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What is an Age-Friendly University?


By Katarina Friberg Felsted, PhD

When you think of college, you may think of freshmen co-eds studying on the lawn of the quad. Or you may think of fat textbooks with challenging exams. Do you consider whether the college environment is age-friendly? The University of Utah is taking steps to become an Age-Friendly University. The Age-Friendly University Global Network has 10 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 Age-Friendly principles are a great guide for colleges as we work to combat ageism in our society. If you’d like to learn more, visit the Age Friendly University Global Network website.

Is it time to register for some classes? If you are 62 and older, you can audit classes at the University of Utah for $25/ semester. Depending on the classes you select (for example, photography), special fees may apply.

Summer semester registration begins on May 11th and classes start May 17th. Learn more here: You will find the number to call to register, as well as a list of available courses, on the website.

Thanks to an AARP funded grant, the first 100 registrants can mention code 1234 and have the $25 fee waived. If you have questions about the fee waivers, please call Katarina at (801) 585.7438.

by Katarina Friberg Felsted, PhD

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