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UNESCO Learning City Award 2024 – How to Apply

Application Deadline

  • May 31, 2024

The UNESCO Learning City Award was created to recognize and highlight best practices for fostering quality education and lifetime learning opportunities for all at the municipal level. This triennial award is given to cities in each of the five UNESCO regions that have made substantial progress in learning city development by following the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) guidelines. Only UNESCO GNLC member cities can apply for the UNESCO Learning City Award, which is valid for one award cycle.

The Primary purpose of UNESCO Learning City Award

The award’s objective is to recognize and reward exceptional efforts and achievements in the development of learning cities in communities across the world. Cities that receive this honor are recognized for their tremendous efforts to promote education and lifetime learning opportunities for all inhabitants. The advantages of winning the UNESCO Learning City Award include:

Criteria for the UNESCO Learning City Award 

  • Membership Term: Cities must have been members of the UNESCO GNLC for at least 12 months prior to the application deadline. 
  • Exclusion Period: Past awardees are disqualified for six years post-award, meaning recipients from 2019 and 2021 cannot qualify for the 2024 prize. 
  • Implementation of GNLC Guidelines: Cities must demonstrate considerable progress in implementing the UNESCO GNLC guiding documents and contributing to the creation of a learning city. 
  • Documentation and Evidence: Applicants must offer detailed documentation and evidence of their accomplishments and activities at the local level to promote excellent education and lifelong learning.

*The UNESCO Learning City Award 2024 is open to all UNESCO GNLC member cities that have been part of the network for more than 12 months. To ensure fairness and stimulate new achievements, prior awardees are ineligible for the medal for six years after receiving a UNESCO Learning City medal. As a result, communities that got the prize in 2019 or 2021, as well as those that joined the network in 2024, are ineligible for this cycle. 

Selection Processes

The UNESCO Learning City Award selection procedure is intended to ensure that only the most deserving cities are acknowledged, since they have made significant advances in lifelong learning development since joining the UNESCO GNLC. The evaluation process only takes into account advancements made after a city joined the GNLC. Applications for the grant are rigorously reviewed using a set of specified criteria that represent the GNLC’s main objectives.

The Evaluation criteria

  • Advancement of learning city plan.
  • Advances in stakeholder coordination and partnerships.
  • Progress in mobilizing and utilizing resources.
  • Progress in monitoring and evaluation of learning city development.
  • Advances to ensure learning is accessible to all citizens.
  • Advances to foster a culture of lifelong learning.
  • Advancement of innovative practices.
  • Contributions to GNLC activities.

Application Process (How to apply)

Cities interested in applying for the UNESCO Learning City Award must go through a systematic application process to ensure that their submission is thorough and meets all standards. The steps for applying are as follows:

  • Cities must complete the award application form, which is accessible in PDF and Word forms. This form demands specific information regarding the city’s initiatives and progress toward becoming a learning city. 
  • Applicants should ensure that all areas of the form are fully filled. In addition to the application form, cities should include supporting materials. These materials may include articles, films, reports, or other documents highlighting the city’s efforts and accomplishments in encouraging lifelong learning. 
  • The award application form must be signed by the mayor. This endorsement is important since it represents the city’s formal commitment and support for the proposal. 
  • Applicants must also sign a consent form, which is usually included with the application materials. 
  • Completed application forms, along with any extra papers and a signed consent form, should be delivered to the city’s National Commission for UNESCO. The National Commission reviews and approves applications before they are sent to UNESCO. 
  • UNESCO’s National Commissions can recommend up to two cities for the award. As a result, it is critical for applicant cities to work closely with their National Commission to ensure their proposal is reviewed. The National Commission will consider the submissions and nominate up to two cities for the award.

The prize guidelines and nomination form are available for download on the UNESCO website. These materials give thorough instructions and criteria for the application process, and applicants should carefully evaluate them to verify they meet all requirements.

For additional information and resources related to the application process, Please visit the UNESCO website. The website offers comprehensive details about the award, including eligibility criteria, evaluation process, and timelines.

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