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PASCAL European Network of Lifelong Learning Regions (PENR3L)
The Limerick PENR3L Declaration

We recognise the urgent need for local and regional authorities to meet the changing economic, social, political, environmental, cultural and management challenges of 21st century life. We believe that the solution lies in a better understanding of the underlying regional dynamic which balances the global and the local, develops the social capital already existing in most communities and fosters innovation, creativity and growth. This can only be achieved by a large increase in continuous and lifelong learning for management, professionals and councillors, eventually extending to the citizens themselves. In short, cities and regions must become learning cities and learning regions, developing their human, intellectual and community potential for the benefit of all, and engaging all stakeholders in this task.
We, new and potential members of the PENR3L network, declare that we will foster and develop new knowledge, expertise and resources to help create learning cities and regions well able to meet the future with confidence, imagination and success.
In particular we believe that the following list of strategic directions will help local and regional authorities to construct stable, prosperous and sustainable learning regions that will benefit all its institutions and citizens.

  • exploiting the resources and expertise of  Higher Education Institutions, thus helping them to fulfil their third mission in the Bologna process 
  • mobilising the energies and potential of other public and private sector stakeholders for social and economic growth
  • fostering innovation, creativity and vision in people and organisations
  • capitalising on diversity as an investment, valuable for economic , human and intellectual growth
  • adapting and using already existing tools and materials to increase lifelong learning opportunities for all citizens
  • requiring all institutions and workplaces, including the local authority itself, to become learning organisations with continuous improvement programmes for all employees and high quality benchmarked standards
  • developing interaction between the local and the global to create  investment opportunity
  • continuously improving employability and skills to meet the changing requirements of the world of work
  • releasing the talents, skills, experience and knowledge of the community in active citizenship projects
  • using the media imaginatively to publicise and celebrate the learning region internally to its citizens and externally  to its customers and potential investors
  • enabling people and institutions to become actively involved with environmental protection projects

Addendum: Universities and regional development

There are several ways in which universities can, and should, help in Learning Region development
  • Widen participation to allow local and regional government employees to take part in university education
  • Design, develop and deliver tailored  courses on aspects of learning region policy and practice
  • Carry out commissioned research activities for local/regional authorities
  • Open up international gateways to other regions
  • Participate in international surveys and studies
  • Provide dynamic leadership in the development of a learning region
  • Encourage students and staff to volunteer their skills, creativity and knowledge for the development of learning regions
  • Participate in fruitful partnerships with other stakeholders to help build learning cities and regions
  • Create and manage action research and development projects in partnership with local and regional authorities using local, national and international funding sources
  • Transform themselves into a true Learning Organizations as exemplars 
  • Help design and monitor continuous improvement programmes for staff in local and regional authorities
  • Develop indicators and monitor learning city/region development
  • Design, development and apply tools and techniques that help create a culture of learning in the region
  • Make University facilities available for learning city/region activities and events
  • Represent the city in projects, missions and other events nationally and overseas
  • Become involved in celebration events such learning festivals, fairs open days etc
  • Help communicate the lifelong learning message within local and regional authorities
  • Help outside investment into local and regional authorities
  • Run seminars and workshops for local and regional authorities
  • Develop and publish case studies of good practice   
  • Carry out Learning Needs Audits on behalf of local and regional authorities
  • Develop brochures, booklets and other materials
  • Develop and deliver learning modules, degree courses, post-graduate study etc
  • Carry out comparative inter-city, inter-region studies
  • Promoting the cultural heritage of the region while at the same time broadening the cultural horizons of its people
It is strongly recommended the PENR3L Network becomes integrated as a node of the wider PASCAL network