Edinboro University has become Pennsylvania’s first member of the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network, an international group of higher-education institutions committed to providing learning opportunities to students of all ages.
The pioneering initiative focuses on 10 principles, which provide a framework for understanding the needs of older adults and evaluating age-friendly programs and policies, as well as identifying institutional gaps and opportunities for growth.
“At Edinboro, we recognize the immeasurable value of intergenerational exchange and lifelong learning, and understand that an age-diverse campus contributes greatly to the intellectual and personal growth of all students,” said Dr. Guiyou Huang, president of Edinboro University. “Our campus is strong and vibrant because we treasure the contributions of all members of our community.”
Launched in 2012 by Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Dublin City University (DCU) President Brian MacCraith, the network has since grown to include more than 150 universities in Europe, North America and Asia.
As a member of the AFU network, Edinboro will team up with global partners to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and promote lifelong learning through innovative teaching practices, research and community engagement initiatives.
“We are delighted to welcome Edinboro University to the Age-Friendly Global Network,” said Trevor Holms, vice president of External Affairs and chairperson of the AFU Initiative. “Their breadth of expertise and opportunities to engage with older adult learners demonstrates the authentic commitment underpinning age-friendly principles and contributes to the global network dialogue on aging within the university sector.”
Edinboro University offers individualized support to nontraditional students through the Office of Transfer and Adult Student Services. Adult students have access to priority scheduling, 24-hour online tutoring, flexible learning modalities – including online and evening classes – and representation from the Adult Learner Advisory Council, which aims to maintain a supportive academic environment for adult learners.
Individuals over the age of 62 are permitted to audit courses (up to 30 semester hours) on campus at no cost. The tuition and fee waiver does not apply to courses taken for college credit.
“In addition to nontraditional students, we welcome people of all ages onto our campus for a variety of social and educational events throughout the year,” Huang said. “By embracing the Age-Friendly principles, we’re furthering our commitment to engage older adults in all aspects of university life.”
The 10 Age-Friendly University Principles