Age Friendly Universities and engagement with older adults: moving from principles to practice

Craig A. Talmage, Rob Mark, Maria Slowey, Richard Knopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The global society is facing a new burgeoning element: an ageing population. Response to the educational needs and interests of older adults requires innovative pedagogies and practices of teaching, research, and community engagement. While traditionally geared towards provision for younger adults, the case is presented that universities have the potential to play a major role in innovation for later life learning for older adults. This article outlines one approach, the Age Friendly University (AFU) and highlights 10 principles that offer a possible guide for innovation and institutional change. The integration of AFU’s mission and principles into three universities is reflected in stories from three university cases in Ireland, the UK (Scotland) and the USA exploring potential merits and also major challenges. It is argued the AFU has the potential to bring social, personal and economic benefits to older adults and universities alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-554
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016


  • Age-friendly
  • Third Age
  • community engagement
  • higher education
  • lifelong learning
  • universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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