Big Data, Lifelong Learning and Learning Cities: Promoting City-Discourse on Social Inequalities in Learning

Lido, C. , Reid, K. and Osborne, M. (2018) Big Data, Lifelong Learning and Learning Cities: Promoting City-Discourse on Social Inequalities in Learning. Other. Pascal International Observatory.

161108.pdf - Published Version

Text (Mandarin version)
161108Mandarin.pdf - Published Version


Publisher's URL:


The Key Features of Learning Cities, published by UNESCO (2013), laid out possible indicators through which learning communities, cities, and regions could support and evaluate learning engagement and urban success, within a context of international collaboration. This briefing paper presents an overview of Learning Cities from the perspective of operationalising a range of indicators, illustrating the role of ‘Big Data’ in in this pursuit. We also argue for public engagement opportunities to be embedded within social science research. Such discourse and debate regarding individual motivations, decisions and ambitions, may highlight where lifelong learning opportunities are needed, and for the wider value of active citizenship. The present work, of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) at the University of Glasgow, is a key investment for researchers to more easily access the potential of big data for addressing city challenges, such as learning inclusion. UBDC exemplifies how novel, open, big data can be applied to assess learning engagement in an urban context, embedded in place and with considerations of demographic and deprivation changes. The principles of our research relate to Learning City frameworks, and have been inspired by the PASCAL Observatory’s Learning City Network, as well as the existence of a Memorandum of Agreement between PASCAL and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. Using Learning City Frameworks and applying innovative Big Data approaches offers educationalists avenues for exploring learning engagement in our own regions, as well as future global comparisons of Learning Cities. More importantly, novel and interdisciplinary approaches can help us use our city data, to open discussions about learning inequalities, specifically promoting lifelong learning and lifewide literacies for more engaged citizenry.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Other)
Additional Information:PASCAL Briefing Paper 11
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Osborne, Professor Michael and Reid, Dr Kate and Lido, Professor Catherine
Authors: Lido, C., Reid, K., and Osborne, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Publisher:Pascal International Observatory
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
651921Urban Big Data Research CentrePiyushimita ThakuriahEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/L011921/1SPS - URBAN STUDIES