AGEWELLSITY: UniverSITY for the WELL-being of AGED people

Project lead: David Iyu Espinosa, University of Murcia

Participating universities: University of Cologne, University of Murcia, Linnaeus University, Semmelweis University

General overview

The main aim of this project is to promote a University for the Well-Being of Older Adults. It will encourage younger and older adults to work together, interacting with the local community, to co-create a better society for all ages and improved well-being for everyone. Partners will advocate changing frameworks, cultures, and mindsets, to incorporate older adults in the principal activities of the university, including research: to lead a cultural change to transform universities into more age-friendly institutions. They will also work to identify potential partners outside of academia that can help to lead the cultural shift that is needed for more age-friendly approaches to research and higher education.

Purpose and Significance

Global ageing is one of the major demographic phenomena of the 21st century, both in terms of increasing chances for individuals to reach old age and of a rising share of older people over the total population. In this context, opening universities to older adults and listening to their needs may lead to great gerontological advances.

Implementation Method and Timeline

Utilising each participant/university’s strengths, the project will develop a research agenda in order to investigate and identify the most relevant factors that enable universities to become more age-friendly. An age-friendly working group will be set up in every university/partner. Online meetings will be used to share information about the research and innovation projects that each university is developing in the area of gerontology, how those projects can contribute to the age-friendly initiative, or alternatively how an age-friendly environment within the universities may benefit those research and innovation projects. The project will culminate with a two-day conference. 

Expected Outcomes

The development of a EUniwell consortium promoting transdisciplinary research and collaboration amongst students, researchers, administrative officers, policy makers, service providers, and members of the local ageing community, may lead to transformative, socially embedded, gerontological research. This will help to place universities in a determinant role in improving the quality of life of older adults within a rapidly ageing society.