How DCU’s Age-Friendly University can help you live a greater life

The Irish University that more than 2,000 older people attend every week

Every person is born with a natural drive to learn. From the day we are born we are programmed to explore the world around us to improve our understanding of it.
This thirst for knowledge never really goes away, and for an increasing number of older people in Ireland, later life is the perfect time to ‘go back to school’ by enrolling at the Age-Friendly University.

DCU's Age-Friendly University initiative in collaboration with Spry

What is the Age-Friendly University?

The Age-Friendly University initiative was established in 2012 by Dublin City University to promote age-friendly opportunities in higher education. It was informed by the work of the WHO’s Age-Friendly Cities Programme.

Participants can enhance their skills and knowledge while improving their physical and mental health by taking part in wellness, cultural, social, research and educational opportunities.

More than 2,000 older people participate in Age-Friendly University opportunities at DCU on a
weekly basis. DCU AFU offers opportunities to engage in a broad range of undergraduate modules without the need to undertake exams or assignments. There is also a dedicated Lifelong Learning Programme, a customised programme offering genealogy, history, creative writing, languages, arts programmes, and opportunities to engage in a range of research projects both on campus and with a European dimension.

Better quality of life

Christine O’Kelly, Age-Friendly Coordinator at DCU, explains: “Lifelong learning is really important for keeping the mind active, having some sense of purpose, and also for contributing to better quality of life.

“People are getting up in the morning, they’re going down to the classes. They’re making new
friends, they’re engaging in learning. You’re keeping your brain active and, of course, you’re
contributing your expertise and knowledge to the university.”

Anyone can join the Age-Friendly University, with participants ranging from traditional homemakers to retired CEOs and everything in between. Your working life is far less important than your desire to learn and whether a participant attends just one lecture or signs up for several, they each get a student card and become part of the DCU community.

That community as a whole is richer for the greater age diversity on campus, which fosters an environment where ageist stereotypes are challenged through the intergenerational engagement of students young and old.

Spry Finance is proud to financially support the Age-Friendly University at DCU. Find out more
about enrolling at the Age-Friendly University.