Melitopol is the first city in Ukraine to join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. By being the first to join the Network, the city aspires to lead the further understanding of the concept of learning cities among policy makers and local governments in Ukraine. Melitopol aims to champion lifelong learning policies within its own region, and to pave the way for the development of other learning cities in the country.
Melitopol has a population of 155,900 and is situated in the south east of Ukraine by the Azov Sea. It used to be known as the gateway to Crimea. Formerly a major scientific and industrial centre, the city has in recent years experienced a wave of industry closures that have had a deep impact on its socio-economic development. It is now focusing on education and lifelong learning as a means of driving future development.
Using multi-level governance and stakeholder involvement to build a comprehensive learning city
To build a learning city that effectively serves the needs of all its citizens, Melitopol has taken far-reaching measures to improve its educational infrastructure on multiple levels. This has led to the expansion and enhancement of pre-school institutions, out-of-school education, adult learning institutions, public universities, vocational schools and colleges. On a national level, Melitopol is involved in the Association of Ukrainian Cities and plays an active role in national initiatives to promote policy development and competence development at local government level. It also sees international cooperation as central to its development and, to promote this, has encouraged many of its educational institutions to take part in initiatives such as the international Youth Diplomacy Programme, which XXX. Melitopol is confident that, thanks to its multi-stakeholder approach, it is well on the way to becoming a comprehensive, sustainable learning city.
The city has participated in the ‘UIL Research Scholarships on Learning Cities’. By joining the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, Melitopol seeks to benefit from international dialogue and aims to build a comprehensive local and regional learning city policy. It also hopes to inspire the building of other learning cities in Ukraine.