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Title: Educating the elderly : universities of the third age
Authors: Schembri, Anthony
Keywords: Education -- Malta
Adult education -- Malta
Older people -- Malta
Continuing education -- Malta
Retired teachers -- Malta
Retirees -- Education -- Malta
University of the Third Age movement -- Malta
University students -- Malta
College students -- Malta
Issue Date: 1994
Citation: Schembri, A. (1994). Educating the elderly : universities of the third age. Bold, 4(2), 18-21.
Abstract: It is a well-known fact that the second half of this century has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the world's elderly population. What is of great interest, however, is the realization that this phenomenon has instigated the setting up of new structures and institutions which were hardly envisaged in the past. From small beginnings in France in the early seventies, the Universities of the Third Age have spread throughout the world. The "U3A" is more a concept than an institution with a formal structure. These Universities tend to vary from place to place according to the socio-economic and political conditions that prevail, but their aims and objectives are essentially the same, and therefore they share many common characteristics. One should not measure life in terms of years and its duration only, but more in terms of quality and activity. Today the elderly live longer than they ever did before. This can be seen from their state of physical fitness, their interests, their curiosity, their mental alertness, and their involvement in every aspect of life. This we owe to so many factors that fuse together. Life is hardly worth living unless it is meaningful: and education simply ensures this. Education is contrary to tacit acquiescence. Education confers dignity and status, and education makes the older person aware that he is still as much part of society as when he was on the job, and that there is no earthly reason why from a contributor he should be turned into an inert dependent.
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCEduSAE

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