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21.02.10. New university courses needed for over-50s

UK universities are being encouraged to develop new courses for the growing numbers of 'baby-boomers' now heading towards retirement.  A report by Universities UK, the association representing university leaders, says the ageing population is a 'serious challenge' for higher education institutions.

Practical courses such as moving from full-time to self-employment, ageing healthily, human rights and environmental citizenship, are all recommended and in the US there is already a growing demand for courses on gerontology.

Nicola Dandridge, of Universities UK said, 'The idea that people stop making a useful contribution to society when they reach the age of 60 or 65 is outdated. We are facing a situation where older people are living longer and healthier lives and have, as a consequence, a huge amount to contribute. Universities have a significant part to play in harnessing that contribution.  

'This report examines the role universities can play in finding fresh ways of adapting and supporting older people. Of course, proposals to support older people into universities must be considered in light of the current funding climate facing the sector. On the other hand, to ignore the potential contribution older people can make to our society and economy is short-sighted.' Full details of the report are on BBS site