The 10 Principles

Active ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.

AFU Principles

The AFU principles embody the collaborative efforts of an international and interdisciplinary team led by Professor BrĂ­an MacCraith, who was then the President of Dublin City University (DCU). The team aimed to recognize the unique roles that higher education institutions can play in addressing the interests and needs of an aging population. Initially launched by the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, in 2012, these 10 AFU principles have gained adoption by institutions not only in Ireland but also in the U.K., the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

By becoming part of the AFU network of global partners, UBC Okanagan has prioritized staying informed about globally emerging age-friendly initiatives. Additionally, the principles provide UBCO a framework for contributing to an educational movement that brings social, personal, and economic benefits to students of all ages and higher education institutions alike.

The 10 Age Friendly University 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.

Our world is aging. The higher education community is in a position to respond. The Age-Friendly University Global Network is a movement that aims to shape how we live and work by increasing educational opportunities across the life span.