Name / Title PONTES – Lernen in und für Europa Brücken bauen in der Euroregion Neiße(Pontes – Learning in and for EuropeBuilding bridges in the Euroregion Neiße) 
Case Study Region Dresden region (Direktionsbezirk Dresden), Upper Lusatia and Lower Silesia (Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien)
Geographical coverage The PONTES Agentur (PONTES agency) is located in facilities of the Internationales Begegnungszentrum St. Marienthal (IBZ) (international meeting centre monastery St. Marienthal) in Ostritz-Marienthal, which is in the South of Görlitz directly at the German-Polish border. Main area of activity of PONTES is the Czech-German-Polish Euroregion Neisse-Nisa-Nysa.
Type Project; advice service; partnership
 Main activity / focus  PONTES is a trans-border educational network in the Czech-German-Polish Euroregion Neisse-Nisa-Nysa. The educational network is an example of regional learning and the constitution of a structure that has features of a ‘Learning Region’ in a rural peripheral area.
Target beneficiaries / market Target beneficiaries are the educational institutions in the trans-border Euroregion that range from kinder gardens and schools to universities and, of course, the people living in the tri-state region.
Year established 2005
 Current Funding source(s) PONTES is one of about 75 model projects that were funded by the German national programme Lernende Regionen – Förderung von Netzwerken (‘Learning Regions – Support for Networks’) during the time period 2005 to 2007. The main objective of this programme was to initiate projects that can promote a change in modes of learning (’culture of learning’) and support innovations in the educational system. Since 2007 PONTES gets a.o. institutional funding by the County of Görlitz.
Participants PONTES includes about 300 partners in education, economy and administration in the three parts of the Euroregion Neisse-Nisa-Nysa.
Website http://www.pontes-pontes.de
 Description  The name PONTES (Latin for ‘bridges’) expresses the overarching concept of the network. Bridges and connections are to be established between…

  • regional actors in the field of education,
  • different fields of action,
  • providers and users of education,
  • offers and demands in the region.

PONTES aims to connect the educational institutions in the three areas of the trans-border Euroregion Neisse-Nisa-Nysa and the people living in the tri-state region, to initiate processes of ‘life long learning’. The educational structure of the Euroregion is characterised by a broad spectrum of institutions that range from kinder gardens and schools to universities. In addition there are numerous providers for continuous education that are not ‘educational’ in a narrower sense, like museums, theatres and libraries. Examples are the Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz (University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz), theInternationales Hochschulinstitut Zittau(International Graduate School Zittau) or the Bildungswerk der Sächsischen Wirtschaft e.V. (Educational institute of the Saxon economy). The PONTES approach wants to lead to a better trans-border networking of the educational structures.The central node in the network is the PONTES-Agentur (PONTES-agency) which steers and coordinates all activities of the network. The agency organises the co-operation of the network members, markets the offers of regional providers of education and also develops standards of quality for regional education.The main themes and areas of activity of the network are:

  • The theme of development of competencies supports the development of inter-cultural competence and a common identity in the Euroregion Neisse-Nisa-Nysa that facilitate interactions across the border. A central task in this respect is the development of language skills and cross-border co-operation in the field of education. A certification system was developed to certify intercultural skills and to raise the awareness of a mutual labour market.
  • The theme marketing of education was elaborated in order to promote ‘life long learning’ in the region and to inform about offers in education.
  • The theme of equality of chances through education aims at a better linkage of education and regional development. Educational products should be adapted to the specific needs of the regional economy. Equal opportunities for men and women in education and employment are of special importance.
 Contact details  Internationales Begegnungszentrum St. MarienthalPONTES-Agentur / Servicestelle Bildung des Landkreises GörlitzSt. Marienthal 10D-02899 OstritzPhone: +49 (0) 35823 77-252E-Mail: pontes@ibz-marienthal.de