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Title: Four decades of Universities of the Third Age : past, present, and future
Authors: Formosa, Marvin
Keywords: University of the Third Age
Older people -- Education
Continuing education -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Ageing & Society
Citation: Formosa, M. (2013). Four decades of Universities of the Third Age : past, present, and future. Ageing & Society, 34(1), 42-66.
Abstract: This paper discusses the origins and development of Universities of the Third Age [U3As] whilst also forwarding suggestions for possible roles, opportunities, and directions in the future. The U3A has been rightly described as both an idea and movement, as each centre has a local foundation and relatively unique features. Whilst some U3As are attached to traditional universities and colleges, others are sturdily autonomous and wholly dependent on the efforts of volunteers. One also finds a variety of ethos, ranging from the provision of a traditional type of liberal-arts education, to the organisation of interest-group activities conducted through peer learning, to showing solidarity with vulnerable sectors of the older population. Academic commentaries on the U3A movement have been both supportive and critical. Whilst U3As have been lauded for leading older learners to improved levels of physical, cognitive, social and psychological well-being, some reports emphasise how many centres incorporate strong gender, social class, ageist, and ethnic biases. It is augured that in future years the U3A movement will continue to be relevant to incoming cohorts of older adults by embracing a broader vision of learning, improving the quality of learning, instruction, and curricula, as well as a wider participation agenda that caters for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive challenges.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSoWGer

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