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The Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network

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The Age-Friendly University (AFU) network consists of institutions of higher education around the globe that have endorsed the 10 AFU principles and committed themselves to becoming more age-friendly in their programs and policies.



The posting below gives information on an important organization that is promoting age-friendly policies in higher education.  It was provided to me by Dr. Jože Gričar, Professor Emeritus, University of Maribor,  (see end of posting for further contact information).



Rick Reis

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The Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network


The Age-Friendly University (AFU) network consists of institutions of higher education around the globe that have endorsed the 10 AFU principles and committed themselves to becoming more age-friendly in their programs and policies. The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) endorses the AFU principles and invites its members and affiliates to call upon their institutions to become part of this pioneering initiative.

Joining the AFU AGHE network of global partners offers institutions the opportunity to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and to contribute to an educational movement of social, personal, and economic benefit to students of all ages and institutions of higher education alike.

The AFU principles reflect the work of an international, interdisciplinary team convened by Professor Brían MacCraith, President, Dublin City University (DCU) to identify the distinctive contributions institutions of higher education can make in responding to the interests and needs of an aging population. Launched by the Irish Prime Minister, (An Taoiseach) Enda Kenny in 2012 the 10 AFU principles have been adopted by institutions in Ireland, the U.K., the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

Why should my institution endorse the AFU principles?
Across communities in the U.S., the number of older adults is growing annually at unprecedented rates and significantly more individuals are experiencing increased longevity. Response to the educational needs and interests of this emerging age population calls for new opportunities and innovative practices of teaching, research, and community engagement that colleges and universities in communities are poised to offer.

The AFU principles give your institution a valuable guiding framework for distinguishing and evaluating how it can shape age-friendly programs and practices, as well as identify gaps and opportunities for growth.

How does my institution go about endorsing the AFU principles?
Complete the following steps to join the AFU network of global partners working to build more age-friendly institutions of higher education.

1. Meet with colleagues from your department (and interested others from affiliated aging programs or centers) to review the AFU principles and map how they inform opportunities and gaps at your institution. Seek faculty endorsement of the principles at the department, program, and/or institutional level.

2. Arrange a meeting with the appropriate member of your administration (e.g., dean, provost, president) who would approve your institutional endorsement. Some institutions may also wish to discuss the initiative with a faculty assembly, a governance group, or curriculum committee.

3. Send confirmation of your endorsement to Christine O'Kelly (Age-Friendly University Network Coordinator, Dublin City University): (website: Include in your confirmation notice, the AFU contact at your institution, a link to your institutional website, and a copy of your institutional logo to be used on the AFU webpages. Copy

4. Work with your communications office to develop a press release announcing your institution’s endorsement of the AFU principles. DCU and AGHE are happy to provide comments for your notice. View AGHE’s press release.

Some FAQ’s
Is there a cost? Currently there is no cost to join.

Does my institution need to fulfill all AFU principles? While it is hoped that institutions will strive to address all of the 10 AFU principles to some degree, variation is expected given factors that distinguish institutions and their programs.

For more information about becoming a member of the AFU global network, contact Christine O'Kelly (


The 10 Age-Friendly University Principles


To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programs.


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 (from those who were early school-leavers through to those who wish to pursue Master's or PhD qualifications).


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 ageing 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.


The AGHE Is Pleased to Be Part of the AFU Initiative and Growing AFU Network:

Arizona State University (USA)

Central Connecticut State University (USA) — View Press Release

Dublin City University (Ireland)

Florida State University (USA) — View Press Release

Lasell College (USA) View Press Release

Leeds Beckett University (England)

National College of Ireland Docklands University of Galway (Ireland)

Strathclyde University Glasgow (Scotland)

The University of Akron (USA)

University of Canberra (Australia)

University of Manitoba (Canada)

University of Massachusetts, Boston (USA)

University of New England (USA)

University of Pai Chai (South Korea)


Student Recruitment Resources


Why Aging Matters

Why Aging Matters (ppt) was created by AGHE's Academic Program Development Committee for students interested in gerontology. This informational presentation describes the field of gerontology, importance of aging studies, career opportunities, educational programs, and other related resources. To view the presentation notes, click here.


Online Directory of Educational Programs in Gerontology and Geriatrics


NOW AVAILABLE! Search the Directory.

The essential resource for navigating gerontology and geriatrics educational programs.

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s Online Directory of Educational Programs in Gerontology and Geriatrics is now available.

This comprehensive, easy-to-use resource allows the user to browse educational programs in gerontology and geriatrics by location, type of degree program, certificate, or fellowship offered. A robust tool, this online directory replaces the printed directory AGHE has published for many years. New and improved, this online format is accessible to all and no cost to the user.

AGHE members receive a special member benefit! The online directory has two different formats for how a program’s details are listed and only AGHE members are able to provide a detailed listing. To become an AGHE member visit the membership section of our website.


Table of Contents


Journal of Gerontology & Geriatrics Education - Table of Contents

Volume 37, Number 3, 2016

Volume 37, Number 2, 2016

Volume 37, Number 1, 2016

Volume 36, Number 4, 2015

Volume 36, Number 3, 2015


Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education

The AGHE Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education were adopted on November 20, 2014, after an Association-wide multi-year effort of gathering and integrating feedback to build consensus.  The effort was led by the AGHE Competency Workgroup and was built upon the work of Wendt, Peterson, and Douglas (1993) as well as current literature in foundations of gerontology and competency-based education. The AGHE Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education are a resource for competency-based gerontology education with liberal arts, professional and/or scientific program orientations.    The framework for the competencies encourages gerontology education programs to maintain their specific orientation (e.g., liberal arts), and utilize the competencies with flexibility and creativity.   The competencies may be applied to gerontology programs with majors, minors and certificate programs at the associate, undergraduate and/or master’s level. Please find a mapping tool here

There are three categories of competencies (I, II and III).

Category I competencies represent the essential orientation to the field of gerontology, are foundational and expected to be broadly represented in Associate, Bachelors, Master’s degree and gerontology certificate programs.

Category II competencies are “interactional” competencies that capture the processes of knowing and doing across the field of gerontology and are also expected to be broadly represented in the above types of educational programs. Category II competencies are meant to capture the most relevant skills for contexts of employment in the variety of sectors and areas that gerontologists may work, including education.

Category III competencies are to be selected based on the mission, goals and orientation(s) of the educational program. Competencies in Category III provide gerontology education program leadership with the ability to select and tailor the competency expectations for their particular programs’ needs and orientations. It is suggested that programs select 2 or more Domains in Category III, and use the related competencies within that domain for their curricula. Within Category III, programs may identify additional competency content as appropriate for their program orientations and emphases.

Pianosi, B., Damron-Rodriguez, J., Jukema, J. & Schoenmakers, E. (2016, October). Use of professional gerontology competencies
         for workplace alignment & use in practice. Poster session presented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Montreal,

Quebec, Canada. (Poster PDF)


*  Dr. Jože Gričar, Professor Emeritus, University of Maribor 
Program Coordinator, Inter-Municipality Initiative: Cross-border eCollaboration in the eRegion, Members
Editor, eRegion Portal

+386 41 332 316 
Member of Assembly & Member of the Board, Central-European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI), Budapest, 
(ponovno izvoljen za tri leta 25.4.2017)