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Trinity becomes more age friendly

Published September 4th, 2017

This month, Trinity will take further steps in relation to diversity and inclusion by adopting the 10 Principles of an Age-Friendly University, to be launched by the Provost on September 26 in the Long Room Hub.

Director of Diversity and Inclusion Tony McMahon says the move is about enhancing the lives of older members of society through, for example, innovative educational programmes and health and wellness activities.

“Trinity firmly believes in the value of diversity in our college community,” says Tony “by adopting the Age Friendly University Principles, we aspire to engage all ages in the activities of the University.”

The Equality Committee are enthusiastically supportive of the concept and has appointed a working group to develop and implement the principles, which stem from a similar global initiative. The working group is chaired by Professor Sabina Brennan, from the School of Psychology, who hopes the initiative will “foster better solidarity between generations”.

The 10 principles are as follows:

  1. To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programmes.
  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 recognise the range of educational needs of older adults (from those who were early school-leavers through to those who wish to pursue Masters 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 ageing 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 ageing brings to our society.
  8. To enhance access for older adults to the university's range of health and wellness programmes and its arts and cultural activities.
  9. To engage actively with the university's own retired community.
  10. To ensure regular dialogue with organisations representing the interests of the ageing population.

What the principles also do, says Tony, is to counterbalance the usual discourse on later life, which tends to focus on the downsides of ageing. Why not focus instead on the benefits that increased lifespan can bring, such as societal and cultural, not to mention personal and economic and economic benefits too.

In addition to the Provost, the 10 Principles of an Age-Friendly University are supported by the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mr Jim Daly TD, who will also be attending the launch.

*To read more on this subject visit here.