About the project

Global challenges do not stop at national borders and can only be solved through joint, transnational cooperation – both at the political and societal level. The Urban X-Change Network offers nine German Adult Education Centres (Volkshochschule) and their counterparts in Great Britain, Ukraine and the USA the opportunity to carry out cross-border cultural and educational activities in close cooperation with their respective city administration and local civil society. The thematic framework is set by the 2030 Agenda.

The Urban X-Change Network began in September 2021 and will last until December 2023. The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

City partners as a motor for international cultural and educational dialogue

How can international cooperation and mutual understanding be fostered in challenging political and diplomatic times? How can people from different countries be connected in order to build a basis for strong and durable international relations?

With increasing urbanisation, cities and urban spaces are assuming greater importance in this context: they must find local and sustainable solutions to the global challenges of the 21st century and actively involve their citizens.

City partners are a motor in shaping an international cultural and educational dialogue. Adult education institutions are key actors in engaging citizens and civil society. As independent intercultural places of learning and encounter, they contribute to a lived social exchange and to a so-called “Foreign Policy of Societies” – a foreign policy that does not exclusively take place at the highest levels of government, but a policy that involves broad sections of the population in its activities.


By promoting transnational dialogue and cross-border project activities, the Urban X-Change Network project aims to make the following contributions:

Expand town twinning and cooperation of cities through the active participation of their adult education institutions and civil society networks.

Connect people from various cities in Germany with people from cities in Great Britain, Ukraine and the USA;

Involve people who otherwise rarely have their voices heard in foreign policy processes;

Foster multilateral exchange on existing challenges within the framework of the 2030 Agenda;

Strengthen the network of British, Ukrainian and US American adult education institutions with German Adult Education Centres.

Urban X-Change Network


DVV International, the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association, is steering the overall project. The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

City Partnerships: The adult education institutions, representatives of the city administrations and civil society of both cities in the partnership form a binational coordination group to implement commonly agreed activities in both cities.

The City Partnerships are accompanied by external process managers throughout the implementation of the project.

International conferences

The work of the City Partnerships is complemented by two international conferences organised by DVV International for the project participants from all four countries. The conferences are intended to promote the exchange on urban partnership topics and to create a network of experts and practitioners.

About DVV International

DVV International is the Institute for International Cooperation of the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V. (DVV), the German Adult Education Association. DVV represents the interests of the approximately 900 adult education centres (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest further education providers in Germany.

As the leading professional organisation in the field of adult education and development cooperation, DVV International has committed itself to supporting lifelong learning for more than 50 years. DVV International provides worldwide support for the establishment and development of sustainable structures for Youth and Adult Education.

DVV International: Profile (dvv-international.de)