bringing together culture, art and learning, and hosting projects run jointly by local educational and cultural institutions are some of the actions that member cities of the UNESCO Global Network of learning Cities (GNLC) are undertaking to achieve equity and inclusion and promoting intercultural tolerance.


  • Prof. Séamus Ó’Tuama, University College Cork/Cork Learning City Programme - Learning Neighbourhoods: generating sustainable, flourishing, inclusive, learning environments in Cork Learning City

Cork city has piloted a project called Learning Neighbourhoods as a means of making its learning city project resonate with people at community level. The model is aimed at generating sustainable, flourishing, inclusive, learning environments. A culture of intergenerational exchange is key to the effectiveness of learning neighbourhoods as it enables Kofi Annan’s vision of a “society of all ages”. Intergenerational exchange also facilitates cognitive flexibility and the conditions for mutual recognition, respect and learning across all neighbourhood groups. Two projects in the Ballyphehane Learning Neighbourhood demonstrate the value of intergenerational exchange at local level. They also offer tentative evidence of generating cognitive flexibility that has societal level dividends. They additionally reaffirm the intrinsic role of recognition as a foundational principle for the justification of human rights and the dignity of all.


  • Dr. George K. Zarifis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Learning active participatory citizenship in Thessaloniki: implications and impact of mainstream and support educational activities for socially vulnerable young adults

This presentation is based on the research results of the EduMAP project (Horizon2020-Nr 693388) and discusses the widely recognised yet weakened position of active participatory citizenship in the current debate on the responsibility of adult education at local and community level, and the impact of learning initiatives for socially vulnerable young adults (16-30 y.o long-term unemployed, NEETs, Roma, homeless) in the Greek city of Thessaloniki.



Strand A - The Impacts of Heritage, Values and Culture in Learning Cities and Regions

Chair: Dr. Teréz Kleisz, University of Pécs

  • Dr. János Sziget Tóth, Hungarian Folk High School Society: Learning Villages


  • Dr. Zsuzsa Koltai, University of Pécs: Preserving Cultural Heritage through Museum Education

The presentation focuses on the role of museum learning in preserving cultural heritage. Museums are ideal places to facilitate learning about cultural heritage through their programs, exhibitions, websites and various learning materials. The presentation defines the currents trends of museums learning and it reveals the most innovative museum education methods which are applied by different European museums in order to preserve cultural heritage of the locality and to promote the engagement of locals. Keywords: cultural heritage; museum learning; museum education; adult learning


  • Dr. Julianna Boros – Dr. Tamás Ragadics - Ms. Eszter Gergye (Doctoral Student), University of Pécs: Community Learning and Cultural Learning in Ormánság

In Hungary in the 1990s it became clear that educational-, economic-, and social capital, or the lack of these could lead to benefits and disadvantages in the life of an individual. The role of the school of education became more appreciated. (Kertesi, 2000) The purpose of this case study, based on the concept of the Learning Regions concept theory, is to highlight those innovations in which the local community and their cultural and economic resources are activated. During our research (LearnInnov), we worked with quantitative and qualitative methods - at regional level - primarily on the data of the HCSO, the LEARN research database, and track-level regional documents for our analysis. On the other hand, life-history interviews (3) were made with local active social actors (mayor, community organizer, ecologist), and on-site field visits using a participatory observation method in a local community program (Bőköz-festival). According to economic indicators the Siklós district in South Transdanubia (called Ormánság) is a disadvantaged region, so it is important to know the initiatives which show new solutions and opportunities to decrease poverty in the future. Tésenfa (as the main focus village of this research) with its 190 inhabitants is located in this region. There are no nurseries no schools and the village is out of the direct agglomeration of Pécs (the nearby university town). In this sense, in the case of the chosen region we cannot speak about an "economical-learning"-, but a "cultural learning" region (Kozma et al., 2015: 49-50). Our lecture will introduce such cultural and community learning processes from the life of Tésenfa which resulted the changing from ‘leaving beside each other’ to ‘leaving together as a community’. Since the 1990’s deprivation was affecting locals, but this positive point of view is changing the locals’ way of thinking into a community based positive direction. keywords: community learning, Ormánság, Innovations.


  • Dr. Adél Vehrer, Széchenyi István University: Cultural Heritage and Virtual Reality

Learning and teaching cultural heritage with 3D/VR technological background may offer novel experience to learners regarding visual impact and content, which makes both imparting and learning new materials more efficient. 3D/VR technology makes possible for the students to getting closer visually to the world of the elder people in time and space. All these contribute to the subject will become more practice-oriented. Keywords: cultural heritage, virtual reality, learning, higher education


  • Dr. Tünde Minorics, University of Pécs: Local Communities and the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Hungary

The intangible cultural heritage includes traditions continuously transmitted and recreated by communities: customs, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills as well as instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural scenes that are recognised by communities as their cultural heritage. Some Hungarian customs as constantly changing process that preserves its basic character.  The communities that are active shape and organise of the process in cooperation with the Municipalities and the NGOs of the cities. Therefore, a known custom does not merely identify the place but it also expresses the collective identity of a city.


  • Mr. Tamás Kovács, (Doctoral Student) University of Pécs: How to Use European Learning Experience in Developing Underprivileged Slums Areas in India

Experience and methodological presentation about lectures and practical sessions for students of disadvantaged background from Delhi University in disadvantaged regions. It also covers the lecture held by students and professors at the Gandhi University's Regional Development College, introduce about the work in TK Slums' School in Delhi and the "Housing Management and Value Creation" process launched in Muzzafarpur (Bihar County).


Strand B - Smart and Learning Cities, Technological Innovations and System Developments

Chair: Pof. Zsolt Nemeskéri, University of Pécs/ Gál Ferenc College

  • Prof. Zoltán Gál: Role of Mid-range Universities in Knowledge Transfer and Regional Development in the Age of Digitalization: the Case of Central and Eastern European Regions

This chapter focuses on the specific role of mid-range universities in knowledge transfer and regional development. It explores the knowledge flows from these mid-range universities which face a number of additional constraints in transitional Central Eastern European (CEE) regions. It discusses major theories relevant to technology transfer and the role of universities in it (regional innovation systems, triple helix, cluster theories, smart specialization, etc.) including the developmental role (the third mission) of universities. It introduces the path-dependent evolution of the system of knowledge and technology transfer in CEE universities placing major mainstream theories and empirical evidence of the role of universities in innovation systems into post-socialist context.


  • Dr. Gábor Erdei, University of Debrecen: How Can Business Shape a Learning City?

The first notions of learning city - from the 90’ – originated from various discipline (e.g. regional studies, social/regional geography and economics). Of course, sometimes there had been rather substantial differences amongst the concepts and ideas, however the role of economy as a catalyst of learning regions, a common applied approach and understandings. In this trial, we try to describe how new investments can speed up the learning activities in a Hungarian city and smoothly shape a learning city. The main actors in these processes are the new investments in one hand and the schools (higher education and the vocational education system). Applying qualitative method, this research analyses the process of the mentioned phenomena. Keywords: learning city, new investments, technology driven learning


  • Dr. Krisztina Fodorné Tóth, University of Pécs: Diverse Electronic Learning Support - University and the City

Diverse Electronic Learning Support is concerned not only with technological innovations but much more with core learning and teaching skills, methodology and community development. Since electronic learning is no longer a lonely activity, but highly community-based, really significant is, what participants - both learners and educators - know or are capable to. My presentation intends to reveal knowledge, skills and perspectives of gentleman-commoners regarding e-learning through our wide-ranged research related to EFOP-3.4.3-16/1 project. This research issues how university students and educators - many of them active citizens of the city as well - can see role and area of electronic learning support during tertiary education and studies of adult learners.


  • Prof. Zsolt Nemeskéri, University of Pécs/ Gál Ferenc College: Digital Competences and the Labour Market

In the 21st century, the possession of digital competences does not only mean access to and utilization of information and communication technologies but also the possession of related and appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes. An EU-wide comprehensive study on digital inclusion and skills conducted in 2014 found that the digital competences of 47% of the Union’s population are unsatisfactory, including 23% possessing no digital competences at all. The purpose of this research study was to examine the relationship between the development of digital competencies and carrier orientation in four counties of Hungary. The following research questions were investigated: (a) How do professionals in different economic sectors perceive the need for digital competences? (b) What are facilitators and inhibitors of the development of digital competences? and (c) How does career orientation contribute to the development of digital competencies? A mix method approach was selected for the study and included surveys and individual in-depth interviews. The findings indicated that there are several contradictions between the development of digital competences and the system of career orientation in Hungary. Implications for HRD practice and research discussed. Keywords: digital competence, career orientation, lifelong guidance Joint paper with Iván Zádori.


  • Dr. Zoltán Koltai, University of Pécs: Innovation Culture of the Hungarian Cities as Business Locations

We made a layered questionnaire survey in 2005. In the research over one thousand entrepreneurs and business managers responded to our questions: what aspects do Hungarian businesses prefer when choosing their business location, which Hungarian cities or villages are considered competitive by company leaders and why, what characteristics, advantages and disadvantages do they use to describe the city types? In the light of the results, we repeated our survey in 2016-2017, allowing thereby the comprehensive evaluation of a period of ten years. In the second survey we used the method of a layered questionnaire survey again (the thress aspects considered were as follows: breakdown of the Hungarian businesses by regions, company size and finally sectors), in which it was one thousand entrepreneurs and business managers again who responded to our questions.

Keywords: factors of competitiveness, innovation culture, business location, regional disparities


  • Ms. Magdolna Benke, University of Debrecen: The Missing Partner – Vocational Education and Training for Learning Regions and Learning Communities

All learning region and learning city concepts emphasize the importance of partnership, cooperation and interaction between stakeholders in a given spatial frame, the key role of universities as innovation partners, the utilization of local knowledge and the support of bottom-up activities in the regional development processes. According to my hypothesis, which is based on research I continued on the learning regions and the learning communities in the LeaRn project, learning communities may represent the initial point, the “germ” to the formation, to the development of learning regions. I assume, that the existence of learning communities may form the necessary but not enough condition to the birth of a learning region. I suspect that each learning community types - depending on the type - can contribute - in varying degrees - to the formation of learning regions. The research on ’Learning Regions in Hungary' raised the possibility that not only the universities can play a key role in eliminating the serious differences in the level of regional development and in supporting the birth of learning regions, but also secondary education, particularly secondary vocational education. Keywords: Learning region, learning community, vocational education and training


Strand C - Learning Cities to Promote intergenerational Collaborations in Communities

Chair: Dr. Balázs Németh, University of Pécs

  • Mr. Jumbo Klercq, The Elephant Learning in Diversity: Modern City and Competence Learning to Live Together

This workshop places intergenerational learning in the context of the structure, dynamic and rules of modern city life. Modern cities are always growing. Originally the cities were marketplaces - their existence was based on the circulation and accumulation of capital: not only financial, but also social, cultural and human capital. Its habitants are expected to take part and show their responsibility for society. This is sometimes even laid down in a participation law and in signing of a participation declaration. Cities are changing rapidly in many aspects. More planning, structure, regulation and social control canalising all kind of never-ending streams of mobility. Local authorities are always in charge of looking for new ways of ruling the city life. One option is an intergenerational policy: promoting intergenerational solidarity by stimulating encounters between generations.


  • Dr. Klára Bajusz, University of Pécs – Senior Academy: The Social Impacts of Learning in Third Age

What are the benefits of learning in third age? What kind of obstructions elderly have? What are the social benefits of gerontoeducation? We analyse the possibilities of gerontoeducation in Hungary and the functions of the Senior Academy of Pécs. Keywords: Gerontoeducation, Elderly, Social impacts


  • Dr. Éva Szederkényi University of Pécs: Born or Taught to be Greek? – The Evaluation of the THYESPA Programme

The talk addresses the concept of learning city from the perspective of summer universities in Greece where year by year hundreds of Hellenic-culture lovers from the age of 18 till the age of 80 gather from all over the globe to promote intergenerational and intercultural dialogues based on the principles of the long-lived notion of ’ακαδημία’, academy which has always been a learning city itself. Since the 1980s, the Hellenic Republic has been organizing intensive language and cultural education courses throughout the country for foreign nationals and those with Greek ancestry, thus securing continued survival and flourishment of the Hellenic heritage within the European cultural sphere. Their role in particular has been more accentuated in the past ten years since when Hellas has been suffering severely form an existential and economic crisis.  The six-week THYESPA programme of the Modern Greek Language Training Centre at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is one of the most respected. As an identity creator it attracts more and more ’φιλέλληνες’, i.e. friends of Hellas, to celebrate the ancient, the Byzantine, and the modern Greek culture that has been shaping, rejuvenating and re-exploring our European identity from decade to decade. The talk is designed to evaluate the best practice of the TYESPA summer university. Key-words: heritage, cultural diplomacy, summer university, language and culture


  • Dr. Inez Zsófia Koller, University of Pécs: The Methodology of the Future of Tomorrow Workshop for Intergenerational Co-operation

The College of Advanced Studies on Social Inclusion which is integrated part of the newly established Institute of Human Development and Cultural Science of the University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities organises its self-developed Future of Tomorrow Workshop in every semester. The workshop gives opportunity for the members who are university students to introduce and test their newest research results on a broader platform where more generation groups are invited. One element of the methodology of these event series is that it is based on intergenerational participation, which enhances the research results go through a wide social filtering. I will provide an account of our experiences of these events. Keywords: social inclusion, intergenerational co-operation, undergraduate research


  • Dr. Balázs Németh, ALL-Local/Pécs Learning City: The EFOP ALL-Local Project and Its Impact on Intergenerational Learning

The EU-co-funded EFOP ALL-Local project, having started in early 2018, decided, amongst three other identical goals, the development of intergenerational learning based on local and regional collaborations and, simultaneously, on the collection of good practices of local and regional forms of lifelong learning in and around the City of Pécs, together with four local/regional examples represented by Croatian, Slovakian, Czech and Polish project partners. This presentation and related paper describe the project and its current developments.


The collection of abstracts can be downloaded below.


Conference partners: MELLearN, Learning Cities Network, PASCAL Int. Observatory, the Pécs Learning City Festival, Educators’ Centre Association (EFOP-3.7.3-16-2017-00256 - Széchenyi 2020 Programme)