On Thursday, 19th October 2023, Swansea University hosted a Leverhulme Lecture titled “Pedagogical Capabilities in Islam to Create, Maintain and Develop Justice-oriented Learning Cities”. The lecture was presented by Nematollah Azizi, a Leverhulme Professor at the University of Glasgow and a faculty member at the University of Kurdistan in Iran. This visit was organized by Swansea University, along the International PASCAL Observatory collaboration, where Swansea Learning City and Swansea University are active members and were happy to host Professor Azizi as their guest from their partner University of Glasgow. The lecture by Professor Azizi aimed to explore the role of Islamic pedagogical capabilities in creating and maintaining justice-oriented learning cities.
The lecture highlighted that learning cities, by their nature, align with the global commitment to inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. Therefore, creating, maintaining, and developing justice-oriented learning cities is a multifaceted endeavour that requires collaboration between governments, educational institutions, community organizations, and individuals. As a result, these cities prioritize social justice, equity, and access to education for all residents.
The lecture emphasized the importance of involving all stakeholders, including Muslim communities, in creating justice-oriented learning cities. It was suggested that integrating Islamic pedagogical capabilities in a learning cities framework could ensure that the vision of a just and inclusive learning city is realized, since pedagogy in Islam encompasses a rich tradition of teaching and learning that has evolved over centuries.
The visit of Prof. Azizi included also a series of focus groups with local stakeholders of the learning city in Swansea. This was part of Prof. Azizi work on a comparative analysis of learning cities capabilities from past to future based on similar qualitative work during all his visits throughout the UK nations. We thank Prof. Azizi for his visit at Swansea University and look forward to reading the results of his study.