On May 2, 2016, University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. David Barnard announced the University of Manitoba as the first Age-Friendly University in Canada, joining several other universities in Ireland, the UK, and the USA, who have also committed to the initiative.
In November 2012, the Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative was launched in Dublin, Ireland at Dublin City University (DCU) with the establishment of 10 age-friendly principles that guide post-secondary institutions in addressing the needs of older adults.
Guiding principles of an Age-Friendly University
- To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research program
- To promote personal and career development in the second half of life and to support those who wish to pursue “second careers”
- To recognize the range of educational needs of older adults
- To promote intergenerational learning to facilitate the reciprocal sharing of expertise between learners of all ages
- To widen access to online educational opportunities for older adults to ensure a diversity of routes to participation
- 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
- To increase the understanding of students of the longevity dividend and the increasing complexity and richness that aging brings to our society
- To enhance access for older adults to the university’s range of health and wellness programs and its arts and cultural activities
- To engage actively with the university’s own retired community
- To ensure regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population