UQ Age Friendly University Initiative On the 28th August, 2019, the UQ Academic Board gave its assent to the pursuit of making UQ an Age Friendly University (AFU).

The AFU network consists of institutions of higher education around the globe who have endorsed the 10 AFU principles and committed themselves to becoming more age-friendly in their programs and policies. Visit the AFU global network webpage to learn more about this initiative.

Joining this network of global partners offers institutions the opportunity to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and to contribute to an educational movement of social, personal, and economic benefit to students of all ages and institutions of higher education alike.

The value proposition for UQ in becoming an AFU is to better recognise unrealised potential and opportunities for engagement with older cohorts (including alumni) and offering strategic and generative intergenerational contact opportunities. The University has strong research and teaching strengths that could benefit from heightened awareness of age-related issues. Most importantly, the recognition of longevity as a dividend rather than a burden is key to driving positive social, policy, health and well-being initiatives within Australia and beyond.

The 10 Age-Friendly University principles

  1. To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programs.
  2. To promote personal and career development in the second half of life and to support those who wish to pursue second careers.
  3. To recognize the range of educational needs of older adults (from those who were early school-leavers through to those who wish to pursue Master's or PhD qualifications).
  4. To promote intergenerational learning to facilitate the reciprocal sharing of expertise between learners of all ages.
  5. To widen access to online educational opportunities for older adults to ensure a diversity of routes to participation.
  6. To ensure that the university's research agenda is informed by the needs of an aging society and to promote public discourse on how higher education can better respond to the varied interests and needs of older adults.
  7. To increase the understanding of students of the longevity dividend and the increasing complexity and richness that aging brings to our society.
  8. To enhance access for older adults to the university's range of health and wellness programs and its arts and cultural activities.
  9. To engage actively with the university's own retired community.
  10. To ensure regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population.

The AFU working group is currently being formed. Consisting of both academic and professional staff across Faculties, Schools and Institutes at UQ, the group will have its first meeting later in 2019.

Contact

I would invite anyone interested in learning more about this AFU Working Group and the Age Friendly University in general to send me an email at npachana@psy.uq.edu.au.

I appreciate everyone in the UQ community, and within its extended networks, who have expressed support for this initiative, and hope to be interacting with many of you over the next months to make this initiative a reality.

Nancy A. Pachana, Ph.D., FAPS, FASSA
Program Lead
UQ Age Friendly University & Healthy Ageing Initiatives
Co-Director, UQ Ageing Mind Initiative
Professor of Clinical Geropsychology
School of Psychology
Affiliate Professor, UQ Business School